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What is neutering?

As part of our preventative treatment offering, we provide both neutering and spay services for cats, dogs and small mammals, including Rabbits. This kind of procedure prevents unwanted pregnancies, which can reduce the number of potentially stray or unwanted animals, in addition to reducing hormone-related behaviours you may find particularly with male pets.

Neutering also has many health benefits such as removing the risk of developing certain types of cancer and contracting infections such as pyometra (only in females) in the future.

Your dog can be neutered from the age of 6 months or in some circumstances once a bitch has had their first season. As cats can sexually mature from a younger age, we recommend neutering a male or female cat from four months of age. Once your pet has had this kind of surgery, they can no longer get pregnant.

At Animal Trust, we provide the following neutering services:

  • Spay (Ovariohysterectomy)
  • Castration (orchiectomy)
  • Retained testicles (Cryptorchid)

Spay (Ovariohysterectomy)

A spay is commonly carried out in young female dogs and cats to prevent unwanted pregnancies, significantly reduce the risk of mammary gland tumours and prevent womb infections such as pyometra.

The surgery is undertaken under general anaesthetic and involves a small opening being made through the midline of the dog’s tummy or side in a cat. The entire womb and ovaries are removed, so the animal will no longer come into season. Most animals are able to go home the same day as their surgery.

Animals must be rested for between 10-14 days after surgery to prevent swelling and stitches being pulled or torn. Often, in young animals, one of the hardest things is keeping them quiet, as they recover incredibly quickly in themselves.

Most animals are back to normal within 2-3 days.

The price of a neutering procedure includes the anaesthetic, surgery and pain relief to go home with. An estimation of prices for each surgery can be found on our prices page.

Castration procedure

A Castration procedure is carried out under general anaesthetic. The procedure eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and prostate problems in the future.

In dogs and rabbits, a single incision is made in front of the scrotum and both testicles are removed through the one hole. This is closed using absorbable stitches in the skin. A buster collar is required to prevent the dog from licking for the first 7 – 10 days. The dog must be rested for the first 2-3 days and then only go on short lead walks until the wound is healed. Most dogs will be back to full activity by 10 days.

In cats, 2 small incisions are made in the scrotum to remove the testicles. No stitches are required as the incisions are so small. They are generally fully recovered within 24 – 48 hours.

The price of a neutering procedure includes the anaesthetic, surgery and pain relief to go home with. An estimation of prices for each surgery can be found on our prices page.

Benefits of neutering

Choosing to neuter a pet comes with a range of benefits, not least preventing unwanted pregnancies in females, but, neutering can also help to reduce aggression and urine marking in cats. Neutering in cats prevents them from fighting and picking up infections such as FIV.

In dogs, neutering will help to reduce roaming (looking for a mate), as well as decreasing aggression toward other dogs. In females, unwanted pregnancies will be prevented; from a health perspective, the procedure can eliminate certain types of tumours.

Complex procedures

Sometimes male dogs and cats can have only one testicle, or no testicles showing without having been neutered. This is due to one or both testicles not coming down from the abdomen into the scrotum during development. They can be retained in the groin under the skin, or within the abdomen. Because these areas are warmer than their usual place in the scrotum, these testicles are prone to become tumours.

Inguinal (testicles in the groin) can often be removed by a small additional wound in the skin at routine castration. Most animals recover very quickly from neutering surgery. The wound will be fully healed within 10 days, as long as you do not let your dog do too much too soon, and they are prevented from licking the wound. In cats, wounds heal very quickly.

For abdominal testicles, an incision is made in the lower part of the abdomen, in the midline. The testicles are located and removed from within the abdomen. Animals take a little longer to recover from this than normal castration as the full muscle layer has been opened to access the abdomen.

The wound will usually heal within 10 days, but you may need to restrict your pet’s exercise for a couple of weeks to prevent excessive swelling. The cost for this surgery includes anaesthetic and pain relief medication to take home.

Here is more information on how to care for your pet after surgery.

If you would like to discuss neutering your pet, please book a free consultation with your local Animal Trust surgery to speak to your vet. Visit our prices page for more information on our treatments.


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