To neuter or not to neuter that is the question…
If ever there was a topic in veterinary practice that led to a debate then neutering your dog would be up there with the best of them.
Concerns we hear from owners are…
- “My dog will gain weight!” – neutered dogs, both male and female generally need less calories which in turn means there could be a tendency to gain weight. Any weight gain is not however automatic, it all comes down to you the owner giving the correct amount of food for his or her needs.
- “Will neutering change my dogs personality?” – On the contrary, some behavioural issues can be helped with neutering though for some more complex issues, help from a behaviourist is needed. A dog’s general personality is formed by its environment and genetic make up rather than sex-hormones.
- “What if my dog becomes incontinent?” – This is not a problem we see on a regular basis. Urinary incontinence (dribbling urine) is a problem that can develop in bitches whether or not they have been spayed, especially as they get older.
- Significantly reduces the development of cancer – mammary tumour removal in dogs is a huge operation with a long road to recovery. It can be an aggressive form of cancer and as with humans can spread to other parts of the body.
- Prevents pyometra – this is an infection that develops in the uterus. It is usually presented as an emergency and can be fatal if not treated promptly.
- Your bitch can be spayed three months after her first season, some animals are spayed before their first season but please discuss the advantages and disadvantages of doing this with your vet. Prior to being spayed your dog should undergo a routine health check with the vet.
- Unwanted pregnancies – Bitches come into season on average twice a year. They are extremely attractive to male dogs and some will actively seek out a mate as well. Controlling a bitch on heat can be much more difficult than people think, so the danger of having a pregnant bitch and a litter of unwanted puppies is very real. Coping with the extra work and the responsibility of rearing, microchipping, vaccinating and finding loving forever homes for all the puppies can be extremely demanding especially for owners who are not used to this situation. It is also incredibly expensive!
- Prevents roaming – Entire male dogs have a tendency to roam and look for bitches in season. Along with being a nuisance to other pet owners roaming increases the likelihood of loss and involvement in road traffic accidents. NB: should your dog cause an accident, you as the owner are financially responsible.
- Reduces the risks of prostate cancer – this type of cancer is slightly more common in entire males.
- Prevents testicular cancer – the removal of the testicles during the procedure stops this cancer developing.
- Aggressive behaviour- In some cases it can help reduce aggressive behaviour, particularly towards other male dogs.
- Hypersexual behaviour – there is a significant decrease, if not complete removal of hypersexual behaviour towards people and/or objects.
When to neuter…
We ideally would like your bitch to finish her first season and perform the surgery 3 months later, however we understand that this is not always possible so if your bitch is over six months and hasn’t yet had a season we can discuss this with you. We will castrate dogs from the age of 6 months.
He or she will have a health check prior to the procedure with our vet.
If you have any questions or would simply like to book your dog in for neutering, please contact the practice on 01780 322333.