Pembrokeshire SA61 1BN
Neutering means removing the possibility of your pet reproducing. For female animals this is called spaying and for males it is called castration. This not only helps reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens, but can have serious health benefits too.
Both procedures involve surgery. In females the uterus and/or the ovaries are removed, whilst in males both testicles are removed. This takes away the sexual hormones from the body. Neutering can be done from 6 months of age.
Entire males are more likely to roam or run off as their hormones drive them to look for a female in heat. This can increase their risk of injury; for example from road traffic accidents. Castration can help reduce unwanted hormonally driven behaviours such as mounting, roaming and aggression.
Bitches can come into season every 6 months from around 9 months of age (this varies between individuals). Signs include: swelling of the vulva, bleeding/discharge from the vulva, lethargy and increased drinking and urination. A season can last up to month, typically a bitch will have 2 weeks of discharging from the vulva, followed by a further 2 weeks where she is still fertile and vulnerable to getting caught by an unwanted male.
Female cats (Queens) are seasonal breeders and will continually cycle through the spring and summer months. For a queen who is not getting pregnant this means she will come into heat approximately every 2 weeks. Signs include vocalising 24 hours a day and rolling around on the ground.
Spaying female pets not only eliminates the hassle of a season, it also reduces the risk of mammary tumours and uterine infections. The best time to spay is 3 months after a season. This is when the uterus and blood vessels are at their smallest, making surgery safer.
Mammary tumours are less common in queens than bitches. 50% of mammary tumours are malignant (aggressive) in bitches, while in cats this increases to 90%. Spaying early can reduce the risk of these developing.
Uterine infections (pyometra) are very common in bitches and can been seen in queens also. These are often seen approximately 6-8 weeks post season. Signs include increased drinking and urination, some cases have pus discharging from their vulva and some, in the worst case scenario can present in toxic shock. Treatment for a pyometra is to spay your pet however as the uterus is distended with infection this surgery is a lot riskier. It involves making sure your pet is stable prior to surgery. For more information on pyometras please see our previous article. (Link to pyometra post)
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