Neutering – what you need to know
Unless you are planning to breed from your pet, we highly recommend that you have your pet neutered, to:
- Prevent unplanned, unwanted and costly offspring
- Reduce risk of certain types of cancer and diseases
- Reduce aggression, straying, spraying and other anti-social behaviour
When can my pet be neutered?
We advise from 6 months old, however, each pet is an individual so we recommend discussing your specific needs with us.
What will happen?
The procedure is called ‘castration’ – ie removal of the testicles and spermatic cord. The male is then unable to produce sperm and cannot father any offspring. Because the testicles are the main producer of testosterone, removing the testes lowers the level of this hormone in the males’ blood, thus lowering the chance of your pet straying as well as reducing aggression, spraying and leg mounting. Castration means that your pet cannot get testicular cancer and is less likely to get prostate cancer later on in life.
At Cheshire Pet we are able to offer you a choice on how your female dog is neutered the conventional procedure is called a ‘spay’ - ie the removal of the ovaries and uterus. We also offer laparoscopic (keyhole) spaying which involves removal of the ovaries alone, leaving the uterus in place. It is therefore quicker and less painful.
The main benefits of laparoscopic spaying over conventional surgery are:
- Minimally invasive – much smaller incision site
- Smaller surgery wounds and therefore smaller scars
- Reduced risk of wound infection
- Faster recovery time and faster return to normal activity
- Reduced pain for your pet – less discomfort post-operatively
With both methods the female can’t produce any eggs, come into season or become pregnant. Because the ovaries are the main producer of oestrogen, removing them lowers the level of this hormone in your pet’s blood stream, resulting in more docile behaviour and a reduced chance of straying. Neutering females removes the risk of:
- Phantom pregnancies
- Pyometra. A womb infection that can be fatal and requires emergency surgery.
- Ovarian cancer and also reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer later on in life. It can take approximately 6 weeks for the hormone levels to decrease, so behavioural changes will not be immediate.
- Neutering does not cause weight gain
- It will not alter your pet’s temperament (but will have positive effects on our pet’s behaviour)
- Your pet does not need to have a litter before being neutered
Before the operation
Dogs and cats
On the evening before the operation, your pet must not eat after 7pm, and may only drink water. An empty stomach reduces the risk of anaesthetic complications. If you suspect your pet may have eaten during the starvation period please tell a member of staff. We recommend that you give your pet an opportunity to go to the toilet before coming in to the clinic.
Rabbits and guinea pigs
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs DO NOT need to be starved before their operation. We like you to bring some of your pet’s normal food with you so that we can encourage them to eat as soon as they are awake. Avoid using wood shavings or sawdust in their carrier, as the small particles may interfere with the wound.