Andy Yale BVMedSci (Hons) BVM BVS (Hons) MRCVS
Neutering male dogs will reduce their straying response to bitches in season. In terms of health, neutering will eliminate risk of testicular cancer, and dramatically reduce the risk of prostatic disease later in life.
With female dogs similar benefits apply. Neutering prevents problems associated with oestrus (season or ‘heat’) which usually occurs every 6 months, where during this time bitches must be kept away from entire dogs and supervised closely. It also prevents the risk of false pregnancy which can occur after a season and may be harmful – it can be distressing for both dog and owner. Neutering eliminates the risk of pyometra, a life-threatening womb infection that can develop later in life. It also reduces the chance of developing mammary cancer, especially if neutered before the first season.
There are some arguments against routine neutering but most are not justified when explored more closely, and certainly the benefits outweigh potential risks. Neutering can predispose to weight gain, but as long as diet is appropriately managed this is rarely a problem. In bitches, urinary incontinence later in life can occasionally be associated with neutering but this is a condition that is easily treated in most cases.
Neutering is often recommended between 4-6 months of age for cats, and from 6 months for dogs, although this is decided on an individual and breed basis after discussion with your vet; advice should always be sought regarding the risks and benefits in individual cases. The procedure is usually performed as a day-case and patients often make a comfortable and quick recovery. Contact your vet today to discuss the decision of neutering your pet.
We are now offering laparoscopic ‘key hole’ bitch speys at our Stamford Bridge Surgery. Clients know that keyhole surgery is very common in human procedures and now this expertise has been passed onto the veterinary profession we feel that this is the way forward with regards to treating our clients’ pets. The procedure is an ovariectomy (removing just the ovaries) rather than a full ovariohysterectomy (uterus as well). This has been proven to be all that is needed and there is no increased risk of pyometra or other complications as a result of not taking out the uterus. This is historically just a tradition in the UK, but means more tissue is removed for no real reason. Key hole spey in bitches has been proven to cause a lot less post operative pain and significantly less morbidity that a traditional spey. There is a much shorter recovery time, patients are happier to move around sooner and need less pain relief post-operatively as well as the wounds are smaller – just 2 x 1cm. Recovery is quicker and patients are less likely to traumatise or lick wounds.
We at Battle Flatts feel that this is a much better way of neutering your dog and will hope to provide this service at all of our clinics in the future. If you have any questions or queries about this procedure then please feel free to give one of our surgeries a ring and ask to speak to either a vet or a nurse. Contact us here.