Dogs Neutering

We recommend you neuter your dog if you do not intend to breed from it. There are many advantages to having your dog neutered, the most important of which is an increased life expectancy.

Females

The operation is called a bitch spay. Your dog will be in the clinic for just the day. Under general anaesthesia an incision is made in her abdomen. The ovaries and uterus are removed and the wound stitched. Pain relief is provided both before and after surgery. Most dogs are acting normally again by the next afternoon. We check them two to three days after surgery and then a week to 10 days later. You will need to restrict your dog’s exercise until the final check.

The Benefits of Spaying your Bitch

  • Mammary (breast) Cancer can be prevented almost completely by neutering before her first season and the chances of acquiring it are reduced if spayed between the first and second season.
  • She will not develop Pyometra – an infection of the uterus which becomes full of pus. Toxins are released into the blood stream, making the dog extremely ill.
  • Spaying prevents accidental pregnancy
  • Stops False Pregnancies
  • Spaying removes the risk of Ovarian Cysts and Tumours of the Reproductive Tract.
  • If your bitch is spayed she will not have seasons and associated bleeding.

When to Spay

If you are not planning to breed we recommend neutering most bitches before their first season. We offer a discounted price for bitches spayed at this time. The exact timing depends on the breed of your dog with smaller dogs being spayed from 5 months of age and larger breeds by approximately 9 months. Giant breeds and dogs with urinary problems or behavioural issues may be recommended to have at least one season. If your dog has already had one season we advise neutering before the second. It is best to spay your dog when she is hormonally least active which is three to five months after a season. We recommend neutering a breeding bitch after her final litter has been weaned and she has recovered her fitness.

Frequently asked Questions

Will she get fat?

Neutering does not cause weight gain. Inappropriate feeding does. She may need a reduction in the amount of food given after she is spayed and will advise where necessary.

I have had a hysterectomy and it was an extremely stressful experience. I don’t want to put my bitch through the same

The operations is much simpler than in humans. The modern pain relief we provide both before and after surgery ensures that she will be very comfortable. You will be surprised at how quickly she will want to run around again (within 24 to 48 hours).

I have heard that spaying causes urinary incontinence. Is this true?

It is true that some spayed bitches are more likely to become incontinent than unspayed bitches. This normally occurs as the bitch gets older. However in a small percentage of bitches it can occur earlier. It is usually easily controlled by giving medication in their food. The risk of your bitch suffering from mammary cancer or pyometra if left unsprayed is much higher than the risk of a spayed bitch developing incontinence.

I am worried about allowing my bitch to go under anaesthetic

We use extremely safe anaesthetic agents to provide the best care for your bitch. There is risk associated with any anaesthetic but this is tiny in a young healthy animal. The risks do however become greater with age and illness. This is one reason why we recommend that bitches are spayed when they are younger.

Do I need time off to be with my pet after surgery?

She should be acting normally after 24 to 48 hours. The most important time to monitor her is the night after the operation. Some people do take a day off to be with their animal the next day but this is not usually necessary.

My last Vet told me that I should wait until my bitch has had one season, is this correct?

Different vets have varying opinions on the ideal time to spay. Traditionally you allowed a bitch to have one season, but recent research has indicated that there are no advantages to this. The disadvantage is that she has a significantly increased risk of developing mammary cancer if spaying is delayed.

My puppy is showing signs of aggression. Will spaying her stop this?

If your bitch has not had a season it is not likely that the aggression has a hormonal cause, so spaying will not help. It may, in fact, worsen the situation as some bitches quieten as sexual hormones come into play. It is very important that you seek advice from a vet or behaviourist about any aggression before deciding about neutering your bitch.

I have read of a link between early neutering and bone cancer in large dogs. Do I need to worry?

We would recommend that any owner of a large breed dog prone to bone cancer (such as Rottweilers, Mastiffs and Great Danes) discuss this with their vet as it may be wise to allow the dog to reach skeletal maturity (ie. stop growing) before neutering.

Males

This operation is called a dog castration. Your dog will be in the clinic for just the day. Under general anaesthesia an incision will be made in front of his scrotum and both testicles removed. The wound will then be stitched. Pain relief is provided. Most dogs are acting normally again by the next afternoon. There may be slight post-operative swelling of the scrotum but this should resolve quickly. Your dog will be checked seven to ten days after the surgery. You will need to restrict his exercise until this time.

The Benefits of Neutering your Dog

  • Testicular tumours are common in older entire males.
  • Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostrate) is a painful and debilitating condition. The male hormone, testosterone, is responsible for causing the disease so castration prevents this disease.
  • Reduced chances of a perineal hernia – this occurs in entire male dogs when there is a split in the muscles beside the rectum.
  • Anal adenomas are benign tumours that occur around the anus of entire male dogs. They are caused by testosterone so again castration stops them occurring.
  • Entire male dogs are more likely to escape and so are at a higher risk of becoming lost or involved in road traffic accidents.
  • If an entire male dog can smell a bitch in season it can be very stressful for him.
  • Unsociable behaviour such as mounting behaviour of other dogs or people is less likely.
  • Certain types of aggression can be exacerbated by testosterone. It is much better to prevent behavioural problems by early neutering, but with some nervous dogs we may advise delaying
  • neutering. Any behavioural problems need to be discussed with a vet before neutering.

When to Neuter a Male Dog

To prevent behavioural problems it is recommended to neuter male dogs before they are sexually mature. This is between six and nine months of age depending upon the breed. Please ask your vet or nurse specifically about your dog. For prevention of disease the timing of castration is less important.

Frequently asked Questions

Will my dog get fat and slow down if I have him castrated?

Neutering does not cause weight gain. Inappropriate feeding does. He may need a reduction in the amount of food give after he is castrated and we will advise where necessary.

I’m worried that castrating my dog early will stunt his growth

The opposite is actually true. The bones of dogs castrated can grow for longer and therefore make the dog taller.

My puppy is starting to become aggressive. Will neutering him stop this?

The results from castrating aggressive dogs can vary so it is important that you talk to your vet or behaviourist about any aggression prior to having your dog castrated.

I have heard that my dog’s fur may go frizzy if I have him castrated. Is this true?

Certain breads, for example Springer Spaniels and Golden Retrievers may have a change in the type of fur they produce after neutering. This is a cosmetic change and not related to disease.

I am worried about allowing my dog to go under anaesthetic.

We use extremely safe anaesthetic agents to provide the best care of your dog. There is risk associated with any anaesthetic but this is tiny in a young healthy animal. The risks do however become greater with age and illness. This is why we recommend that dogs are castrated when they are younger.

I have read of a link between early neutering and bone cancer in large dogs. Do I need to worry?

We would recommend that any owner of a large breed dog prone to bone cancer (such as Rottweilers, Mastiffs and Great Danes) discuss this with their vet as it may be wise to allow the dog to reach skeletal maturity (ie. stop growing) before neutering.