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Neutering Your Dog

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What is neutering?

Neutering means surgically preventing pets from breeding. In males, the operation is called castration and in females it’s called spaying.

With castration both testicles are removed which takes away the main source of the male hormone testosterone. With spaying, both the ovaries and the uterus are removed which means the female is unable to become pregnant.

What’s involved in the process?

Both operations are carried out under general anaesthetic. In both the males and females an incision is made, and either the testicles or ovaries/uterus are removed. The incision is closed with absorbable suture material. Patients are monitored after surgery, until they are awake and able to go home. They are discharged with pain relief and post-operative instructions.

When should I get my dog neutered?

Both male and female dogs can be neutered from around six months old but there can be benefits to postponing neutering until either after a first season in a female dog or post puberty in a male dog.

We recommend an appointment to discuss the individual benefits for each patient before determining the most appropriate time to neuter.

Why should I get my dog neutered?

There are lots of reasons why neutering is a good idea. Here are a few.

For male dogs

  • Prevents unwanted mating.
  • Neutered male dogs are less likely to roam.
  • Castration significantly reduces the risk of benign prostatic disease, prostate inflammation and cysts.
  • Prevents testicular cancer.
  • Castration can benefit in some behavioural problems – scent marking, sexual behaviour.

For female dogs

  • Neutering greatly reduces the risk of them getting breast cancer and eliminates womb infection (pyometra). Both of these are seen quite often in older, unneutered dogs and they can be fatal.
  • Prevents unwanted pregnancy.
  • Many unneutered female dogs have a false pregnancy after a season and this can cause behavioural and even medical problems.

What happens after the surgery?

Some people worry that their dog’s personality will change. There is no evidence to support this but you might see a fall in certain behaviour – roaming, mounting, fighting or spraying urine.

People also worry that their pet will get fat. Neutered animals have a lower calorie requirement and weight can be controlled with diet and exercise.

Coat changes can occur in some breeds of dog, this is mainly smooth-coated breeds e.g setter and their coat may become curly/rough. This coat change is variable and has no impact on the health of the coat/skin.

Neutered pedigree dogs can be shown according to Kennel Club rules.

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