Neutering services for cats, dogs and rabbits
What is neutering?
Neutering is a surgical procedure which takes away a pet’s ability to reproduce. It is known as spaying in females and castration in males.
Spaying, sometimes spelt speying, involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus (womb). Castration is the removal of the testes (testicles).
Neutering pets can be beneficial for their health and wellbeing, as well as preventing unplanned litters.
The question of when to neuter your dog can be a complex one. Some dogs can be neutered from six months of age, but for some dogs it may be more appropriate to delay neutering until they are older.
If you are unsure if or when to neuter your dog, please call our practice and speak to one of our vets or nurses for advice that is personal to your pet.
Castration in male dogs may help to prevent unacceptable sexual behaviour, reduce hormonally induced aggression and prevents unplanned breeding.
The medical benefits of performing this procedure include eliminating the possibility of testicular cancer and possibly altering their risk of prostatic disease and perianal tumours and hernias.
However, the behavioural effects of castrating dogs are complicated and in certain instances neutering can exacerbate certain behavioural issues. It is therefore important to discuss this with your vet in advance and consider referral to a certified pet behaviourist if required.
There are many medical and behavioural advantages to having your bitch spayed:
- It prevents them from coming into season
- It prevents unplanned pregnancies
- It stops the unwanted attention of male dogs
- It eliminates the possibility of a false pregnancy, which can cause milk production, nesting, and behavioural changes
- It prevents a life-threatening condition called pyometra, an infection of the womb
- It greatly reduces the chance of developing mammary cancer if the bitch is spayed before reaching maturity
The timing we recommend for spaying your dog varies and we will discuss this with you. For bitches who have already had a season, it is generally recommended to book their spay two to three months after a season as this is when the surgery is safest.
As a pet owner deciding to neuter your kitten is one of the most responsible decisions you can make.
Neutering prevents unwanted pregnancies but also has health and behavioural benefits.
Generally, kittens reach sexual maturity at around four months of age, so the safest option is to book them in to be neutered from four to six months of age. If they are not neutered, they can breed with other unneutered cats, including with their own relatives.
Neutering male kittens will stop them from the smelly behaviour of spraying to mark their territory, and they will be less likely to fight with other male cats and thus reduce the risk of them catching the cat equivalent of HIV, which is spread by cat bites.
Neutered male cats also tend to stay nearer to home and are less likely to travel looking for female cats or get run over.
Unneutered female kittens come into season every three weeks during their sexually active times of the year, and this will attract the attention of unneutered males who will fight, spray and vocalise.
Spaying a cat greatly reduces the chance of them getting the life-threatening womb infection called pyometra and reduces the chance of mammary tumours.
Rabbits are social animals and to prevent loneliness, it’s recommended they live in pairs.
Neutered male and female rabbits can cohabit together happily without producing any unwanted litters. Neutering can also help same sex rabbits live together with reduced risks of behavioural problems such a fighting, caused by their hormones.
There are other benefits to neutering rabbits.
- Prevents the development of uterine cancers
- It can prevent unwanted mounting and hormonally driven aggression developing – you should speak to your vet if you are having behavioural problems with your rabbit
Female rabbits can generally be spayed at around four months old. However this may be influenced by several factors so discuss your rabbit’s individual situation with your vet.
- Unneutered male rabbits can sometimes be too aggressive to live with other rabbits, which can leave them lonely and compromise their welfare
- Neutering may reduce urine spraying, aggression and other behavioural problems that are hormone driven
Male rabbits can generally be neutered once their testicles have descended. This usually happens at around 12 weeks old. Your vet will be able to advise on the best plan for your rabbit’s individual situation.
We also offer neutering services for other pets, so please enquire if you would like more information or have any questions.