The only way to be sure your dog doesn't produce unwanted puppies is to get your female dog spayed or your male dog neutered (castrated). Entire/unneutered male dogs and bitches in heat attract each other from miles away and can breed in an instant.
Neutering is a general term to describe either spaying or castration. Spaying bitches involves the removal of both the uterus and the ovaries. Castration refers to the removal of a male dog's testicles.
Both operations are routine and can be performed from 6 months of age. We cannot spay a female dog until at least 6 weeks after her heat has finished. There is a far greater risk involved and the operation is a lot more complicated until this time passes.
Benefits of dog castration
- Neutered dogs often are better behaved than entire dogs and are much less likely to be aggressive towards other male dogs. This is particularly effective if you castrate your dog between the ages of 9 and 12 months, before he develops bad habits.
- Dogs are less likely to stray.
- Dogs are less likely to mark their territory by urinating in the house and tend to have a lesser dominant behaviour.
- A neutered dog won't develop testicular cancer, a common cancer of older, entire male dogs.
- It prevents certain types of hernias and tumours of the testicles and anus.
Benefits of bitch spaying
- Spaying bitches prior to their first heat cycle (usually between 6 and 9 months of age) significantly reduces their chances of developing mammary cancer, in compared to bitches that have had even one heat cycle.
- Spayed dogs can't develop pyometra, a relatively common infection of the uterus that is quite severe and can even result in death.
- Spaying eliminates the spotting of blood droplets on carpet and floor surfaces during the female’s heat, twice yearly.
- Bitches have a more even temperament and do not go through the hormone-induced mood swings that intact bitches sometimes have.
Like neutering in dogs, the only way to prevent your cat producing unwanted kittens is to have your male cat castrated and your female cat spayed. These procedures can be carried out when the cat reaches 6 months of age.
Benefits of castration
- Reduction of smell and spraying behaviour. Most entire cats by one year of age have the characteristic, pungent tom cat smell and spray strong smelling urine around the home and garden.
- Reduction in aggressive behaviour. All cats are inclined to fight over territory but an entire cat is less likely to do so.
- Reduces the risk of fatal diseases which are believed to be spread, in part, by mating and through close contact e.g. fighting.
- Less of a tendency to wander and be a nuisance to neighbours, especially if there are entire female cats around.
Benefits of spaying
- During heats (usually 3 or more times per year) the cat may cry continuously, display nervous behaviour, roam and attract neighbourhood male cats.
- Reduces the risk of pyometra, a common but serious infection of the uterus caused by repeated heats without mating.
- Reduces the risk of malignant breast and cervical cancer and eliminates the possibility of ovarian and uterine tumours.
Prior to surgery your dog/cat needs to be starved of food from 7pm the night before the operation. However, he/she should have free access to water at all times. They are admitted for surgery on the morning of the operation between 8.30am-9.00am (the operation must be booked in advance using the contact details on the website).
After neutering, your pet is discharged that same evening. You will be given a list and verbally explained advice on the post-operative care of your pet before you take him/her home. You will also be given an appointment to come back for a free wound check with the nurse 48-72 hours after the operation. In addition, you will be required to make an appointment to have the stitches removed 10 - 14 days after the operation.
Clients who are in receipt of means tested benefits may be eligible for financial help with these operations, just enquire at the time of booking.