Neutering is surgery to remove the testicles in a male (castration) or ovaries and uterus in a female (spay).
This means neutered pets cannot reproduce and no longer produce sex hormones from their ovaries or testicles.
Male dogs can be neutered from six to 12 months old. Females are usually neutered at nine to 21 months old. If they have had a season, then we neuter three months after the heat has finished, so the uterus is inactive making the surgery safer. For dogs the age varies, depending on their size, as smaller dogs mature sooner than larger dogs. It is not recommended to castrate dogs when they are very young as this can increase their chances of arthritis in later life. It is not recommended to spay female dogs when they are very young as this can increase their chances of incontinence in later life.
Your pet will be checked over in the admit appointment and we will ask you some questions to make sure there are no reasons not to neuter your pet on that day. We will go through the consent form with you. Your pet will then be taken into hospital and made comfortable in a kennel. Your pet may have a pre anaesthetic blood sample taken. A small area on the neck will be clipped and local anaesthetic applied, then just 2ml of blood is taken and analysed. Your pet will also have a small area on the foreleg clipped and local anaesthetic applied, so a catheter can be placed. This allows us to give them fluids and medications via the catheter. A dose of painkiller and sedative is given so your pet is feeling comfortable and relaxed. The anaesthetic is given and the surgery performed. Afterwards we will keep monitoring your pet until they can eat and drink and go outside to be sure they are ready to go home, usually mid afternoon.
Your pet will need to be kept warm and fed a light meal the evening after the operation. They will come home wearing a cone collar or vest to prevent them interfering with the surgical incision, which could result in complications. It is also essential you make sure your pet rests, only walking on the lead for short periods. They will have painkillers to take for several days after the operation. We will ask to check your pet over after the surgery. Generally the effects of the anaesthetic are no longer seen after one to two days, and after 10 days the surgical incision is sufficiently healed for them to get back to their usual activities. Long term you will need to feed your neutered pet slightly less, to avoid unwanted weight gain.
Our Healthy Pet Club gives you a significant discount on the cost of the neutering.