Neutering

When you get a puppy or a kitten, their adolescence seems far away, but sooner or later many pet owners have to face the fact that their little bundle of fur has grown up and there may soon be many little bundles of fur. While undoubtedly much fun, raising a litter also means a lot of work and responsibility, and it can be difficult to find new homes. Many owners therefore opt to have their pet neutered.

Cats of either sex can start mating from five months of age, depending on the season. We tend to neuter (spay) females from four months, and males from six months of age (castration). Apart from the contraceptive aspect neutering helps to prevent the sexually transmitted disease FIV, the equivalent to HIV. Neutered cats also have smaller territories which means fewer roads to cross. It is not a total prevention for urine marking (spraying), but the urine is at least less smelly!

Sexual maturity in dogs depends on size, the bigger the breed the later. At Gladstone Veterinary Clinic we normally spay bitches 2-3 months after their first season, which can be from 6 months in a small breed. Spaying earlier has been found to be associated with urinary incontinence in later life. Leaving your bitch unspayed can be a lot of hassle, depending on where and how you live. Male dogs might try to get into the garden or pick up the bitch's scent on the family's clothes. If you don't have a garden taking a bitch on heat for a walk can be quite exciting! In later life entire (unspayed) bitches, especially when overweight, are more likely to suffer from diabetes or get a womb infection (pyometra).

In male dogs we only recommend castration if there is a problem. Some dogs mount legs or toys, others like to roam, some are more likely to pick a fight. While castration may not totally kerb these unwanted behaviours it can help to make a dog a more pleasant companion. In male dogs we only recommend castration if there is a problem. Some dogs mount legs or toys, others like to roam, some are more likely to pick a fight. While castration may not totally kerb these unwanted behaviours it can help to make a dog a more pleasant companion.

A variety of drugs are also available to suppress sex hormones, but they tend to be used as one- off measures rather than livelong strategies. If a mishap occurs and your bitch is mated unintentionally you might want to consider mismating injections.

To discuss these or any other aspect of neutering please contact us on Telford 245145 and we will be happy to advise you.

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