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Neutering

Neutering involves removing the testicles in males (castration) and removing the ovaries and usually the uterus in females (spaying). The main advantage of these procedures is for population control, however there are many other advantages to having your pet neutered.

Neutering will not have an effect on the character of your pet, but it may help towards calming dominant or aggressive behaviours, if used in conjunction with additional management strategies.

All neutering procedures are performed under a general anaesthetic. Animals are admitted on the morning of their surgery and generally discharged in the afternoon after their procedure.

Neutering is not only available to cats and dogs but routinely performed in other small companion animals such as rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs.

Please note: the recommended ages in the sections below are guidelines only.

Castration

Recommended age:  6-12 months (dogs) / 4-6 months (cats)

Advantages of castration also include:

  • eliminating the risk of testicular base disease, for example tumours
  • removing sexual urges and reducing roaming
  • reducing fighting and aggression
  • reducing scent marking and spraying.

In cats, castration reduces the risk of your cat becoming infected with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (Feline Aids) and Leukaemia, both of which can be fatal for your pet. It also decreases the risks of your pet being involved in a road traffic accident due to roaming in search of females.

In some animals, one or both of the testicles may not descend fully into the scrotal sack. These may remain either in the abdomen or get stuck on the descent to the scrotum. These animals are called cryptorchids. Undescended testicles may cause problems in later life and so should be removed. For abdominal cryptorchids laparoscopic or “key hole” castration is available.

Vasectomies are not routinely performed in cats and dogs. This is because although this aids population control it does not contain all the benefits of a full castration.

Spaying

Recommended age: 6-12 months (dogs) / 4-6 months (cats)

Advantages of spaying also include:

  • no uterine associated disease, for example pyometra (uterine infection)
  • if done early a reduced risk of breast cancer
  • no phantom pregnancies in bitches
  • no unwanted male attention
  • eliminates in appropriate sexual behaviours, for example “calling in the queen”.

At Towcester Veterinary Centre we give the option of a traditional midline spay or a laparoscopic “keyhole” spay technique for bitches.

Cats are generally spayed through a small flank incision unless a midline spay is requested or indicated for other reasons.

It is a common misconception that neutered animals become less active and obese. Neutered animals will not lose their vigour. Accurate feeding without too many treats and plenty of exercise should adequately control any problems of weight gain and is part of any healthy regime for your pet.

If you have any further questions regarding the neutering of your pet we would be more than happy to discuss your individual case, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.