Neutering your pet is one of most important decisions you will make for your pet. It comes with many health benefits and helps them live longer, happier lives and helps your male companions stay closer to home.
From working in veterinary, I always find that people generally have the same questions about spaying/neutering their pet whether it be how long the procedure takes or how risky it is to put their animal under anaesthetic. This article will answer all the main questions/concerns owners usually have.
- How old should I neuter my pet and why?
Spaying and castrating animals under the age of six months is better for them as they have a shorter recovery time and in females it reduces the chance of getting mammary tumours.
- Is putting my animal under anaesthetic risky?
Throughout the whole anaesthetic process there is a Veterinary Nurse monitoring your pet’s anaesthetic. They will alert the vet if they think that there are any changes in vitals such as heart rate, breathing rate, gum colour and blood pressure in older pets.
- Is there a great deal of aftercare involved for my pet?
When your pet is being discharged a nurse will go through all the aftercare for your pet. All the instructions are simple. The main instruction is to pay close attention to your pets wound. Make sure the wound is not swelling or there is no discharge. You will also be advised to feed your pet a bland diet after the surgery as they may have a sensitive stomach after the anaesthetic. An example of a diet to feed your pet after the surgery is some boiled chicken and rice or if your cat prefers fish you can give them some cooked white fish.
- Will my dog be able to walk after the surgery?
Many people also ask will my pet be able to walk after the surgery. Your pet will certainly be able to walk to the car, but it is not advisable to walk your pet home after the surgeries.
Unfortunately for your pet they won’t be allowed to have any free runs in the park with their friends for the first 10 days after the surgery. Only short lead walks. This will ensure that your pet doesn’t tear their stitches.
- Does my pet have to wear a “cone of shame”?
It is best that your pet wears a buster collar as this protects them from licking at the wound and causing infection. They also have the option to wear a pet t shirt. Which is exactly how it sounds. A t shirt for your pet! The Pet T Shirt will cover their wound and stop them from licking it but it will take away the uncomfortable feeling of the plastic cone.
- Should I wait for my dog to have her first heat?
No there is a lot of medical evidence that it is better for your dog/cat to be spayed before their first heat. It reduces the risk of developing mammary tumours and eliminates the risk of getting them getting a pyometra.
- Is it painful?
Modern veterinary medicine means that your pet will feel very little to no pain because of a well monitored anaesthetic and pain relief. Your pet will go home with pain medication and a nurse will explain to you how to give this medication on discharge.
- Will it change my pets behaviour?
There is no guarantee that neutering your pet will change its behaviour. Yes removing testicles from male animals reduces testosterone which reduces aggression but there is still no guarantee that this will fix the aggressive behaviour.
Written by Maire – RVN