Here at Paragon Veterinary Group we advise routine neutering of dogs, cats and rabbits unless they are to be bred from or have specific medical concerns.
Neutering not only prevents unwanted pregnancies but has many health benefits.
In female dogs this includes preventing pyometra which is an infection of the uterus which can be fatal, and also reducing the incidence of mammary tumours.
In male dogs the health benefits are preventing testicular cancer and reducing the incidence of cancer of the prostate and anus.
In some cases, neutering can improve behaviour in dogs, but we advise speaking to your vet first regarding each individual case.
Neutering can also prevent straying, roaming and fighting in male cats and prevents queens yowling and crying when in season.
We recently treated a nine-year-old Labrador bitch who had a lucky escape after developing pyometra.
Mars came to our surgery at Wetheral after her owners noticed she was lethargic and going off her food.
Her condition failed to improve following treatment with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and an ultrasound revealed she had pyometra.
The only option was to operate to remove the infected uterus and ovaries. This really is life-saving surgery because if you don't do it the uterus will continue to fill with pus and it could eventually rupture.
It's not something that we take on lightly, but it's something that we sadly see far too often. We're probably seeing at least one similar case every couple of weeks to three weeks.
The condition can be avoided completely by having bitches spayed.
We feel quite passionately that if you aren't going to breed from a dog then you should neuter them.
Sometimes bitches can become so poorly with pyometra that there is no option but euthanasia. In this case Mars was lucky. She is now fully recovered from the operation and is happily enjoying walks again.
We usually recommend neutering when pets are young, but it is still worth considering neutering older pets as it can prevent unnecessary disease later in life.
One question we often get asked by clients is, will my pet gain weight after neutering? The change in hormones can affect metabolism. We can offer a consultation with one of our nurses regarding your pet’s diet, and tips to help prevent this.
*Paragon is offering 10 per cent off neutering until the end of September.