Spaying or castrating your pet is an important decision for pet owners. As animal lovers who value our pets, it is important to understand the reasons for making this decision.
Spaying your female pet helps prevent uterine infections and mammary tumours, it can also help your pet to live a longer, healthier life. Spaying your pet before her first heat or season offers the best protection from these diseases and can prevent false pregnancies.
Castrating your male pet prevents testicular cancer and neutering can help to avoid any domineering and potential aggression problems. Castration can also prevent your pet from straying or roaming to find a mate. This can also decrease the risk of injuries occurring from roaming.
We advise spaying from 6months onwards. Preferably before your pets starts their first season. In the female dog the hormonal cycle repeats approximately every 6 months, this can vary dependent upon the breed. Each cycle lasts approximately 60 days regardless whether your bitch is pregnant or not. This can then predispose them to a false pregnancy more readily putting them at risk of a pyometra, mastitis and even behavioural changes. Removal of the ovaries and uterus from the cervix can prevent cancers of the reproductive tract. If your pet has already had their first season they should ideally be spayed 3 months after the completion of their season. Common misconceptions can be weight gain. Weight gain can occur due to no hormonal stress and continuation of giving too much food. This can occur in unneutered females treated the same way. Obesity can lead to increased cancer rates. 1 in 100 bitches can suffer from urine incontinence this can be treated and most commonly occurs in mature dogs.
What is a pyometra?
A pyometra is a uterine infection that owners of unneuted bitches should be aware of. Pyometra is a result of hormonal and structural changes in the uterus lining. It can happen at any age but is much more common in older dogs.
What is mastitis?
Mastitis is an infection of the milk ducts which can cause cracked or damaged skin tissue around the area and can also cause swelling. If your bitch is spayed this can help to prevent this from happening.
At Towerwood vets we advise castration from 6months onwards dependent upon the breed. This could be discussed with your vet prior to booking the surgery. Castrating your dog reduces the risk of diseases such as testicular cancer and can help reduce behavioural issues such as mounting or aggression.
We advise spaying in female cats from the age of 6 months. This involves removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries down to the level of the cervix (ovariohistorectomy). Spaying your female cat can be carried out to prevent any unwanted offspring. Spaying your female cat can also prevent unwanted diseases for example mammary cancer or cancer of the ovaries or uterus.
We advise castration from 6 months onwards. This is the age your pet will reach his sexual maturity so is the perfect time to neuter. Neutered cats are less likely to roam or fight; this can help prevent any injuries. Neutered male cats are also a lot less likely to display territorial behaviour such as spraying.
Once booked in you will be asked to starve your pet 12 hours prior to the surgery this is usually from 8pm the previous night as our patients are admitted between 8am and 9am on the day of the surgery. This is done to make sure your pet is settled and calm prior to their anaesthetic. Water should still be available at all times and taking your pet out for his/her usual toileting is preferable. Your pet will stay with us throughout the day and a discharge appointment will be arranged later on in the day. A nurse will explain all after care requirements at your discharge appointment.
Small mammals for example rabbits, guinea pigs and gerbils should not be starved prior to surgery.
We advise castration in rabbits and guinea pigs from around 4-6 months, this should be checked by your veterinary surgeon. Castrating your rabbit can prevent unwanted behaviour and also unwanted mating if your male is housed with a female.
We advise spaying in rabbits and guinea pigs from around 4-6 months. Spaying can prevent any unwanted pregnancies, diseases and other complications such as infection of the uterus or cystic ovaries. 50-80% of unspayed rabbits develop uterine cancer later in life. Spaying your female may also improve your pet’s temperament and can also assist with litter training.
We provide all patients with pain relief at the time of the procedure. Good gut function following any anaesthetic is important in small mammals so we will also give medication to keep the gut moving and give dietary advice to follow on discharge.