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Neutering

Read our advice about neutering your pet

Neutering is a routine surgical procedure regularly performed at the practice. As well as preventing unwanted pregnancies, neutering also helps prevent many illnesses and can reduce territorial behaviours.

Cat Neutering

Female cats reach puberty at around 7 months old, but they can start to attract attention from tomcats as young as 4 months old. We normally advise that female kittens are neutered from 6 months to prevent unwanted litters. However, neutering can be performed at any stage in your cat’s life, even if she is pregnant.

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that it is beneficial for a cat to carry a litter before they are spayed.
 

What does spaying involve?
 

Neutering is a surgical procedure which involves the complete removal of your cat’s ovaries and uterus. We request that all female cats visit the practice for a free pre-operation check over with the vet beforehand to ensure that they are healthy and fit to go ahead with the operation. Following this check, we will book your cat to return for the operation.

We perform all operations first thing in the morning. This is to make certain that your pet is recovering and well enough to return home with you that same evening.

On arrival, your cat will be premeditated with sedatives and painkillers. A general anaesthetic is administered for the duration of the operation.

The Veterinary Surgeon will make a  small incision on either the cats’ side (the flank) or the centre of their abdomen. After the removal of the ovaries and uterus, stitches will be used to seal the incision and promote healing.

Your cat should be well enough to return home in the evening after the operation. We recommend that she is kept in a calm and comfortable environment and restricted to house rest for at least 10 days. The Veterinarian who performs the surgery will advise on post-operative care and stitch removal following surgery.
 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of spaying my cat?
 

No pet owner likes the idea of putting their loved ones through major surgery however, we do recommend that all owners of female cats consider neutering because the benefits to your cat far outweigh the risks involved.
 

Advantages
 

  • No possibility of pregnancy.
  • Protection from infections in the uterus as well as prevention of uterine and ovarian cancers.
  • Cat neutering has been found to reduce the risk of your cat developing breast cancer later in life.
  • Likelihood of developing unwanted ‘calling’ behaviours diminished

     

Disadvantages
 

  • Neutering your cat involves major surgery which always comes with a level of risk, particularly with anaesthetic and post-surgical infection.
  • Neutering your cat can cause weight gain, as she tends to burn calories less efficiently and store more energy as fat. However, feeding your cat a healthy balanced diet and allowing her to get plenty of exercise will counteract this. Our veterinary team will be able to advise you if you have concerns about your cat’s weight.
  • Some breeds of cats, such as Siamese, can have the hair around the incision site grow back noticeably darker than before, but this usually grows out with moulting as the hair is replaced.

Male cats reach puberty between the ages of 8 and 9 months at which point they can develop certain undesirable behaviours, such as spraying and increased aggression. For this reason, we recommend that all male cats not intended for breeding be castrated.
 

What does cat castration involve?
 

Castration is a surgical procedure that involves the complete removal of your cat’s testes. It is a routine day operation that is over very quickly and is one of the least invasive surgeries performed at the practice.

We perform all operations first thing in the morning. This is to make certain that your pet is recovering and well enough to return home with you that same evening.

When they arrive, your cat will be premeditated with sedatives and painkillers. A general anaesthetic is administered for the duration of the operation.

The Veterinary Surgeon will incise the cats’ scrotum to remove the testes. Once complete, there is no need for stitches as the wound will heal naturally.

Your cat should be well enough to return home that same evening. We recommend that he is kept calm and comfortable at home and kept indoors for at least 2 days. The Veterinarian who performs the surgery will advise on post-operative care and stitch removal following surgery.
 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of castrating my cat?


As with female cats we recommend that all owners of male cats consider castration because the benefits far outweigh the risks involved. If you have concerns you should give us a call to discuss further with a member of the team.
 

Advantages of Cat Castration
 

  • Castrating your male cat from a young age should completely prevent territorial and dominant behaviours from developing, such as spraying urine indoors.
  • Less likely to be involved in territorial fights with other male cats in your area.
  • Less likely to be involved in road traffic accidents while roaming at night in search of female cats.
  • The complete removal of your cat’s testes will mean that they produce less testosterone. This can help with aggression and dominance behaviours at home, while not affecting their personality or spirit.

     

Disadvantages of Cat Castration
 

  • Neutering your cat involves surgery which always carries a level of risk, particularly with anaesthetic and post-surgical infection.
  • Neutering your cat can cause weight gain. However, feeding your cat a healthy balanced diet and allowing him to get plenty of exercise will counteract this. Our veterinary team will be able to advise you if you have concerns about your cat’s weight.

Dog Neutering

Neutering is a surgical procedure also known as spaying for female dogs and castration for male dogs. Depending on breed and size, most male and female dogs will reach puberty between 6 and 23 months. We generally recommend neutering dogs from 6 months onward.

We strongly recommend that all bitches should be neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancies and potential health complications later in life.

 

Bitch Spay
 

Female dogs who have not been spayed usually have a season every 6 months. Seasons last roughly 3 weeks and it is during this time that a female dog may become pregnant. We generally advise that spaying be performed soon after 6 months, and prior to the first season. If your dog has already had a season, then we recommend that neutering be performed around 3 months after the season has ended. This should be discussed with one of our vets in order to decide the best course for your dog.
 

What does Spaying involve?
 

Spaying is a surgical procedure in which your dog’s ovaries and uterus are removed. It is a routine operation that we perform daily at the practice, however, it still involves major surgery and the risks should be taken seriously.

Spaying is performed as a day operation in the practice. Your dog will be pre-medicated with sedatives and pain killers and then given a general anaesthetic. An incision will be made on your dog’s lower abdomen to perform the operation, which will be subsequently stitched.

After the operation, your dog will be cared for and monitored by one of our trained auxiliaries to ensure that they come around comfortably. Once we are happy that your dog is recovering well, we will give you a call to arrange a time for her to go home later that same day. 

Once home, your dog should be kept calm and comfortable. Exercise should be restricted for at least 10 days, or as advised by the vet. The veterinary surgeon who performed the spay will advise on the best post-operative care following surgery and will provide you with 5 days of post-op pain relief. This is included in the full price of the Bitch Spay.

It is common practice for us to request that you bring your dog back to the practice 3 and 10 days following the surgery to have the wound checked by one of our nurses. These follow-up appointments are standard procedure and free-of-charge.
 

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Spaying my Dog?
 

We often get asked this question by concerned owners who’ve been exposed to varying, usually conflicting advice from magazines, friends and online sources. We would recommend that all female dog owners consider spaying as the advantages far outweigh the risks involved.
 

Advantages:
 

  • This procedure completely prevents unwanted pregnancies, as well as false pregnancies (more information on false pregnancies is provided below).
  • Removal of the ovaries and uterus completely prevents your dog from developing uterine and ovarian tumours.
  • Your dog is also prevented from developing serious uterine infections, such as Pyometra.
  • Spaying your dog has been found to significantly decrease the risk of tumours developing in the mammary glands. Research has found that the younger the operation is performed, the better they are protected from developing mammary tumours.
  • Bitches who have not been spayed will be victims of constant attention from male dogs in the neighbourhood when they do come into season.
  • Finally, when dogs come into season they, like humans, bleed regularly. If your dog is spayed, she will not come into season and you will not have to keep her on a lead and away from other dogs. Nor will you have to use nappies or clean the bloodstains around your home.

     

Disadvantages:
 

  • Spaying is an operation that involves general anaesthetic and major surgery, both of which can be a risk to your dog.
  • Weight gain can be an issue for spayed dogs, but this is easily controlled with diet and exercise.
  • Spaying your dog will alter their hormones, which can very occasionally result in an altered coat texture. Should this occur, you can discuss with your vet about possible remedying through diet and vitamin supplements.

Please talk to one of our vets if you would like more information on spaying your dog.
 

False Pregnancies
 

Also called ‘phantom’ pregnancies, false pregnancies are a common condition in which the dog develops all the symptoms of pregnancy, such as lactation and nursing, without having been mated.

The symptoms usually appear around 2 months after your dog’s season ends, and can include: 

  • Anorexia
  • Abdominal enlargement
  • Nest making
  • Nursing soft toys
  • Mammary development
  • Lactation
  • Other behavioural changes

If your dog develops these symptoms, please contact the practice for advice. False Pregnancies do not occur in dogs that have been spayed.

Neutering is a surgical procedure also known as spaying for female dogs and castration for male dogs. Depending on breed and size, most male and female dogs will reach puberty between 6 and 23 months. We generally recommend neutering dogs from 6 months onward.

We strongly recommend that all bitches should be neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancies and potential health complications later in life.

Male dogs can be castrated at the owner’s request but we always recommend that you discuss this beforehand with one of our vets or nurses. Should we decide to go ahead with castration, it is ideal that this is done early on to potentially improve the dog’s temperament and reduce the later development of unwanted behaviours.
 

What does Castration involve?
 

Castration is a surgical procedure that involves complete removal of your dog’s testes. As with spaying, it is a fairly routine operation which still involves surgery and therefore, should not be taken lightly.

Castration is performed as a day operation at the practice. Your dog will be pre-medicated with sedatives and painkillers and then given a general anaesthetic. A small incision will be made midline from the underside of your dog up to the scrotum, in order to remove the testes. The incision will be subsequently stitched.

After the operation, your dog will be looked after and monitored by one of our trained auxiliaries to ensure that they come around safely comfortably.

Once we are happy that your dog is recovering well, we will give you a phone to arrange a time for them to go home later that same day.  Your dog should be kept calm and comfortable at home. Exercise should be restricted for at least 10 days, or as advised by the vet. The veterinary surgeon who performed the castration will advise on the best post-operative care following surgery and will also provide you with 5 days of post-op pain relief. This is included in the full price of the castration.
 

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Castrating my Dog?
 

The key concern that many owners have about castration is that it will alter their dog’s personality. While this may be partially true, there are also potential benefits to castration.


Advantages
 

  • Dogs who have not been castrated are sometimes prone to going missing and roaming the streets searching for female dogs in heat. Castration stops the production of testosterone and can help to reduce or eliminate these behaviours.
  • Castration completely prevents your dog from fathering unwanted pregnancies.
  • Complete removal of the testes will prevent the development of unwanted and potentially fatal disease such as testicular tumours. Removal of the testes also prevents the development of testosterone-related diseases occurring later in life, such as perineal hernias, prostatic diseases and anal adenomas.
  • Some male dogs are naturally prone to dominant and aggressive behaviours. When castrated, your dogs’ testosterone levels will diminish, which can lead to a marked decrease in these kinds of behaviours.
  • Some male dogs also like to mark their territory by urinating around your home. Their drive to procreate can also make them prone to mounting behaviour. You might find that your dog takes an interest in everything; your sofa, your cushions and even you! Castration can help to reduce these behaviours by removing the testosterone that underpins them.



Disadvantages
 

  • Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that castration will solve developed problem behaviours. While these behaviours are primarily driven by testosterone, your dog may have already developed habits which can continue, despite them no longer producing this hormone. Castration does not guarantee a change in your dog’s temperament or learned behaviours. Castrating dogs at a younger age is more likely to be beneficial, as younger dogs have not yet developed sufficient levels of testosterone to establish bad habits. However, even this is not foolproof and some dogs who are castrated at 6 months, continue to develop unwanted behaviours.
  • Weight gain can be an issue in castrated dogs, but this is easily controlled with diet and exercise.
  • Castration is an operation that involves anaesthetic, open surgery and the removal of organs, all of which carry a certain amount of risk.
  • As with spaying, castrating your dog will alter their hormones, which can on occasion result in a change in coat texture. Should this occur, you can discuss with your vet about possible remedying through diet and vitamin supplements.
  • If your dog is especially nervous, castration can make them worse due to the lack of testosterone. In such cases, it’s best to discuss castration with one of our veterinary surgeons.

If you have any questions or concerns about castration, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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