Dog Neutering

Dog neutering goes beyond just controlling unwanted pregnancies. Whether you have a male or female dog, understanding the different aspects of neutering is crucial for their health and wellbeing.

Discover everything you need to know about dog neutering, from understanding the procedure, getting to grips with how it can change your dog’s behaviour and considering the aftercare involved for a smooth recovery.

Signs your dog needs to be neutered

There are some common indicators to look out for when deciding whether it’s time to get your dog neutered.

Roaming – Dogs can smell a female dog in heat from quite a distance which can lead them to running away to try and mate.

Aggression – They can display aggressive behaviour because of the production of testosterone.

Marking – When dogs sense the desire to mate with a female dog, they will mark their territory with urine, this is called scent marking.

Mounting – If your dog has a strong urge to mount with another female dog, it’s likely they will start mounting to show their interest, which could be highly unwanted behaviour.

Male Dogs

What is castration?

Castration is the surgical removal of the testicles, the primary reproductive organs in male dogs. The main aim of castration is to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but it can also help address unwanted behavioural and health issues.

What are the benefits of castrating?

Castration can help reduce aggression, territorial marking, and unwanted mating behaviours. It eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and decreases the likelihood of prostate issues.

It can increase their life expectancy, reduce the risk of infections and vascular diseases.

Castration can improve behavioural problems caused by hormones, leading to a better integration into the family environment.

What’s involved in a castration procedure?

The castration procedure involves making a small incision in the front of your dog’s scrotum to remove their testicles.

The operation is carried out under general anaesthetic, ensuring they’re completely unconscious and pain-free throughout.

What age can you castrate a dog?

The age you should castrate your dog depends on their breed and size. We recommend castration should usually take place between the ages of six and twelve months.

Some larger breeds may benefit from waiting until they’re fully mature, while smaller breeds may be castrated earlier.

Please drop us a call if you have any queries on the age of your dog and we can help determine the best timing to suit their needs.

How can castration affect a dog’s behaviour?

Castration can have a positive effect on your dog’s behaviour. The aim is to reduce difficult-to-manage behavioural traits associated with testosterone.

Your dog should become calmer and more well-behaved; however, responses can differ depending on the breed and environment. We would always recommend discussions with one of our vets or nurses prior to castration if a dog has any behavioural issues prior to considering castration.

Remember, castration may not eliminate learned behaviours, so early intervention is key.

How could castration affect my dog’s health?

Dog castration can eliminate the risk of testicular cancer and reduce the chances of certain prostate issues.

How long after castration is a dog fertile?

Your dog will stop producing sperm straight away, but it can still be present up to six weeks after castration.

Female Dogs

What is spaying?

Spaying of bitches is the surgical procedure of removing the ovaries and in some cases the uterus.

It is carried out to prevent unwanted pregnancies and addresses behavioural and health issues in female dogs.

Why get a female dog spayed?

Spaying eliminates the risk of uterine infections, reduces the chances of mammary tumours, and eliminates the risks associated with pregnancy and whelping.

It can also have behavioural benefits, including reduced aggression and mood swings when they’re in season.

What is involved in a dog spay procedure?

Bitch spays are always carried out under general anaesthesia. We offer two sorts of spay, either a conventional where an incision is made into the abdomen and ovaries and uterus removed, or a Laparoscopic or Keyhole spay where tiny incisions are made into the abdomen and instruments are used to remove the ovaries.

When should I get my dog spayed?

We would usually recommend spaying after six months. There are pros and cons of waiting until a bitch has had her first season and we would recommend discussing with one of our vets or nurses about the best timing for your pet, it really does depend on each individual situation.

How can spaying affect a dog’s behaviour?

Getting your dog spayed can reduce or eliminate undesirable mating behaviours, including aggression and mood swings when in season.

Female dogs may also become less prone to attracting unwanted male attention and it eliminates the chance of false pregnancy too.

How can spaying affect my dog’s health?

Dog spaying can eliminate the risk of uterine infections and reduce the chances of mammary tumours, especially if the procedure is carried out before their first season.

Dog neutering aftercare

Your dog’s recovery time after their neutering surgery is generally short.

Recovery for a conventional spay is usually two weeks, and for the Keyhole spay is two days. Most dogs can go home the same day as surgery.

You should provide a quiet and comfortable area for your dog to rest and follow our post-operative care instructions provided.

After surgery, most dogs with go home with a pet shirt to cover the incision area, so they don’t lick or scratch their wound in order for it to fully heal.

How soon can I walk my dog after neutering?

When you can start exercising your dog depends on which procedure they’ve had. For lap spays it can take 2 days, however for conventional spays, we recommend 2 weeks of lead exercise only, to allow the wound to fully heal.

Neutering your dog is a responsible choice and it’s important to understand the procedure, the benefits and what’s involved for your dog to have a smooth and complication-free recovery.

Read this blog to find out more about the difference between conventional spays and lap spays. You can also learn about Lexi’s (a five-year-old pointer) experience with her Lap Spay.

For more advice, come in and speak to us and we’ll help your dog have a happy and healthy future.

Want to know more about lap spays?

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