Spaying is the surgical removal of the ovaries and the uterus. This procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic, with your dog being admitted in the morning and collected later the same day. We recommend spaying dogs before their first season. If your dog has already had a season we recommend spaying them 2 – 3 months after their latest season.
Castration is the surgical removal of the testicles. This procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic, with your dog being admitted in the morning and collected later the same day.
Why are female dogs spayed?
The primary reason for spaying is to prevent unwanted puppies. Other benefits include:
- Spayed bitches (especially if spayed before their first season) are over 100 times less likely to develop mammary tumours.
- Un-neutered bitches come into season once or twice a year and produce a bloody discharge that can stain the animal’s coat or your carpets and furniture!
- Spayed bitches will not suffer problems such as pyometra (a life threatening infection of the womb), false pregnancies and mammary tumours.
Like every procedure, there can be disadvantages:
- Spay incontinence – A small percentage of bitches spayed may ‘leak’ a little urine following surgery. A simple treatment is available for this problem which only occurs in a very small percentage of bitches spayed.
- Weight gain – Spayed bitches have a reduced metabolic rate so they need less food. If their diet is altered after surgery there will be no weight increase. Clients are advised to check their dog’s weight 2 months after surgery when dietary advice can be given if necessary.
Unless you want to use a female dog for breeding purposes, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of having your dog spayed.
What are the main reasons for castrating dogs?
- Population control
Thousands of unwanted dogs and puppies are destroyed each year, many from litters born as a result of accidental mating.
- Medical / Health Reasons
Veterinary surgeons recommend castration to prevent several medical conditions including:
testicular tumours, enlargement of the prostate, certain types of anal tumour and cryptorchidism (retained testicles). If the testes have not descended in to the scrotum by 6 months of age they are unlikely to do so, and are more prone to tumour development in later years.
- Behavioural Problems
As puppies reach puberty at 6-7 months of age the owner may notice a change in their dog’s behaviour. The first sign is often a lack of obedience, leading to aggression with other dogs and even fights. Other signs include:
- Possessiveness over toys, food, etc.
- Territorial behaviour towards visitors.
- Aggression towards other animals/people in the household.
- Roaming: the dog may become an escapologist in order to find receptive females–slipping leads, escaping through fences etc. This increases the risk of road accidents if the dog is roaming unaccompanied. This unsociable behaviour can be prevented or subdued by castration at an early age.
Research shows that following castration, changes in behaviour takes varied times. Of the individuals that are likely to respond, some will do so within 2 weeks, the remainder will respond within 6 months.
Will castration cause my dog to put on weight?
Castrated dogs have a reduced metabolic rate so they need less food. If their diet is altered after surgery there will be no weight increase. Clients are advised to check their dog’s weight 2 months after surgery when dietary advice can be given if necessary.
Unless you want to use a male dog for breeding purposes, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of having your dog castrated.