Neutering you cat or dog?

Points to think about before breeding :
- Is your pet suitable? Many breeds of cats and dogs are predisposed to various genetic conditions and should not be bred from without first undergoing genetic testing eg. hip scoring, PRA eye testing, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy testing.
- Is there a suitable mate available who has also had all the relevant health tests.
- Do you have time for a pregnant animal and the subsequent litter, pregnancy lasts for 9 weeks and a litter is required to stay with their mother until at least 8 weeks of age. If the mother is unable to rear the litter do you have the time to commit to hand-rearing?
- Finances -are you prepared if things don't go according to plan. Not all pregnancies and births are straightforward, even when they do there is considerable financial outlay involved in rearing a litter.
-Finding homes -are you going to be able to find suitable homes for the whole litter and would you be prepared to take a puppy or kitten back if things don't work out in their new home.

Why should I get my cat neutered?

There are a range of reasons to get your female cat neutered:-

  •  tackling the growing number of strays and rescue cats in the UK , one un-neutered female can lead to 20,000 descendants in 5 years!

  • female cats come into season every 3 weeks during the breeding season and will scent mark the home with urine

  • repeated seasons increase the likelihood of the development of cystic ovaries, ovarian tumours and pyometra (uterine infection)

  • neutering decreases the likelihood of your cat developing mammary tumours, 90% of mammary tumours in cats are malignant

  • if you allow your cat to be mated but the local neighbourhood tom cat you have no knowledge of its health status eg. is it infected with FIV (feline equivalent of HIV) or feline leukaemia which may well be passed on to your cat during mating.

For male cats: –

  • neutering can reduce undesirable behaviours, including fighting which can in itself lead to further injuries and increased risk of contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (feline AIDS)

  • neutering will stop your male cat urine spraying

  • unneutered male cats have an increased tendency to roam and stay out at night which can lead to injury on the roads or getting lost.

Both male and female cats can be neutered at 4-6 months of age.

Why should I get my dog neutered?

Male dogs:-

  • behaviour – if performed at the right time castration can prevent aggressive and protective behaviours along with reducing awkward sexual behaviours such as 'humping'.

  • by removing the testicles you are removing the risk of testicular tumours and a number of hormone driven diseases such as prostatic hyperplasia.

  • population control – uncastrated males may roam in pursuit of unneutered bitches in season possibly resulting in unwanted puppies

The timing of castration varies with the size of the dog, being around 6 months for small dogs and up to 18 months for very large breeds.

As an alternative to surgical castration male dogs can now undergo 'chemical castration' with a simple implant which is injected under the skin just like a microchip and which will last 6 or 12 months depending on the strength of implant chosen. Ask us about  Suprelorin implants for your dog.

Female dogs:-

  • spaying your bitch can prevent a number of issues including mammary tumours and pyometra (uterine infection).

  • prevention of unwanted pregnancy – if your dog comes into contact with an unneutered male dog and is in season you are risking an unwanted pregnancy.
  • false pregnancies commonly occur after a season and can be distressing for dogs as they may produce milk and start 'nesting' in preparation for having puppies.

The timing of spaying has been a subject of much research as it had been thought that spaying before a season increased the risk of urinary incontinence later in life, latest studies have shown that having a season is not the key factor but that bitches should not be spayed before 6 months of age regardless of size or breed.