Neutering of pets can be a very emotive topic with a pet owner being bombarded with lots of advice, some more accurate than others, and we can help you make the right decision for your pet and his or her situation.
Download our Puppy Neutering Information Sheet here
MALE NEUTERING / CASTRATION
When can my dog be neutered?
Male neutering or castration involves the surgical removal of the testicles. We usually perform this at around 5 months to a year old though it can obviously be done at any age if needs be.
What are the benefits of neutering a male dog?
The castration of male dogs is performed for both behavioural and health reasons.
Behavioural reasons may include antisocial behaviours such as aggression or high sex drive as well as the danger of running away and possibly being hit by cars (the risk of RTA is increased in non-castrated male dogs). Health benefits of castration are mainly to do with disease of the male reproductive tract, for example a reduced incidence of prostate disease in dogs and obviously removing the risk of testicular cancer. Other not so obvious benefits however such as the reduced risk of perineal hernias and anal adenomas (benign but very difficult to treat tumours on the anus) in dogs are a real benefit.
After the castration operation your nurse or vet will advice on care for your pet in the short term and in the longer term.
NB In dogs an alternative to castration is the implantation of a small microchip like implant which has many of the benefits of the operation but lasts from 6-12 months. This is useful where an owner is keen on the benefits of the surgery but is worried that the dog's behaviour may change in a detrimental way after the procedure. Of interest though is that we very rarely if ever see a negative behavioural effect from the neutering operation.
Female Neutering / Spay / Ovariohysterechtemy
The equivalent operation in female dogs is commonly referred to as 'spaying'. This is an operation where both the ovaries and the uterus or womb are removed surgically. Clearly this means that your pet will be unable to have puppies again.
What are the benefits of spaying?
A benefit of spaying is that she will not go through a 'season' and be attractive to male dogs which can prove to be a nuisance. Other benefits of spaying a female pet is that the risk of life threatening diseases such as cancer of the mammary glands, womb and ovaries is reduced or removed completely and also the risk of womb infections which are extremely common and potentially life threatening in older non-spayed female dogs is removed.
What is involved in spaying?
The spaying operation itself is more involved than the male castrate but nevertheless bitches recover very quickly Your vet or nurse will advise on care of your pet in the period after the procedure is performed in order to promote a speedy recovery.
Overall we believe that unless a dog is to be used for breeding purposes then neutering is strongly recommended. We don't see many dogs owned by vets and nurses who aren't neutered.
For more advice on neutering your pet please ring your local clinic or our main Haddington surgery: 01620 822262.