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There are several advantages to having your male dog castrated. The benefits can be behavioural as well as physiological.

Some castrated males can become more content and less interested in female dogs. They are less likely to get lost or injured while in the chase. They can be easier to train as they concentrate more on what the owner is saying rather than worrying about their hormones! Physiologically, castrated males will obviously not develop testicular cancer as both testicles are removed in the castration.

Prostate problems are very common in entire males as the hormones produced by the testicles stimulate the prostate. Prostatic enlargement can cause constipation or problems passing water. Enlarged prostates are more prone to infection and prostatitis is a very painful condition which can make the dog seriously ill. Sometimes abscesses can develop in the prostate following infection and again these can cause severe problems.

Females (bitches)

The biggest advantage of spaying a bitch is no unwanted pregnancies and neither do you need to keep your bitch shut away when she comes into season. Some bitches, following a season, develop a pseudo-pregnancy where they think they are pregnant. Spaying prevents this happening.

Bitches spayed before their first season have a greatly reduced risk of developing mammary cancer. The risks following each subsequent season increase as the majority of cancers are under hormonal control. A large percentage of mammary cancers are malignant so can be fatal if action is not taken immediately.

Entire females can also develop a condition called pyometra when the womb fills with infection. This normally occurs after a season. The bitch will be lethargic, is often sick and will drink more than usual. As antibiotics will not treat this infection an emergency spay has to be performed. This is a higher risk than a normal spay as the bitch is already poorly.

Here at Beaufield Veterinary Centre we recommend neutering of dogs from 6 months of age depending on size, breed and individual variation. Please speak to us and we will advise what time is best for your pet. We perform the operation as a day procedure, where your pet is admitted in the morning and discharged that evening after recovering from the anaesthesia. They are sent home with antibiotics and pain relief as needed, and we will do a wound check after 48 hours to make sure all is going well. The stitches are typically removed ten days after the operation.

With both male and females, you need to watch your pet’s weight post-neutering and we will be able to advise you on a suitable diet and exercise.

Neutering means surgically preventing cats from reproducing. In males, the operation is called castration and in females it’s called spaying.

With castration both testicles are removed which takes away the main source of the male hormone testosterone. With spaying, both the ovaries and the uterus are removed which means the female is unable to become pregnant.

Both operations are carried out under general anaesthetic. Every surgical procedure has some risk but modern techniques are very safe. Because it involves surgery, there will be some discomfort but cats are given drugs to control this and most of them are up and about just a few hours after they’ve had their operation.

We recommend neutering between five and six months and it’s quite safe to neuter older cats.

There are lots of reasons why neutering is a good idea.

For male cats:

  • Neutering reduces their chance of catching feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), an incurable disease similar to HIV in humans which is spread by saliva usually from bite wounds during fights.
  • Neutering cats reduces their urge to roam and fight so they’re less likely to go missing, get hit by cars, or get hurt.

For female cats:

  • Spaying cats, especially if it’s done when they’re young, greatly reduces the risk of them getting breast cancer and infection of the womb (called pyometra). Both of these can be fatal.
  • Pregnancy and birth can carry significant risks to a cat.

For you:

  • Female cats that aren’t spayed often come into season over and over again, which means they can be almost continuously in heat. This can be exhausting and usually attracts a queue of amorous and vocal tomcats to the house.
  • Unneutered (entire) male cats tend to urine-mark their territory, including your house, with a powerful and unpleasant scented urine.

For feline-kind:

  • Thousands of unwanted cats have to be put to sleep every year because there are too many unwanted animals and not enough homes for them. You can help by getting your cat neutered.


What happens after the surgery?

Some people worry that their cat’s personality will change. This isn’t true but you might see a fall in certain behaviour – roaming, mounting, fighting or spraying urine.

The operation itself is carried out as a day procedure. Your pet is admitted in the morning and the surgery is carried out during the morning. We monitor your pet’s recovery to ensure they come around well after the anaesthesia, and they are discharged during the evening clinic. Male cats don’t have any stitches, and are given a long-lasting painkiller on the day of the operation, so there is no need for a revisit unless you have any concerns. With female cats, there will be one or two stitches on her flank, so we will do a wound check two days after the operation, and remove the stitches after ten days.

People also worry that their pet will get fat. Neutered animals might have slightly lower food requirements so we recommend switching to food specifically designed for neutered cats after the operation.

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