Dog Neutering

Why should I neuter my dog?

Frontier Veterinary Services recommends neutering your dog (male or female) unless you intend to breed from it.

If your bitch has not been spayed, she will come into season once or twice yearly. If you do not want to breed from her it is important to keep her away from male dogs, not only during the time she is bleeding, but also after the bleeding has stopped. Entire female dogs can develop false pregnancies several weeks after their season. They often seem depressed and build nests or start mothering their toys. Some bitches even develop milk in their mammary glands. More serious life-threatening conditions of older un-neutered bitches include pyometra (infection of the womb) and mammary gland tumours. By neutering a bitch before her first season, the risk of mammary cancer decreases by almost 100%. By waiting until after the first or subsequent seasons, the risk of mammary cancer increases progressively.

Entire male dogs are more likely to roam to find bitches in season. Pet dogs have been known to scale remarkably high fences etc. to get to a bitch in season. So unless you are sure that your dog is very securely confined at night , there is an increased possibility of your entire dog straying, getting hit by a car or being involved in sheep worrying. Older entire males can suffer from health problems including prostate problems, perineal hernias or tumours of their testicles and anal region and castration is part of the surgical management. The risk of prostatic cancers however is not decreased by neutering. Neutering of dogs tends to reduce the ‘over-amorous’ behaviour and aggression to other dogs. Any undesirable learnt behaviour may not be reversible once already developed but should improve with castration.

What is involved in neutering my dog?

A general anaesthetic is required for neutering of both male and female dogs. Although all anaesthetics carry risks, these risks are extremely low in young, healthy dogs. At Frontier Veterinary Services, your dog will have a pre anaesthetic examination.

An ovario-hysterectomy is the medical term for spaying or neutering female dogs. A small incision is made into the abdomen. Both the ovaries and uterus are removed. Sutures/stitches are placed in the skin. Surgery can be performed at any age but can be done from 6 months of age before the dog comes into season for the first time. If your bitch is in season, neuter three months after the season.

Castration is the surgical removal of the testicles. A small incision is made just in front of the scrotum and the testicles are removed. Sutures/stitches are placed under the skin.

Occasionally only one testicle (or neither) descends into the scrotum. This is a condition called cryptorchidism. At Frontier Veterinary Services your dog is examined pre operatively and if it is found to be cryptorchid we will advise you accordingly.

What care is required after my dog is neutered?

Your pet will usually be discharged the same day as the surgery. A buster collar is recommended to ensure your pet does not lick his/her wound. A post- operative check is required two days as well as 10 days after surgery.

Your pet will be given anti – inflammatory pain relief. This is very effective but we cannot tell your dog to take it easy so it is important that the owner adheres to our post operative instructions.

The metabolic rate of neutered dogs is lower therefore calorie intake needs to be reduced to prevent obesity and you need to ensure your dog gets adequate exercise.  There is an increased risk of urinary incontinence in spayed bitches. This may be linked to  weight gain and that is why it is important to be aware of this and to manage your dog’s weight correctly.
It can also be managed with medication or surgery.