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Neutering

Our advice about neutering your pet

Dogs

We would recommend neutering bitches from a clinical point of view for several reasons.

1. Entire bitches carry a much higher risk of mammary tumours.  Each season they are allowed to have is associated with a higher risk percentage.  Spaying before the first season massively reduces this risk.

2. Entire bitches are at risk of developing pyometra, an infection of the uterus.  This can be dangerous for your bitch because it can develop into a toxic condition and involves having surgery under a higher risk situation.

3. Prevents false or ” phantom” pregnancies,  which can be distressing for the bitch.

But in our modern over populated world it is also a social issue and needs to be something one considers when taking a pet on.

Neutering can be done before or 3 months after the first season.  There are arguments for leaving larger breed bitches until after their first season so please talk to us about your individual pet, and also for full instructions and for booking in for the procedure.

 

Remember neutered animals do not have to be fat, they just require fewer calories!.

Male dogs also have clinical conditions associated with not being neutered.

1. They can develop hyperplasia of the prostate, prostatitis, and abscesses.

2. They are at more risk of developing anal adenomas (growths associated with the peri-anal area).

3. Testicular tumours are prevented; these are the second most common tumours in male dogs.

Again there are social issues that may be relevant, for instance entire males may use urination for territory marking.  Castration will obviously reduce sexual drive too and therefore roaming.  We are happy to neuter from 6 months of age, but please talk to us to decide when is the correct time for your pet.

Cats

For similar reasons we advise neutering of queens but also to control the cat population and the anti-social behaviour of fighting cats.  Male cats if left entire can develop behavioural issues, marking of areas and fighting are very common.  They are statistically more likely to suffer from road accidents, presumably due to increased roaming and have a higher incidence of FIV infection.  We are happy to neuter female cats from 4-5 months of age as long as they are mature enough and a good body weight, sometimes even earlier. Male cats, dependent on their size, but usually from 4-5 months of age. Sometimes it may be appropriate to neuter earlier, for instance feral kittens and we are happy to do that too,  please contact us directly if this is needed.

Rabbits & Small Pets

Rabbits are a gregarious species and the vast majority are happiest in bonded pairs or, if carefully introduced, groups. Whilst they can occasionally be same sex pairs, normally litter mates; these require prepuberty neutering, male or female, to prevent fighting.  As a general rule however a neutered male/female pair is generally safer. Again with youngsters this needs to be done before puberty to avoid unwanted litters. 

If you have a single rabbit it is wiser to go to a rescue so that they can have some choice in their partner, just introducing a new rabbit of your choice is not always an easy bond! After extensive experience with a local rabbit rescue over the last 8 years we are happy to perform quite early neutering generally from 12-16 weeks. Neutering is very important therefore to allow bonded pairs; it also reduces frustration and often aggression. Many unneutered females in particular can be aggressive when hormonal. Unspayed female rabbits also have a very high incidence of uterine cancer.

 

Many small pets such as rats, guinea pigs, chinchillas for example are regularly castrated for similar reasons.  We less regularly spay these but contact us to talk about individual cases.

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