We advise neutering of all bitches that are not going to be used for breeding before six months, this is to prevent the development of mammary tumours and pyometra – a potentially fatal infection of the uterus. It also prevents false and unwanted pregnancies. We perform an ovariectomy in young female dogs, which involves removal of the ovaries, as this has been shown to have a lower complication rate than the traditional spay – but with the same protective benefits.
Male dogs can be castrated from 12 months of age. We advise waiting until this point, in order to minimise the development of behavioural problems in immature males. Castration has some health benefits for your dog, but the main benefit is population control and control of behaviours such as territory marking, roaming and aggression over bitches in heat (oestrus).
Admission is between 8:00 – 9:00am and dogs are usually ready to be collected from 4:00pm. Male dogs do not need any special after care, but do need lead exercise for 7 days after surgery and must be prevented from licking the incision. Bitches should be strictly rested for 48 hours and should only have gentle exercise on the lead until re-examination one week after the operation. Collars should be worn if the animal is likely to interfere with its wound.
We advise neutering of cats before 16 weeks of age in line with the International Cat Care recommendations. Females may be spayed while in season or the very early stages of pregnancy. The main benefit for neutering your cat is the control of unwanted pregnancies. Female cats repeatedly come into season until they become pregnant and they are induced ovulators, so they will only release an egg when mated. If a female cat has had a litter of kittens, the kittens need to be weaned (no longer feeding from the mother or no milk in glands) before she can be spayed. Queens which are known to be pregnant can also be spayed on the advice of a veterinary surgeon but the operation is more complicated and a higher fee may be charged.
Normally cats are admitted for their operation in the morning between 8:00am – 9:00am and are usually ready for collection from 3:00pm. We advise house rest for one week for cats following neutering.
Unless rabbits are to be used for breeding, it is generally recommended that they are neutered. Onset of puberty depends on the breed but it is generally from 4 months in females and 5 months in males. Neutering can be carried out from 4 months of age and although this requires a general anaesthetic, it is considered to be a safe procedure. The benefits of neutering rabbits are that it makes them less likely to fight so makes keeping pairs or multiple rabbits more straightforward. In females it prevents them from developing tumours of the reproductive tract (which occurs in 80% of female rabbits over three years of age).