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Neutering

What to expect when neutering your dog or cat

Neutering your dog

What happens when your dog is neutered?

Neutering is the surgical method by which our pets are prevented from reproducing. 

In males the surgery involved is known as “castration” and in females the surgery is known as “spaying”.  Both of these procedures are carried out under general anaesthetic.  Your dog will usually be admitted in the morning by one of our nurses and they can be collected later that day after their surgery.

The surgical procedure:

When a male dog is castrated both the testicles are removed through a single small skin wound in front of the scrotum.  The wound is closed with buried stitches which will dissolve in time. 

When a female dog is spayed both the ovaries and the uterus (womb) are removed by a procedure known as an ovariohysterectomy.  The surgery is performed through a wound on the middle of her tummy, just below the belly button. The wound is also closed with buried stitches which will dissolve in time.

Timing of neutering:

Neutering can be carried out from 6 months of age, but if you are unsure please do not hesitate to contact us to speak with one of our vets.  We recommend spaying your female dog before her first season occurs but if your dog has already had a season, we advise having her spayed 3 months after the last day of her season which is usually half way between seasons when the reproductive organs are “dormant”.

The breed, size, lifestyle and temperament of your dog all need to be considered when choosing the right time for neutering.  A health check when your puppy is 6 months old is important for many health reasons but is also a good opportunity to discuss neutering and the suitable timing of this for your individual pet.

What are the main reasons for neutering?

Females:

  • Preventing infection to the uterus also known as a pyometra
  • Preventing ovarian and uterine cancer
  • Preventing your dog being in season and having the unwanted attention of male dogs and the mess of her discharge around the home
  • Many bitches will have a false pregnancy following their season. While this is natural, it can lead to behavioural problems and even, in some cases, medical ones. Neutering will prevent this.
  • Preventing unwanted pregnancies

Males:

  • Removing the testicles also removes the main source of the male hormone testosterone so the effects of this hormone are also reduced to a minimal level after castration
  • Reducing the urge to roam and to fight, so less likely to go missing or suffer wounds
  • Reducing the incidence of prostate disease and some cancers
  • Preventing unwanted pregnancies

Will neutering cause my dog to put on weight?

Neutering can cause your dog’s metabolic rate to change. This can sometimes result in weight gain. Some dogs can require a change in diet to a ‘neutered’ lighter calorie version. We offer all our patients a free weight consultation with a nurse 3 months after surgery.

For more information on neutering or to book an appointment get in touch with our team. Our nurses offer a pre-neutering consult 1-3 days before the procedure so any questions can be answered then.

Neutering your cat

What happens when my cat is neutered?

Neutering is the surgical method by which our pets are prevented from reproducing. 

In males the surgery involved is known as “castration” and in females the surgery is known as “spaying”.  Both of these procedures are carried out under general anaesthetic.  Your cat will usually be admitted in the morning by one of our nurses and they can be collected later that day after their surgery.

The surgical procedure:

When a male cat is castrated both the testicles are removed through two small skin wounds, one on each side of the scrotum.  The wound is closed in on itself and no stitches are placed routinely.

When a female cat is spayed both the ovaries and the uterus (womb) are removed by a procedure known as an ovariohysterectomy.  The surgery is performed through a wound on the side of her tummy. The wound is surgically closed with buried stitches which will dissolve in time.  This means she will go home with a square patch of shaved hair around the wound on her side.  If she is a show cat then we can perform the surgery underneath her tummy to prevent any hair coat disturbance for showing.

Timing of neutering:

Males and females can be neutered from 5 months of age. After 6 months of age they become sexually mature and capable of reproducing. They can however be castrated at any age beyond this.

What are the main reasons for neutering?

Females:  

  • Preventing unwanted pregnancies,
  • Preventing pyometra and some types of cancer.
  • Reducing roaming and risk of accidents.
  • Confined pets that have not been neutered are more prone to stress and can become frustrated and unhappy.

Males:

  • Preventing unwanted pregnancies,
  • Reducing their chances of catching Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), an incurable life limiting disease similar to HIV in humans. This disease is spread by saliva into bite wounds during a fight.
  • Preventing urine spraying in the house. Entire males will frequently urine-mark their territory with a powerful and unpleasant scented urine, not normally produced in neutered males.

Will spaying cause my cat to gain weight?

Neutering can cause your cat’s metabolic rate to change. This can sometimes result in weight gain. Some cats can require a change in diet to a ‘neutered’ lighter calorie version. We offer all our patients a free weight consultation with a nurse 3 months after surgery.

Aftercare

For your dog:

Wound Care

It is important your dog is not allowed to lick or interfere with the wound. The healing process takes up to 14 days and any interference can cause delayed healing or infection. There are lots of options to prevent your pet accessing the wound. This includes the classic ‘cone’ or ‘buster collar’, there are also inflatable collars and medical pet shirts which your dog may find more comfortable.

Exercise

Your dog will need to be rested as much as possible for the duration of their recovery and avoid strenuous activity. We recommend lead exercise for at least a week following surgery. You will be invited for a post-operative check at 3 and 10 days after the procedure so the nurse can advise you when it will be safe to return to normal exercise and off lead work.

Feeding

You will be asked to starve your dog from the night before the procedure. They can have their dinner as normal but no food after midnight. They can have water as normal. Please try to get your dog to have passed urine and faeces before they are admitted.

After surgery both food and water can be offered. We normally recommend a light meal of about half the volume you would normally provide. A specially formulated light diet called Hill's i/d can be provided if preferred.

 

For your cat:

Wound Care

It is important your cat is not allowed to lick or interfere with the wound. The healing process takes up to 14 days and any interference can cause delayed healing or infection. There are lots of options to prevent your pet accessing the wound. This includes the classic ‘cone’ or ‘buster collar’, there are also inflatable collars and medical pet shirts which your cat may find more comfortable.

Exercise

Cats must be kept indoors for the duration for their recovery. This should be 2-3 days for males and 10-14 days for females. Jumping onto high surfaces should be restricted where possible.

Feeding

You will be asked to starve your cat from the night before the procedure. They can have their dinner as normal but no food after midnight. They can have water as normal.

After surgery both food and water can be offered. We normally recommend a light meal of about half the volume you would normally provide. A specially formulated light diet called Hill's i/d can be provided if preferred.

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St Andrews Clinic

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Ladybank Clinic

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Newport Clinic

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