What is Sterilisation?
It is the surgical procedure carried out on male (=castration) and female (=spaying) pets which involves removing their reproductive organs to
make them better pets.
Castrating male dogs greatly reduces the urge to roam and tendency to fret when they detect a female in season (up to 5 km away!). reduces aggression towards other dogs and humans and
if done before puberty (7 months of age), eliminates urine-marking behaviour. It will also reduce the dominance level, making training easier and overall you will have an easier to manage pet. Castration also
offers health benefits of reduced prostatic disease and anal adenomas (common skin tumours in dogs around the anus).
Spaying females eliminates the burden of locking up females in season and of finding homes for unwanted puppies. It will eliminate the health risk to your pet of pregnancy, whelping or post-natal complications.
Health benefits of spaying are numerous including eliminating the possibility of potentially fatal uterine infections and greatly reducing the risk of mammary cancer.
Lastly, there are considerable savings in registering sterilised dogs with your council.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
There are no major disadvantages to sterilising your pet. Points worth noting are:
- In both males and females there will be a reduction in metabolic rate which simply means reducing the food intake after sterilising by 10% to avoid any weight gain.
- Spayed bitches occasionally develop urinary incontinence later in life which is usually easily rectified, after ruling out other possible causes, with hormone replacement therapy. This is certainly not a reason
to avoid sterilising your bitch.
Some Common Fallacies
- "Their temperament will not be the same after sterilising ."Ė Wrong. There is no change to their personality after sterilising. You will still have the same pet you have grown to love. In fact, with
males, you may have a temperament change if you donít sterilise as the male hormones start taking over their brain!
- "They need to mate or have a litter for their own benefit ."Ė Wrong. There is no advantage to your pet in breeding. In fact there may be considerable risks to your petís health. And in some cases your
petís behaviour may deteriorate after breeding! Females can become grumpy after a litter and males can get frustrated and troublesome if denied access to a female they detect in season.
- "They Get Fat and Lazy After Sterilising."Ė Not necessarily so. Providing you reduce their food intake after sterilizing, there is no reason they should become overweight.
What Does the Operation Involve?
The surgery is conducted on an outpatient basis on weekdays, with your pet arriving in the morning (after being fasted over-night) and generally being discharged that same evening. In
all cases your pet is administered a general anaesthetic and operated on using autoclaved instruments. Your pet will be a little groggy from the anaesthetic for the first 24 hours, after which you need to keep them
quiet and exercise restricted till the wound is healed 10 days later.
- Castration = surgical removal of both testicles. Vasectomy is of little benefit as the source of testosterone is still present.
- Spaying = surgical removal of both the ovaries and uterus via a laparotomy (=ovariohysterectomy).
If you have any further queries, or wish to book in an appointment to sterilising your pet (2 or 3 days notice is usually ample), donít hesitate to call us.