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Have you welcomed a bundle of joy to their furever home during lockdown? Whether you’re a first-time pet parent or not, there’s plenty of decisions to navigate when it comes to giving your beloved fur family the best start in life. With pups and kittens across the country approaching neutering age, this important topic is no exception. Here at easipetcare, we’ve debunked the lingo and answered the questions that everyone is asking about neutering their pet.
Many pet owners are amazed to find out how early their pet can become pregnant, when they still seem like a baby themselves!
What’s the difference between neuter, spay and castrate?
All these terms refer to surgeries that remove part of your pet’s reproductive tract, to prevent them from parenting unwanted litters. A spay is the procedure for a female who will have her ovaries removed, often along with her uterus. A castrate is for male pets who will have their testicles removed. Generally, neutering is used more broadly to describe surgery on a female or male pet, so can mean spay or castrate. Find out more about the procedure here.
Should I neuter my dog or cat?
Here at easipetcare, we strongly recommend neutering, but are very happy to chat about the pros and cons if you are unsure. You can also read about our top five benefits here
If you’re besotted with your fab feline or pawsome pooch, and are feeling tempted to breed them, keep in mind that experts are already predicting up to 84,000 additional unplanned kittens born nationwide in 2020*. It takes a great deal of commitment and expertise to rear puppies and kittens, and can put a much-loved pet at risk. There are also diseases and behaviour problems linked to delaying neutering.
What age to neuter
These figures are a good guide for when to neuter your pet. However, advice can vary depending on breed and what will best suit an individual. In particular, if your playful pooch is prone to any unwanted or problematic behaviours, although castration may be beneficial, it’s worth chatting to a vet before booking in the surgery. This is because behavioural training may be more effective before the procedure in some cases.
How long is a cat or dog spay recovery timeline?
You might have a drowsy doggo on your hands for up to 24 hours following surgery, and they’ll probably want a bit of peace and quiet to snooze off the anaesthetic. Cats tend to bounce back more quickly after surgery, partly because their procedures tend to be shorter. However, when we spay a dog or cat it involves entering the abdomen, and is a longer procedure than a castrate, which means recovery time will generally take longer too.
Your vet will advise you what medication, such as pain relief, your pet is coming home with – when to give the first dose, and for how many days. Feed a bland meal for the first day or so after surgery as stomach upset is not uncommon after an anaesthetic. For most patients, we ask owners to book in a post-op check so our team can make sure the surgical wound is healing well. Cats should be kept indoors until this check-up, and dogs should stick to a routine of a short lead-walks only. More advice is available here and you can ask a member of our team any other questions about post-op care.
Neutering older pets
It’s best to neuter earlier in life to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and reduce disease risk. However, older pets can still benefit from being spayed or castrated. A mature pooch can be spayed, even if she’s had litters before, and this can help to reduce occurrence of mammary tumours or womb infection. In older dogs, a castration will sometimes involve removal of excess skin from the scrotum to reduce swelling.
Your vet may recommend blood tests to screen for underlying diseases that could increase risk of complications during surgery or anaesthesia.
Our easipetcare branches are open again for routine care, including vaccinations and neutering, contact us for more information and to book an appointment.
With very best wishes,