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Hillside Veterinary Centre
116 Wareham Road
Corfe Mullen
Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 3LH
Neutering

Neutering your pet

Neutering your dog

Unless you are planning to breed from your dog, Hillside Vets always recommend you neuter your dog due to the many health and behavioural benefits it offers. This is called ‘castration’ in male dogs and ‘spay’ in female dogs (bitches).

The most obvious reason for neutering is to avoid your dog producing an unwanted litter of puppies. We all love puppies and of course they’re very cute and cuddly, but a litter of puppies is expensive to look after and a lot of hard work, not to mention the worry of finding nice, safe and loving homes for all of them.

Unfortunately, the number of unwanted pets is on the increase so it’s more important than ever to make sure that your dog doesn’t accidentally add to the problem.

Dogs can be castrated from 5-6 months of age and bitches before or after their first season (if after their season, approximately three months after) so this will be 5-6 months.

With dogs and bitches there can be benefits to delaying neutering depending on their breed/behavioural development etc so it's quite open ended.  It can sometimes therefore be beneficial to discuss appropriate timings with our vets or nurses at Hillside.  Dogs and bitches can, however, also be neutered at an older age.

 

The health benefits to neutering dogs are significant:

  • Neutering can remove the risk of reproductive system related cancers.
  • Older female dogs that have not been neutered are at risk of a potentially fatal condition called pyometra. This is an infection of the womb.
  • Neutering may help with behavioural problems and can reduce aggression, possessiveness over toys and food as well as lessen territorial behaviour towards visitors/strangers.
  • Neutering can also reduce the tendency for male dogs in particular to roam in search of a mate.

 

The operation

Neutering

The operations (for both the male and female) are both day operations at the surgery.

Castration - the male dog has a small incision to remove both the testicles just in front of the scrotum. They are normally slightly quieter for one-two days and will then appear quite normal.

Spay - the bitch spay operation is more intricate and involves the removal of both ovaries and the womb from the abdominal cavity. The recovery period is longer but normally between five-seven days the bitch is acting normally again.

Where necessary, we will always send your dog home with an Elizabethan collar (otherwise known as ‘the cone of shame’) to avoid any nibbling or licking of stitches or the wound.

Following on from your dog’s operation, they will have a couple of review appointments at the surgery to check the wound and that recovery from the operation have all gone to plan.

If you have any queries concerning neutering your dog please feel free to book an appointment with one of our nurses at Hillside Veterinary Centre to discuss this subject in more detail. Our vets are also more than happy to chat this over with you. At Hillside, we are always available to help in ensuring you make the right decision for you and your pet.

 

Neutering your cat

Unless you are planning to breed from your cat, at Hillside we always recommend neutering your cat due to the many health and also behavioural benefits it offers.

This is called ‘castration’ in male cats (toms) and ‘spay’ in female cats (queens).

The most obvious reason for neutering is to avoid your cat producing an unwanted litter of kittens. We see lots of unwanted kittens on a daily basis across social network platforms, local catteries and local animal charities, as well as at the surgery. This number is unfortunately increasing – don’t let your cat accidentally add to this problem by un-planned pregnancies.

We all know that kittens are extremely cute and cuddly, but the reality is they are expensive to look after, as well as being hard work and with the worry of trying to find nice new loving homes for all of them.

Kittens are normally neutered at around 5-6 months of age.  However, they can also be neutered at an older age as well.

 

The health benefits to neutering cats are significant:

  • Neutering can remove the risk of reproductive system related cancers.
  • Female cats that have not been neutered will be triggered to come into season at different points usually between March and September. When a cat is in season, she might make a very strange noise known as ‘calling’. It can sound like your cat is in pain and usually takes place through the night.
  • A male cat that has not been neutered will spray urine to mark his territory (not very pleasant!). The urine of a male cat has a very strong and offensive odour. Neutering will usually prevent this behaviour and the urine of a neutered male cat does not have the same particularly strong smell of a tom cat.
  • There is also less risk in a neutered cat of fight wounds, abscesses and sexually transmitted infections that can be transmitted by fighting.
  • The risk of road traffic accidents is higher in un-neutered cats because the territory they roam is much larger. A neutered male cat is less likely to roam far from home in search of females.

The operation

The operations (for both the male and female) are both day operations at the surgery.

Castration - the male cat has a small open incision to remove both the testicles from the scrotum. Cats are normally slightly quieter for just 24 hours and should then be back to normal.

Spay - the female spay operation is more intricate and involves removal of both ovaries and the womb from the abdominal cavity with a small incision on the flank. The recovery period is longer than for the male but normally by two-three days the cat is acting normally again. 

Where necessary, we will always send your cat home with an Elizabethan collar (otherwise known as ‘the cone of shame’) to avoid any nibbling or licking of stitches or the wound.

After the neutering operation the female cat will have a couple of follow-up reviews at the surgery to check the wound and ensure recovery from the operation is going well.  With male cats, because the technique is much simpler and recovery is normally much quicker, we will only arrange further checks if the owner wishes.

if you have any queries concerning neutering your cat please feel free to book an appointment with one of our nurses at Hillside Veterinary Centre to discuss this subject in more detail.  Our vets are also more than happy to chat this over with you.  At Hillside, we are always available to help in ensuring you make the right decision for you and your pet.  


Neutering your rabbit and multiple rabbits

Rabbits are now the third most popular small animal pet. They are extremely sociable and friendly animals and if you are considering keeping more than one together, neutering is normally required.

We would neuter rabbits at between 4-5 months of age.  They can like cats and dogs, be neutered at an older age as well.

Rabbits are often happier in pairs (or more) and two neutered bucks (males) will often become very closely bonded for life.

Even for rabbits living on their own, neutering is strongly recommended for a longer and healthier life, as well as protecting against the very common diseases of uterine and ovarian tumours in females and testicular tumours in males. 

Modern anaesthetics and techniques make rabbits anaesthesia much safer than in previous years and are considered no more of a risk than for a dog or cat.

The neutering operation for both females and males is a day operation at the surgery with follow up review appointments to ensure recovery is going well.

At Hillside Vets we are a very rabbit friendly practice, with Chris taking a keen interest in rabbit welfare and health.  Gemma, one of our qualified veterinary nurses is also extremely rabbit ‘savvy’ so if you have any queries concerning neutering of your rabbit, or indeed any other health and lifestyle issues, then please telephone for an appointment.


Disclaimer: Hillside Vets’ website is intended to be used only as a guide and information resource, not as an alternative to a veterinary consultation and advice.  Nothing contained in this website should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis.  For specific healthcare advice please discuss the particular symptoms and circumstances of your pet with your vet. 


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