Neutering is a routine surgical procedure that involves removing the reproductive organs from a dog or a cat. Under this umbrella you may have heard words such as castrating and spaying. Castration is essentially neutering for males and spaying is neutering for females.
With any procedure there are advantages and disadvantages and these are explained in the table beneath:
|Advantages of Neutering||Disadvantages of Neutering|
Females: if spayed before their 2nd season it significantly reduces the risk of mammary cancer.
– Also, it eliminates the risk of pyometra (which is a severe infection of the womb and requires an emergency spay.)
Males: the risk of testicular cancer is eliminated.
– Also, studies have proved that entire dogs are more likely to develop prostatic disease.
– Un-neutered male cats are more territorial and therefore are prone to fighting which allows the transfer of serious diseases such as FIV (feline aids) and Felv (feline leukaemia).
|Weight gain – Unfortunately neutering generally increases an animals appetite which can in turn cause weight gain. However, simply by monitoring your animals feed consumption post operatively can help prevent this.|
|Ethical – Nowadays there are so many unwanted puppies and kittens that pounds and rescue centres are overwhelmed. Neutering your pet essentially stops you contributing to this problem.|
|Financial – often people do no not fully estimate the costs involved with having a litter of puppies or kittens. These range from;
• Ultrasound scanning during pregnancy.
• Caesarean section if there is a problem during labour (this is generally after hours so additional costs occur).
• Increased cost of food for mother whilst pregnant and during lactation.
• Any other veterinary medicines e.g calcium substitution for mum, puppy/kitten milk replacement etc.
|Preventing unwanted behaviour –
Females: False pregnancies can occur in both dogs and cats (rarer in cats). This condition causes abnormal signs such as aggression at guarding perceived babies, vomiting and loss of appetite.
– Also, when in heat, cats will become very vocal and can be seen to be rolling around crying excessively.
– There is an increased chance of straying whilst in heat.
Males: Entire males often exhibit undesirable traits such as mounting, territorial aggression and fighting.
– Additionally like females they are more prone to straying especially if there is a bitch/queen in heat near by.
– Un-neutered male cats are prone to urine spraying to mark their scent which isn’t good news for your curtains or wallpaper.