Castration and spaying for your pet, as well as advice on when and why to perform them.

Also known as castrating or spaying, neutering is a surgical procedure carried out under general anaesthetic to prevent your pet from unwanted litters and prevent some serious illnesses.

Castration is the removal of the testicles of males. Spaying is the removal of the ovaries and/or uterus of the female.

Benefits of neutering a female dog

  • Stops your dog coming into heat, and therefore eliminates the associated inconvenience of vulval discharge, restricted opportunity to exercise, unwanted attention from male dogs and behavioural changes.

  • Eliminates the risk of pregnancy and false pregnancy.

  • Eliminates the risk of pyometra, a serious womb infection. Around 25% of older female dogs who are not spayed will get pyometra. This is a life-threatening illness unless treated promptly.

  • Eliminates or reduces the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers depending on the age at which the dog is neutered.

  • It is not recommended to spay female dogs whilst in season, and for at least 12 weeks afterwards. Our current recommendation is 16-20 weeks post season for both our standard midline and laparoscopic spays. For more information regarding laparoscopic spays, please contact our team.

Benefits of neutering a male dog

  • Reduction of some undesirable behaviours such as roaming, indoor urine marking and aggression towards other entire males can be seen.

  • Eliminates the risk of testicular tumours and prostatic disease.

  • Reduces the risk of certain hernias.

Our current recommendations for the age of neutering of male dogs are as follows:

  • Small breeds nine to 12 months

  • Medium breeds 12 months

  • Large breeds 12-18 months+

  • Giant breeds 18 months+

Please note that neutering will not “calm your dog down”.

We would not recommend the castration of a dog who demonstrates certain behaviours and therefore whilst this is our general guidance, we would encourage you to discuss your individual pet with us.

Neutering cats

We recommend male and female cats are neutered from four months old.

This is especially important in multi-cat households where brothers, sisters and even parents can produce more kittens if living together unneutered.

Benefits of neutering your female cat:

  • Prevents unwanted pregnancy.

  • Less chance of attracting unwanted attention from unneutered males and the associated calling, fighting, and spraying.

  • Eliminates or reduces the risk of developing cancer of the womb or ovaries.

Benefits of neutering your male cat:

  • Reduces the risk to fight other cats – in turn this will reduce his chances of contracting feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukaemia virus which are transmitted by cat bites and reproductive activity.

  • Aggressive behaviour is associated with testosterone which is produced by the testicles. By removing these during castration this unwanted behaviour can be reduced.

  • Reduction in desire to roam.

  • Reduction in urine spraying to mark territory in your home.

  • Urine odour is reduced. Unneutered male urine is particularly pungent.

Neutering rabbits

For rabbit welfare it is important that they live together in pairs or small groups.

It is therefore also important that neutering is carried out to allow them to happily live together without producing unwanted litters of baby bunnies.

Neutering same sex rabbit pairs promotes harmony in the hutch as it removes the chances of behavioural problems that can be caused by hormones.

Benefits of neutering a female rabbit:

  • Up to 80% of unneutered female rabbits can develop cancer of the uterus by five years of age – neutering will stop her from developing these cancers.

  • It can prevent her developing aggressive behaviours – speak to your vet if you are having behavioural problems with your rabbit.

  • Healthy rabbits that weigh at least 1kg can be neutered from 16 weeks old.

Benefits of neutering a male rabbit:

  • Unneutered male rabbits are often too aggressive to live with other rabbits, this can leave them lonely and miserable. Neutered males can live happily alongside both male and female rabbits.

  • Neutering can reduce urine spraying, aggression and other behavioural problems that are linked to bunny hormones.

  • We recommend neutering male rabbits when the testicles have descended. This is usually at around 12-14 weeks old.