Neutering of dogs, cats and smaller pets can make pets easier to look after and reduces the likelihood of some problems and diseases occurring in later life. Animals being neutered can usually go home on the same day and recovery is generally rapid.
Neutering is the removal of the testicles in the male and the ovaries and uterus in the female. Almost all cats except those used for breeding, are neutered. In females this prevents pregnancy and in males it reduces roaming, fighting and spraying. Female cats can be neutered from 4 months old and should be spayed by five and a half months old to avoid pregnancy. Males can be castrated at the same age. We will admit your cat and operate in the morning and you can collect him or her in the afternoon. Recovery is usually fast with your pet being back to normal in 2 or 3 days.
We recommend that all non-breeding females are neutered and advise that many non-breeding males will benefit from neutering. Some of the advantages of neutering are as follows:
Benefits of neutering females
Neutering almost eliminates the risk of mammary tumours if done early in life.
Unwanted or unplanned pregnancies are prevented
A potentially fatal infection of the uterus called a pyometra is prevented.
Neutering avoids the nuisance of your bitch being in a season. Signs that your bitch is in season may include having a swollen vulva, constant licking of that area and spotting of bloody to clear coloured liquid. The season will last for about three weeks and her most fertile time will usually be 10 to 14 days from the start. You should always keep your bitch on a lead while she is in season.
Prevents phantom pregnancies. Phantom pregnancies may occur six to 14 weeks after a season. The body acts as if it is pregnant causing behavioural changes and possibly the production of milk.
When should I Neuter my female dog?
If you do not aim to breed from your bitch the two best times to neuter her are either at six months old or two to four months after her first season. From her second season onwards the benefit of neutering in reduction of mammary tumours is rapidly lost.
Disadvantages of neutering females
The main disadvantages of neutering bitches is an increased risk of developing a treatable form of urinary incontinence in later life and a tendency to gain weight if the diet is not monitored.
Benefits of neutering males
Reduces the incidence of sexually triggered undesirable behaviours. These can include mating legs or objects, some types of aggression to other dogs, some types of aggression to humans and an excessive interest in other dogs which may contribute to poor recall.
Prevents unwanted pregnancies.
Reduces the risk of anal tumours, testicular cancer and prostate problems. For these and other reasons castrated males will on average live longer than un-castrated males.
Males with retained testicles are more prone to testicular tumours so should always be castrated.
When should I Neuter my male dog?
Males may be castrated from six months old, or as soon as you see any undesirable sexually triggered behaviour.
Disadvantages of neutering males
The main disadvantages of neutering male dogs is an increased tendency to gain weight if the diet is not monitored.
Both males and females will require less food after neutering otherwise they may gain weight. Regular weight checks will help you to maintain their ideal weight. Neutering reduces sexually triggered behaviour but does not change your pet's personality.