Neutering your dog

Neutering has many health and lifestyle benefits

At Animates we recommend neutering your dog because it has many health and lifestyle benefits.

With female dogs spaying will prevent the worries of mis-mating and unwanted pregnancies. It can also significantly reduce the risk of mammary tumours. 25% of unspayed bitches will develop mammary tumours. This risk is reduced by 99.5% if a bitch is spayed before her first season.

Spaying also removes the risk of pyometra, a severe uterine infection, which can be life threatening. There will also normally be a cessation of seasons with no associated bleeding and behavioural changes and no “false pregnancies”.

Castrating your male dog can prevent problems such as prostate enlargement, some anal tumours and perineal hernias. It will also prevent testicular tumours and can help to have a calming effect on their behaviour.

When testicles are retained within the abdomen (one or none present within the scrotum) castration is strongly recommended due to the high risk of testicular cancer developing. It can also decrease the risk of your dog roaming.

We recommend neutering at 6 months old for most dogs. In female dogs this is before the first season. The vet may recommend later neutering in some large breed dogs for medical reasons. This means at least 3 months after the first season in females and after 1 year of age in male dogs. Breeds included are Rottweilers, Dobermans, Old English Sheepdogs, Irish Setters and Weimaraners. This is related to these breed’s higher risk of a type of bone tumour called osteosarcoma as early neutering delays growth plate closure which is thought to be linked to an increased risk.

If your female puppy has been diagnosed with juvenile vaginitis she should not be neutered until after her first season. Juvenile vaginitis is difficult to manage once she is neutered and will usually resolve after the first season.

If your female dog shows any signs of urinary incontinence this should also be discussed fully with the vet prior to neutering.

Dogs are admitted to the clinic as day-patients, are neutered under general anaesthetic and are generally ready to go home in the afternoon.

We offer pre-anaesthetic blood testing, intravenous fluids during their stay with us and a choice of anaesthetic gases. These are available for an additional fee and will be discussed further when booking neutering and again on the day of the operation. We do not include these extras automatically in all procedures as we appreciate that they may not be essential in all situations and want to offer competitive prices.

As with any surgery there is always a small risk of complications but the incidence is very low. We recommend that your pet is rested for 10 days after surgery and include in the cost a post-operative check-up after 2-3 days and an appointment for stitches to be removed 10 days after the surgery. Ovariohysterectomies (Spays) are performed as standard through an incision on the underside of the abdomen in bitches and dog castrates have a small incision in front of the scrotum. It is important that your pet doesn’t lick the wound and therefore may require a buster collar or pet shirt.

We include pain relief for 3 days for all bitch spays and dog castrates as we believe it is important to ensure their comfort post-operatively. Any other additional medication would be charged.

Following neutering dogs need about 30% less calories which makes it more important that they are fed correctly. Our nurses are very knowledgeable and are happy to discuss this with you at any point. Royal Canin have a neutered range which is a high protein, nutritionally dense, low fat food, which when fed correctly will help your pet stay in ideal shape.

Feeding your neutered dog after their operation

Once your dog has been neutered he or she will naturally be more prone to weight gain due to hormonal changes in the body, which alter the metabolism and cause an increase in appetite. To prevent this weight gain their daily calorie intake should be reduced by approximately 30%.

Failure to prevent weight gain will result in obesity which in turn can lead to:

  • A shorter life expectancy
  • Mobility problems
  • Heart and breathing problems
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Poor skin and coat quality
  • Increased surgical and/or anaesthetic risk
  • Increased blood fats (excessive body fat promotes increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood)

Please remember neutering does not have to result in weight gain and ANY animal will get fat if overfed. If you simply reduce the amount of your dog’s normal food you are also reducing the nutrients given. To help maintain the ideal body weight, we recommend feeding Royal Canin Neutered Dog diet as it is balanced to account for the reduction in calories and still contains all the correct nutrients needed to help keep your pet fit and healthy.

This Neutered Dog diet contains Isoflavones which are plant derived compounds that increase your dog’s metabolism and help to reduce the increase in appetite. Therefore they help to prevent obesity if fed correctly.

Additional benefits of the Neutered Dog diet range:

  • Promotes dental health
  • Promotes joint health
  • Supports renal function
  • Promotes digestive system health
  • Promotes a healthy skin and coat. Many people are concerned that their pet’s coat will change after neutering. A good quality diet will ensure that their coat remains in great condition
  • Helps to prevent urinary stones (particularly in small dogs)

Royal Canin provide a range of nutritional foods tailored specifically to a neutered dog’s breed, age and health requirements. To assist you in choosing the best Royal Canin Vet recommended food for your pet we would be happy to provide an individual assessment of your pet’s requirements.

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