Neutering your pet may be considered for a number of reasons – to stop any unwanted reproduction, decrease risk of certain diseases and health reasons. We can advise you on the risks and benefits of neutering your pet and will always see an animal for a pre-operative check to discuss the procedure with you. At the preoperative check your pets heart will be listened to and their general health assessed. We may well advise you to treat your pet for lungworm as this can cause possible complications peri-operatively.
Cats, male and female we will usually neuter from 4 months old. Both male and female cats would require a general anaesthetic and will come in early in the morning having been starved overnight. The boys will require no sutures. The girls will most likely have a small flank incision with a few stitches. Occasionally for several different reasons we will spay female cats through a midline incision. The sutures usually come out after 10 days.
We can castrate male dogs from 6months in the small breed dogs or a year old in the larger breed dogs. Your pet will require a general anaesthetic and will have a small incision just in front of the scrotum. There may or may not be sutures that require to be taken out. There are several benefits to castrating dogs- it can reduce aggression or outward problematic sexual behaviour. It does reduce the risk of prostate problems in the older dog and gets rid of the risk of testicular tumours in an older dog. It is important to watch the weight of your pet once he has been neutered as he will be much more likely to gain weight.
We normally spay female dogs 3 months after their first season. This first season can be from 6 months to 24 months of age. The reason that we spay dogs at this time is that they are usually between seasons and the surgery is easier and less risky as their reproductive tract is relatively dormant. Spaying dogs early has been shown to reduce the risk of mammary tumours as they get older and also removes the risk of pyometra (womb infection). As with male dogs there is greater risk of weight gain in spayed animals but this can be controlled with careful planning of diet and exercise.
The procedure requires a general anaesthetic and your dog will come home with an incision in the midline on her tummy which may or may not have any stitches in and may or not have a dressing on.