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Neutering of Cats and Dogs

Here at Penbode Pets we routinely neuter dogs and cats

Neutering is a surgical procedure which removes the reproductive organs from an animal making it impossible for them to bear offspring.

In female animals the operation is called a spay and in male animals, castration.  

•Spaying animals by an open procedure involves the removal of both ovaries and the uterus. Penbode vets is pleased to also offer spaying by a laparoscopic (keyhole) procedure where only the ovaries are removed. Please see below for more information on laparoscopic spays.

•Castration is the removal of both testes.

Penbode vets routinely perform these operations at all 4 of our Pet branches.  For the majority of cats and dogs, this is a day procedure performed under a general anaesthetic.  Your pet will be admitted on the morning of the procedure, usually between 8.30-9.30 am and discharged later the same day. 

Why neuter? 

Female pets

•To prevent unwanted pregnancies.

•To stop seasons and prevent unwanted attention from Male dogs.

•To prevent conditions such as phantom pregnancies - a hormonal imbalance that may occur after coming into season.  This can cause distressing behavioural symptoms for some pets (and their owners).

•To reduce the incidence of fighting between female dogs of the same household.

•To protect against mammary cancers - the evidence behind this is very sound. The more seasons a female dog has, the greater the potential for her to develop mammary cancer later in life. 

•To prevent conditions such as pyometras (a life-threatening uterus infection) and uterine cancer.

Male pets

•To prevent unwanted pregnancies.

•To possibly reduce the ‘wandering’ behaviour of some animals.

•To prevent testicular cancer.

•To reduce the incidence of prostate disease later in life.

•In male cats it can help to reduce the incidence of urine spraying or marking indoors and fighting with other cats, thus reducing the risk of cat bite abscesses and infectious diseases.

One recognised unwanted effect of neutering can be weight gain. Neutering causes a reduction in metabolism and therefore a reduction in food requirements. Feeding your pet a smaller amount after neutering should allow you to manage their weight successfully. Our nurses will happily see your pet 6 weeks following a neutering procedure to weigh your pet and advise you accordingly.

A very small percentage of female dogs can develop a urinary incontinence at a young age.

It also has to be remembered that any form of neutering is a surgical procedure – therefore the risks associated with any form of surgery have to be considered. These are mainly the risks of infection, haemorrhage, and anaesthesia. As most neutering occurs in young and healthy animals, these risks are extremely low.

When to neuter?

•Female dogs: it is generally recommended that larger breed dogs have at least 1 season before spaying.  The procedure should then be carried out 3 months after the end of their season.  Smaller breed dogs can be neutered from 6 months of age but it may be beneficial to wait until after their first season.

•Male dogs: ideally male dogs are mature and at least 12-18 months old before castration.

•Cats:  both male and female cats can be neutered from 12 weeks old.  

The correct timing of neutering is really important, and often varies from animal to animal based of factors such as breed and temperament.  We are always happy to discuss your pet’s individual requirements.

Laparoscopic Bitch Spays

We are now delighted to offer laparoscopic bitch spays at our Stratton, Bude branch with our vet Pas.

Laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) aims to perform surgical techniques with minimal invasion into the abdomen, using instruments and fiber optics through ‘keyhole’ incisions.

Alongside laparoscopic bitch spays or ovariectomies, we are also exploring other surgeries that the laparoscopic approach can facilitate, which we will introduce soon.

The advantages of a laparoscopic spay over a traditional open spay are:

•There is less post-operative pain.

•There is a faster recovery period. This is due to the wounds being much smaller with fewer stitches involved. Although the bitch may be fine after five days, we do recommend a 10-day rest and recovery period.

•As the incisions are smaller, there is a lower risk of post-operative complications with the incisions, as well as less trauma to the tissues.

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