Neutering is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies, in both cats and dogs. Some owners may be anxious about making this decision on behalf of their pets. You may be concerned about possible behaviour changes, weight gain, or other health issues in their pet.
Neutering is not a trivial procedure but the benefits outweigh the welfare implications. As stated by the British Veterinary Association, we strongly support the practice of neutering cats and dogs to prevent the birth of unwanted kittens and puppies, which can increase the stray population. Neutering also prevents the perpetuation of genetic defects.
We always ensure their experience with us is as caring and positive as it can possibly be and we place huge emphasis on carefully monitored anaesthesia and sufficient pain relief throughout their neutering.
Additional benefits include….
Welfare benefits of neutering for female and male cats
- reduction in numbers of roaming cats injured or killed in road traffic accidents
- reduction in fighting, thus reduction in infected wounds, abscesses and spread of FIV infection.
Welfare benefits of neutering for female dogs
- No false pregnancy, which is common in bitches and can occur after each season. It can result in distress to the bitch and anguish to the owner. A bitch undergoing a false pregnancy may produce milk, lose her appetite and exhibit adverse behavioural problems.
- Pyometra and other uterine diseases are avoided – unspayed bitches can develop pyometra later in life, which then requires life-saving surgery. Spaying a healthy bitch does not involve the risks of spaying an older bitch with toxaemia arising from the pyometra.
- Reduces risk of mammary tumours as the relative risk of mammary tumours increases progressively with each successive season. Bitches spayed before the second season have a lower prevalence of mammary tumours than entire bitches.
- No oestrus: oestrus (season or “heat”) occurs about every six months in entire bitches. During this time bitches have to be kept away from other dogs and walked under close supervision.
- There are some reservations about spaying but most are not justified when examined more closely. Spaying may predispose to weight increase but dietary management can control this. Urinary incontinence can occasionally be associated with spaying but whether that relates to the age at which the bitch was spayed is unknown. Spaying is irreversible and a decision to spay a young bitch may be postponed by controlling her oestrus with drugs under veterinary direction. BVA believes the benefits of spaying a bitch outweigh any potential risks that are involved with the procedure.
Welfare benefits of castration for male dogs
Castration rarely produces undesirable changes in temperament. Any weight change can be controlled by management of the diet. There is little problem with male guide dogs that are all castrated. Veterinary advice should always be sought on each individual case. Benefits of castration include:
- It limits straying, particularly in response to bitches in season, which causes nuisance and unwanted litters
- As a treatment for excessive and unacceptable sexual behaviour towards bitches, people and inanimate objects
- For medical reasons e.g. to prevent or remove testicular tumours or reduce perianal adenoma or prostatic hyperplasia
Please call us to discuss your pet specifically and for any further advice.