Should I neuter my dog or cat?
Cats and dogs should be neutered, unless you are planning to breed from them.
Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital offers laparoscopic spay for dogs as well as the traditional spay. We are one of the very few practices in Cork offering this.
Female dogs should be either be neutered before their first season (about 6 months of age) or 3 months after the end of a season. Male dogs should be neutered after their first birthday.
There are several advantages to having your male dog castrated. The benefits can be behavioural as well as physiological.
Some castrated males can become less interested in female dogs. They are less likely to get lost or injured as they are less likely to roam. They can be easier to train as they concentrate more on what the owner is saying rather than worrying about their hormones! Physiologically, castrated males will obviously not develop testicular cancer as both testicles are removed in the castration.
Prostate problems are very common in entire males as the hormones produced by the testicles stimulate the prostate. Prostatic enlargement can cause constipation or problems passing urine. Enlarged prostates are more prone to infection and prostatitis is a very painful condition and can make the dog seriously ill. Sometimes abscesses can develop in the prostate following infection and again these can cause severe problems.
A neutered bitch will not get pregnant, and neither will you have the problems associated with keeping your bitch shut away when she comes into season. Some bitches, following a season, develop a pseudo or false pregnancy. Spaying prevents this happening.
There is a reduction in the rate of mammary cancer following spaying.
Entire females can also develop a condition called pyometra when the womb fills with infection. This normally occurs after a season. The bitch will be lethargic, is often sick and will drink more than usual. As antibiotics will not treat this infection an emergency spay has to be performed. This is a higher risk than a normal spay as the bitch is already ill.
With both male and females, you need to watch your pet’s weight post-neutering and our vets will be able to advise you on a suitable diet and exercise.
What happens on the day?
You will be asked to starve your dog from the previous night. They will be checked over by a vet on the morning of the operation. We will admit the dog and get them settled in their kennel. The dog will go home the same day to recuperate in the comfort of your home. They will need to be kept quiet and indoors for 10 days. They will have stitches to be removed 10 days later.
A kitten reaches sexual maturity at about 5 to 6 months old.
Unless you want to breed from your cat, castration is recommended – usually at six months.
An un-neutered male is more likely to get involved in fights often resulting in abscesses and other ailments. He is also more prone to catch Feline Immuno-deficiency virus – a deadly viral disease which is spread by bite wounds.
Kittens can come into season and be able to breed from as young as 5 or 6 months of age. It is therefore advisable to consider neutering between four to six months of age. Cats usually come into season (i.e. are reproductively active) between February and September, though this will vary a bit with the weather. However as many cats are indoors they can come into season all year round.
During the breeding season a female cat, which has not been spayed (a queen) will come into heat every three weeks or so. When on heat, a female cat is usually extremely vocal and may cry out. She is usually very affectionate, even more so than normal, and will rub against your legs and furniture. She may also adopt a characteristic position, called “lordosis”. In this stance, she crouches down on her front legs and holds her rear end up, in a position ready to mate.
If you do not want your cat to have kittens, it is advisable to have her spayed.
What happens on the day?
You will be asked to starve your cat from the previous night. They will be checked over by a vet on the morning of the operation. We will admit the cat and get them settled. The cat will go home the same day to recuperate in the comfort of your home. They will need to be kept quiet and indoors for a few days. Males have no stitches, females will have stitches to be removed 10 days later. Females will have a small wound on their side or belly and males will have a wound under their tail.