Benefits of Dog Neutering
Castration (males) is usually performed at a minimum of 6 months old. The benefits of neutering include preventing unwanted mating, reducing the occurrence of prostate disease, stopping testicular disease and at a younger age limiting some unwanted behaviours. It is important to understand that whilst some people suggest castration as a way of ‘calming’ a dog, unless performed at a young age and supported by consistent behavioural training the procedure itself will not ‘calm’ a dog and completely stop unwanted behaviours such as possessive and dominant behaviours.
Spaying (females) is usually performed at 6 months old (before a first season) or 10 – 12 weeks after a season. It has the benefits of preventing unwanted pregnancies and false pregnancies, reducing the occurrence of cancerous mammary tumours (if performed pre-season – reduced to almost zero) and preventing ovarian and uterine tumours as well as life threatening uterus infections (pyometra).
The process – Consultation
Neutering is a routine procedure performed on a daily basis here at Knutsford Veterinary Surgery. Despite this we understand that for you as an owner, this can be a worrying time.
We normally invite you for a pre-operative health check, where one of our vets can perform a full health check and discuss the procedure with you as well as answer any questions you have. After this a date for surgery is made, your pet will need to be starved of food the night before, from 10pm, but should be allowed access to water until the morning of the operation. After your pet is admitted by the nurses or a vet they will be taken to the ward and settled in.
We offer pre anaesthetic blood testing to all of our patients prior to a sedation or anaesthetic, the aim of these tests are to assess in particular kidney and liver function which allows us to increase the safety of any procedure by altering the drugs used or placing a patient on a drip (intra-venous fluid therapy) to support the body. If you have elected for this option a small patch of hair will be shaved under the neck to obtain a blood sample, this will be tested before any medications are given to your pet.
Medication and Anaesthetic
The next step is premedication, this means giving your pet an injection (in a muscle or vein) containing a sedation and pain relief deemed appropriate for your pet and the procedure bring performed. Once this has been given your pet is settled back into their kennel for it to take effect.
Prior to anaesthetising your pet our nurses give oxygen via a mask or flowing it past your pets nostrils/mouth, once this has been done our vet then gives an injection into the vein to anaesthetise your pet slowly and calmly. After this your pet is intubated (tube placed into wind pipe) to allow us to provide oxygen and anaesthetic gas to keep your pet anaesthetised. Once asleep, hair is shaved from the surgical site and the skin is scrubbed with an antibacterial solution.
Once in theatre your vet will perform the spay or castration procedure, for males this takes approximately 20 minutes and for females 45-60 minutes. In males both testicles are removed through an incision made just in front of the scrotum. In females abdominal surgery is performed to remove both ovaries and the uterus up to the cervix. The skin is stitched using a dissolvable suture material and in most patients the sutures are buried in the skin and will not need to be removed. Your pet is then given another injection of a longer acting pain relief and allowed to wake up from the anaesthetic.
Dog Neutering after care – Knutsford
Your pet is recovered in the ward being kept warm and comfortable, once awake enough they are offered water and then later a light meal of recovery food. Our team will give you a ring when they are awake from their anaesthetic and will arrange a suitable time for them to go home.
At home it is really important your pet is kept warm and prevented from licking at the surgical site, this is usually achieved using a buster collar but inflatable collars are available on request. You will be given pain relief to administer to your pet at home to keep them comfortable whilst they recover, the nurses always go through this medication with you when you take your pet home.
It is routine for a nurse to call you 24 hours post-surgery to find out how your pet is getting on and to answer any questions you might have about their recovery. Post-operative checks are usually performed 3 and 10 days post-surgery.