What is neutering
Neutering in male dogs and cats is known as castration which prevents the production of sperm and testosterone through the removal of the testicles.
Neutering in female cats and dogs is known as spaying. During the procedure the ovaries and uterus are removed. Keyhole surgery, where only ovaries are removed, can be offered as an alternative to the standard “open” surgery. It is more beneficial for your pet as it is less invasive, resulting in a faster recovery time.
Neutering is done to prevent unwanted pregnancies, prevent cancers of reproductive organs and in some cases help with difficult behaviours (although that is not guaranteed).
When should your pet be neutered
It is recommended that cats and dogs are neutered at around four months of age, before they reach puberty and after they have completed their primary vaccination course. Bitches can be spayed around 6 months, in large breeds it seems beneficial to wait till 1 year. It is important to know that the effects of neutering are permanent.
What are the risks?
Every surgical procedure carries risk of infection (approximately 10%), for which your animal would need to receive antibiotics. Bleeding and injury to the surrounding structures are luckily rare. General anaesthetic carries higher risk of complications for small pets (like rabbits) and also older animals or cats and dogs with long-term conditions (diabeted, obesity etc). Luckily, serious complications are rare. Since complications happen even in the best of surgical hands they are not regarded as avoidable events or negligence and treatment for them is charged to the client.
If you have any other questions, our vets and nurses are always happy to elaborate on the procedure in order to ensure you make the best and most informed decision possible for your pet!
What are the benefits?
Castration and spaying prevents unplanned litters, preventing you from having to find a home for many kittens and puppies!
Castrating prevents males from urine marking and exhibiting unacceptable sexual and social behaviours. The risk of your dog or cat developing prostatic diseases is also greatly reduced.
Spaying is the greatest method of birth control and removes the inconvenience of dealing with a bitch “in season” and a female cat “in heat.”