Neutering Dogs, Cats and Rabbits

What is neutering?

Neutering is a surgical procedure which takes away a pet’s ability to reproduce. It is known as spaying in females and castration in males. 

Spaying, sometimes spelt speying, involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus (womb). Castration is the removal of the testes (testicles).

Neutering pets can be beneficial for their health and wellbeing, as well as preventing unplanned litters.  

Neutering dogs

The question of when to neuter your dog can be a complex one. Some dogs can be neutered from six months of age, but for some dogs it may be more appropriate to delay neutering until they are older.

If you are unsure if or when to neuter your dog, please call our practice and speak to one of our vets or nurses for advice that is personal to your pet.  

Castrating dogs 

Castration in male dogs may help to prevent unacceptable sexual behaviour, reduce hormonally induced aggression and prevents unplanned breeding. 

The medical benefits of performing this procedure include eliminating the possibility of testicular cancer and possibly altering their risk of prostatic disease and perianal tumours and hernias. 

However, the behavioural effects of castrating dogs are complicated and in certain instances neutering can exacerbate certain behavioural issues. It is therefore important to discuss this with your vet in advance and consider referral to a certified pet behaviourist if required.

Spaying dogs

There are many medical and behavioural advantages to having your bitch spayed: 

  • It prevents them from coming into season 
  • It prevents unplanned pregnancies
  • It stops the unwanted attention of male dogs
  • It eliminates the possibility of a false pregnancy, which can cause milk production, nesting, and behavioural changes
  • It prevents a life-threatening condition called pyometra, an infection of the womb
  • It greatly reduces the chance of developing mammary cancer if the bitch is spayed before reaching maturity  

The timing we recommend for spaying your dog varies and we will discuss this with you. For bitches who have already had a season, it is generally recommended to book their spay two to three months after a season as this is when the surgery is safest.