is Neutering Month 

This month we are going to give you more information on neutering your pets. Obviously neutering your pets prevents unwanted pregnancies. It therefore reduces the number of animals in rehoming centres and brings many health benefits to both male and female pets. 

What is neutering?

In male animals, the testicles are removed – this is called ‘castration’. We do not generally carry out vasectomies in small animals as there are no health benefits – except in ferrets. In female animals the ovaries and the uterus (womb) are removed – this is called ‘spaying’.

Did you know?

Many people believe that neutering causes weight gain. This is not true. Neutered animals have a slower metabolism and therefore need fewer calories. If you reduce their calorific intake from the day of neutering then this should not be a problem. It is perfectly possible for a neutered animal to maintain a healthy weight and by blaming neutering people are just trying to lift the blame from themselves.

Did you know?

A dog does not need to have a litter before she is spayed.

She also does not need to have a season before she is spayed. In fact the chance of malignant mammary tumours is lessened if she is spayed before her first season.

Spaying affects the levels of sexual hormones but not growth hormones. Therefore spaying affects the development of their secondary sexual characteristics but not their overall growth.


Why should I neuter my dog? 

Neutering stops any unwanted litters but more importantly reduces their chances of developing illnesses. In females dogs it reduces the risk of malignant mammary tumours and prevents a potentially life-threatening condition called pyometra where the uterus (womb) fills up with pus. The only treatment for pyometra is spaying, but we are then spaying a very sick animal and therefore the risk increases along with the cost.

In male dogs castration protects against testicular tumours, diseases of the prostate that can be extremely painful and tumours around the anus called anal adenomas. Also consider being male, having constant urges and not be able to fulfil them, is it not kinder to lessen the urges?

Also if your male dog only has 1 testicle present it is even more important to get them castrated as the undescended testicle is very likely to become cancerous as it is not in the correct place.

When should I neuter my dog? 

Neutering male dogs is often done from 6 months old. In the case of females we recommend spaying before their first season at 5½ -6 months old. If they do have a season then the best timing is 4 months after the season but they must not have any milk from a phantom pregnancy. Remember neutering very rarely changes a dog’s personality for the better or worse. If your dog is showing any aggression although neutering may help it is unlikely to be the whole answer.


Why should I neuter my cat? 

Neutering stops cats from having unwanted kittens, in the case of females they can have several litters in a year. This is exhausting for them and can lead to them being in very poor condition and aging a lot quicker than necessary. If done at a young age it also reduces the chances of malignant mammary tumours in female cats.

Neutering does also cause some behavioural changes for the good in cats. Male cats are less likely to fight and female cats don’t have coitus and this in turn reduces their chances of contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV).

Also in the case of male cats they lose the incredibly male/pheromone smell of their urine. However all cats can spray urine, male or female, neutered or entire but this can be a sign of cystitis or stress.

When should I neuter my cat? 

This is normally done at around five to six months of age.

Did you know?

Female kittens can get pregnant from only 4 months old. This is distressing to see and it only takes a second.


Why should I neuter my rabbit?

Ovarian and uterine tumours are more common in rabbits than they are in cats and dogs. Now that the anaesthesia is much safer we can offer rabbits routine neutering.

It means that male and females can live together and in the case of female rabbits in particular it reduces aggression a great deal. Although not a guarantee it is generally found that neutered females are far less aggressive and much easier to handle than entire females that can be quite scary as they are very driven by their hormones.

Did you know?

Up to 80 % of female rabbits that haven’t been spayed develop malignant tumours of the uterus.

When should I neuter my rabbit?

In rabbits the operation is usually carried out between four to five months of age.


Why should I neuter my ferret?

Female and male ferrets can get tumours of the ovaries, uterus and testicles respectively. Spaying and castration prevents these diseases and helps reduce the occurrence of mammary tumours.

Did you know?

Ferrets secrete their musky smell through scent glands in the structure of the skin itself rather than through scent glands around the anus. Therefore neutering significantly reduces the intensity of the smell.

Did you know?

When female ferrets starting coming into season in the spring they continue to do so every 2 weeks unless they are either mated or given a ‘Jill Jab’. If neither of these happens the Jill can get extremely anaemic and die. Due to recent changes in the data sheet for the drug given in a Jill Jab it is expected that these injections will soon be prohibited by cost. Therefore the only options left to owners of female ferrets is to have a vasectomised male so that mating can occur without the Jill getting pregnant or having her spayed.