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Neutering

Advice and guidance on neutering your pet

Dogs

Spaying Bitches:

Spaying has many positive health benefits for your pet. Early spaying can almost eliminate the chances of mammary (breast) cancer in later life. Serious uterine diseases, which are common in older bitches and can be life-threatening, are also prevented.

The most obvious advantage is that it prevents unwanted pregnancies and the inconvenience of your bitch coming into season twice a year.

Spaying is a major surgical procedure and there is always risk of complications, mostly these are relatively minor but there is a small risk of potentially life-threatening complications, which you may want to discuss with us in advance.

We like to spay bitches at six months of age or three months after any season. Certain of the larger breeds of dog are not suitable for spaying at six months of age due to an increased risk of urinary incontinence.

Castrating Dogs:

Dogs can be castrated at any time after they are six months of age. Castration is often helpful in reducing certain types of aggression, urine marking and unwanted displays of male dog sexual behaviour.

Castration may also reduce the possibility of prostatic disease in later life. A male dog does not become sterile the moment it is castrated, live sperm can be stored in the dog for some weeks after the operation. You should bear this in mind if you decide to use castration as a means of family planning when you own both a dog and a bitch.

This practice will not perform vasectomies on male dogs as a means of family planning.

Cats

Cats, both male and female, can be neutered from the age of three months. Spaying female cats prevents pregnancy and also saves them the distress of being in season every three weeks throughout the spring and summer months.

Castrating male cats has a number of benefits. Uncastrated cats' urine is extremely pungent which, added to the tendency of uncastrated tom cats to 'spray' in the house, can make them difficult to live with. In addition, uncastrated tom cats have more fights and more road accidents and as a consequence, have a significantly poorer life expectancy compared with other cats.

Rabbits

Neutering male and female rabbits aids in the prevention of antisocial behaviour, such as fighting and aggression.

Un-neutered female rabbits have a high incidence of cancer of the ovaries and uterus.

The operation can be performed from the age of four months in males and six months in females.

Weight Gain

It is quite common for neutered animals to put on weight following the procedure, sometimes startling amounts. After neutering some pets may have a greater interest in food, along with a reduction in their calorific requirements (often as they are stopping their fast rate of growing as they have matured!). If fed the same as before, many will gain weight. This can be managed by reducing their food intake and moving to a sterilised or neutered diet. We can support you with this during the post-operative checks included as part of the procedure or at a free Nurse Consultation to help you manage their diet and weight.