The Benefits Of Neutering And Spaying
Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home advocates the neutering of pets because ultimately it reduces the number of unwanted pets that will be coming through our doors in the future. Any cost or discomfort is small compared to that which comes with bringing a litter into the world and finding new loving homes for them.
There are other practical benefits too.
Many owners note improvement in their dog’s behaviour following neutering. For male dogs in particular, the testicles are the main source of testosterone in the body and their removal can reduce issues like aggressive behaviour, the instinct to roam and scent marking. For female dogs, spaying reduces the stress of being the subject of unwanted attention while in season.
It can take up to 6 weeks after neutering to see the hormonal changes that will improve a male dog’s behaviour, while these hormones leave the body.
For both male and female dogs, there are also important health benefits associated with neutering. These include removing the risk of testicular cancer and prostate issues, ovarian cancer or uterine infections, as well as reducing the risk of mammary cancers.
Female dogs are also protected from pregnancy-related illnesses, womb infections, and phantom pregnancies.
How Does It Work?
You can neuter your dog from about 6 months of age, and it is generally advised to do so at the earliest opportunity.
A vet will advise you on the best time to neuter your pet, depending on their age and circumstances. For females this usually means avoiding when they’re in season, due to the associated surgical risks.
The procedure is considered to be a routine surgery when you can expect the following:
- Your dog will need to be fasted for 6-8 hours, which usually means no food from the night before and water being removed 2-3 hours before they go in for their operation.
- You will admit your dog to the vet surgery where they will be made comfortable and prepared for surgery with a light sedative.
- A general anaesthetic will be administered once in surgery, when the vet will make a small incision to remove the womb / ovaries (females) or testicles.
- Once in recovery, your pet will be once again made comfortable by the vet nurses while they come around. At this point you can often expect to a call to say how they are doing.
- Most pets will be able to come home within a few hours, or they may be kept in overnight depending on how quickly they recover from the anaesthetic. It’s likely that they will be wearing a buster collar to prevent them from licking the wound, this will need to stay on until the stiches are removed or otherwise advised by your vet.
- A follow up visit with your vet will be required, usually a week after surgery, to check the wound and remove stitches (if not dissolvable).
Where To Neuter Your Dog Or Puppy
All animals at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home are neutered by our partner vets, either before being adopted or occasionally, where there are special circumstances, at a later date subsidised by the Home.
If you have an unneutered dog or puppy and would like to find out more, we would strongly recommend that you visit your vet and discuss this procedure further.
How Much Does It Cost To Neuter A Dog?
The cost of neutering a dog tends to vary on size and gender, but it is best to budget around £300.
There are schemes run by SSPCA, the Blue Cross and Dog Aid Society to support low-income dog owners with these costs.