Neutering Your Pet

Neutering your pet is a routine surgical procedure performed under general anaesthesia that can have many health benefits as well as preventing the over population of unwanted animals. Pets we commonly neuter are DOGS, CATS, RABBITS and FERRETS. In this article, you will discover the benefits of neutering your pets as well as uncovering the truth behind several myths about the side effects of neutering.

Why Spay or Castrate My Pet?

Females

A spay is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus in a female animal. Spaying your animal can have several benefits including:

  1. Prevention of unwanted pregnancies
  2. Elimination of the in-heat/oestrus cycle (the period of time during which your pet’s body prepares for pregnancy and often causes behaviour that is out of the norm).
  3. Elimination of the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer
  4. Lower chances of mammary cancers if spayed before first heat

Males

Castration is the surgical removal of both testicles in a male animal. There are several benefits that come with castration, particularly when it comes to behaviour, some of which include:

  1. Reduction of the risk of prostate cancer and other genital diseases
  2. Reduction of unwanted roaming and fighting
  3. Reduction in territorial marking with offensive urine odours

Dispelling the myths

My dog will get fat if I have her neutered

With an appropriate diet and plenty of exercise, there is no reason why your neutered pet should gain weight. It is possible that your dog or cat may need less food than before. We run weight clinics with our registered nurse to help give advice in this area.

Neutering will improve my pet’s behaviour

It is certainly true that neutering can help with some behaviour issues. Unneutered male cats spray strong smelling urine to mark their territory; this could be in your house, garden and in your neighbours’ gardens. Neutering will reduce the urge to do this and is also likely to reduce the aggressive behaviour associated with guarding territory. Neutering male dogs will reduce their need to scent mark too. Neutering can also reduce some undesirable dog behaviours such as mounting people’s legs and furniture which can be embarrassing for owners. However, neutering will not ‘fix’ all naughty behaviours and it is important to seek expert advice if your cat or dog is displaying serious problem behaviours.

It is healthier for my cat or dog to have a litter before neutering

This is a myth. There is no medical reason for your pet to have a litter before neutering and pregnancy itself actually carries a number of health risks. We will be able to advise you on the best age to have your dog or cat neutered. It is important to realise that both cats and dogs are able to reproduce from a young age. Most cats reach sexual maturity, and are able to reproduce, at around six months of age but it can be as young as four months. The age at which dogs are able to reproduce does vary hugely and different breeds mature at different speeds so it is always a good idea to consult your vet about your individual dog.