September 12, 2014
Spaying and neutering

What is Neutering?

To accomplish surgical neutering, a veterinarian removes certain reproductive organs. If your cat or dog is a female, the veterinarian will remove her ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus. The proper name for this operation is an ovariohysterectomy. Some veterinarians prefer to only remove the ovaries, this is called an ovariectomy. These procedures are termed “spaying”.{{more}}

The testicles are removed from a male animal. This operation is properly called an orchidectomy, although it is usually referred to as castration or simply “neutering”.

What are the Advantages?

For you, the operation results in added convenience. It eliminates blood stains on carpets and floors, and usually stops tomcats from spraying strong smelling urine on furniture and drapes.

You’ll also not have menacing or annoying suitors to contend with. There is no longer the need to confine your pet during “heat” periods and no unwanted litters to take care of or find homes for. Your pet will be more likely to stay at home and devote affection to you and your family.

For dogs and cats, surgical neutering eliminates a female’s chances of developing uterine infections and reduces the possibility that she might develop mammary (breast) cancer.

Males usually become less aggressive to others living with them and spend more time at home, thus decreasing their chances of being injured in fights or automobile accidents.

Your community will also benefit; unwanted or stray animals are a very real concern in our country. Stray animals, as we all know, are a public nuisance: trying to and actually biting people, creating noise and other disturbances, causing automobile accidents and killing livestock and other pets; or just being a sore to the eyes, especially when they are covered in mange and sores.

Will Neutering Change my Pet’s Intelligence or Disposition?

Only for the better. The operation has no effect on intelligence and most neutered pets tend to become more gentle and affectionate.

Will it make my Pet Fat?

Removing the ovaries or testicles does affect metabolism. This seems to make neutered pets put on weight more easily if permitted to overeat. You should ensure that they are exercised regularly to maintain a healthy body weight.

Is the Operation Painful?

Spaying and neutering operations are performed painlessly while your pet is under general anaesthesia. However, after the surgery, there may be some discomfort, but this is a part of the normal healing process and can be controlled with medication.

When should my Pet have the Operation?

Generally speaking, as early as possible. Most veterinarians recommend that a female be spayed before her first heat (around six months of age). I recommend that it be done between five and six months of age.

Some people prefer their pets to experience their first heat before doing the operation, mostly for sentimental reasons.

What are the Alternatives?

The oldest (and in some respects the easiest) way to prevent mating is to keep your pet confined during its fertile periods. Once they reach sexual maturity, male animals can mate at any time they are not confined.

Females can become pregnant during their oestrus or “heat” periods. These cycles occur twice yearly in dogs and approximately once per month in cats.

Since pets are capable of mating so often, confinement is not particularly convenient for the owner. It does nothing to eliminate such problems as spotting and spraying or susceptibility to uterine infections and breast cancer.

There are other types of birth control methods used to prevent pregnancy, such as giving tablets to take them out of heat. This method is recommended if you wish to breed the dog at a later date.

In the past, progesterone based injections were used, but this method of contraception has too many side effects.

Citronella sprays (anti- mating sprays) are also used to help mask the pheromones that the female emit when she is in heat to attract the males, by spraying it around the vulva. This is used with varying results.

For further information, contact: Dr Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co Ltd Tel: 456 4981