Neutering is the name given to the surgical procedure that prevents pets from being able to reproduce. This operation is known as castration in males and spaying in females.
With castration both testicles are removed, eliminating the source of the male hormone testosterone and ensuring a male animal is unable to impregnate a female. When spaying a female animal, both the ovaries and the uterus are removed which means she is unable to become pregnant.
Both operations are carried out under general anaesthetic and are safe for your pet.
Female dogs can be spayed from around six months old. While many people think that you need to wait until they’ve had their first season, there is no benefit to waiting. In fact, a number of health benefits associated with spaying are reduced if you wait.
However, there are a few larger breeds that may experience problems if they are neutered too early, so be sure to discuss the optimal time for your pet with your vet.
Male dogs can be neutered from six to seven months old. The exact age will depend on their breed, so consult with your vet.
Cats may be neutered from around four months old, after they have completed their primary vaccinations. It is safe to neuter older cats so don’t be put-off if you miss the four-month mark.
Neutering has wide range of benefits for most domestic animals:
We will do everything we can to make your pet as comfortable as possible during and after their operation. All animals are given an anaesthetic during the surgery and post-operative painkillers to help manage any pain.
While your pet may feel tender for a few weeks following the surgery, discomfort is minimal and manageable, and your pet should be back to normal shortly.
Many people worry that neutering their pet will negatively alter its personality. This is a misconception and the only change you will see is a decrease in negative behaviour such as roaming, mounting, fighting or spraying urine. Another misconception is that pets need to have a litter before being neutered.
There is also a belief that neutering will result in your pet becoming overweight. This is not a direct result of neutering; neutered animals often have slightly lower food requirements. Your vet will be able to advise you on your pet’s dietary requirements following surgery.
We offer Keyhole surgery or laparoscopic surgery as an option for neutering your pet.
What is keyhole surgery?
Neutering has traditionally been done by open surgery involving a large incision. Keyhole surgery is a minimally invasive alternative where two small wounds are made on the surface of the skin. A small amount of gas is then introduced into the first incision, lifting the body wall away from the internal organs, allowing space for a small camera to be inserted. Surgical instruments are then inserted through the second incision to remove the ovaries or retained testicles.
What are the benefits of keyhole surgery?
Keyhole surgery has some great benefits, these include:
A buster collar is recommended after surgery to prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. This ensures your pets stitches stay in place, infection is prevented, and healing is allowed. Buster collars typically need to be kept on until the wound is fully healed.
Alternative options include a soft collar, a comfy collar or a simple T-shirt. If you select keyhole surgery, a collar may not be necessary, or used for a shorter period of time. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best option for your pet.
The cost of the procedure varies according to the type of animal, breed, sex, and weight. It will also depend on the type of surgery you choose for your pet. All of our neutering surgeries are performed at highly subsidised rates – please contact your local practice for more information.