Neutering – what you need to know

Neutering – what you need to know
What is neutering?
  • Neutering is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs.
  • Female dogs and cats undergo removal of the uterus and ovaries – an Ovariohysterectomy, often referred to as speying.
  • Male dogs and cats undergo castration – the removal of both testicles.
What are the advantages of neutering male dogs and cats?
  • Statistically neutered animals live longer than those that are un-neutered.
  • To reduce the risk of certain diseases such as those of the prostate and testicles.
  • To prevent unwanted breeding.
  • To help prevent unwanted behaviour such as urine spraying, mounting, wandering and sometimes aggression.
  • To alleviate the frustrations of not being allowed to mate.
  • They will generally require less food to be fed.

Note that vasectomy would not have these advantages other than prevention of unwanted breeding.

What are the advantages of neutering female dogs and cats?
  • To prevent unwanted pregnancies.
  • To help prevent mammary cancers.
  • To prevent uterine and ovarian cancer(s).
  • To prevent pyometra (infection in the uterus).
  • To prevent dogs and cats coming into season.
  • To prevent pseudo/false pregnancies.
What are the disadvantages of neutering?
  • Weight gain. Your pet’s metabolic rate may be slightly reduced by neutering, less food (typically 5-10% less) is required to maintain the same body weight.
  • There is a cost for the operation. A detailed estimate is available on request, please ask at reception.
  • Surgical complications, thankfully rare.
  • Increased incidence of a few rare diseases, but overall disease risk is reduced.
When do we neuter dogs and cats?
  • Male dogs are usually neutered from about FIVE months of age.
  • Male and female cats are usually neutered between THREE and FIVE months of age, ideally before they become sexually active.
  • Many breeds of female dogs can be safely speyed before their first season – from about FIVE months of age. Certain breeds and types, notably giant breeds, collies and dogs with docked tails would typically be allowed to have their first season prior to neutering.
  • Female dogs that have already had a season are usually speyed about 3 months after their last season.
What happens on the day my pet is neutered?

Your pet will be admitted to the surgery first thing in the morning, with food having been withheld following their evening meal the day before. A Pre-operative examination at the Windermere branch of Oakhill Vet Group is followed by a general anaesthetic and the surgical procedure. Pets recover over lunchtime and during the early part of the afternoon. Patients are usually ready to go home later the same afternoon. At Oakhill Vet Group we usually perform post-operative checks 2-3 days and again 8-10 days after the procedure.

Please speak to one of the vets at the Windermere or Ambleside branches of Oakhill Vet Group if you have any questions about the neutering of your pet.