Neutering not only helps to reduce the serious problem of an unwanted overpopulation of dogs, but has many health benefits for your pet. Although neutering is not a magic cure for over-excitable animals, it reduces hormone-driven behaviour and can help achieve a calm, relaxed pet. Often people find neutered dogs are less distracted and more focussed, making training easier.
Spaying removes the uterus and ovaries of a female dog, preventing pregnancy. As well as preventing uterine cancer, removing the hormone-producing ovaries reduces the risk of mammary cancers, and prevents a potentially fatal infection of the uterus known as pyometra.
Spaying is often performed around the age of six months. There is no medical requirement for a bitch to have a season (or a litter!) prior to spaying, and false pregnancies can occur after even the first season. In an older dog, neutering should be performed between seasons, usually about 3 months after a season.
Spaying a female dog is a major surgical procedure. It is performed under general anaesthesia, however your pet will be able to go home later the same day. Recovery is normally complete within two weeks; your dog will need rest and a buster collar for at least 10 days while the wound heals.
At Springfield we are also able to spay bitches laparoscopically, or “keyhole”. This involves only removing the ovaries but offers all the same benefits. Recovery times are usually faster than with conventional surgery. For more information please see our “Keyhole Surgery” page.
Castration removes the testicles of a male dog through an incision just in front of the scrotum. It is also carried out under general anaesthesia, but is a quicker procedure than a bitch spay. Castration prevents testicular tumours, and reduces the incidence of prostate problems (such as cysts and abscesses) or related issues such as hernias and penile prolapse.
Castration is performed any time from 6 months of age. Your dog will have to stay in the hospital for the day, but can go home later than afternoon. Recovery is normally complete within two weeks; your dog will need rest and a buster collar for at least 10 days while the wound heals.
With any surgery complications are possible. During neutering serious complications such as excessive bleeding can occur, but are very rare. Most complications seen, such as infections, are due to lack of appropriate post operative care. It is imperative that your dog wears its buster collar at all times to prevent interference with the wound. Please discuss the risks and benefits of neutering with your vet if you are concerned.