Should I Neuter My Dog?
The decision to spay or neuter your dog is very important, and it could be the best decision you make for their long-term welfare. At Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital we believe neutering is financially sensible and the most responsible action to take if you don’t intend to breed from your dog.
Not only does neutering avoid unwanted litters (they can be a handful to say the least), the straightforward procedure can also prevent certain illnesses and behaviour.
We recommend that bitches are spayed at five and a half to six months of age, prior to their first season. At this age, spaying hugely decreases the risk of future development of mammary tumours. If they have already had a season, we would recommend that they are spayed three to four months after the season.
Unneutered bitches are at increased risk of mammary tumours, and may go on to develop pyometra, a potentially fatal uterine infection.
We are thrilled to now offer ‘lap spays’, also known as ‘keyhole spay’ or ‘keyhole neutering’ for bitches. Lap spays are becoming increasingly popular, as the advantages over a traditional spay procedure become better understood.
Why choose a lap spay over a traditional spay procedure?
A traditional spay procedure is technically called an “open ovariohysterectomy”. In this procedure, an incision is made along the bitch’s midline, usually 8-20cm in length (depending on her size). The Veterinary Surgeon will then remove the uterus and both ovaries, before the muscle and skin layers are stitched together.
During a lap spay, instead of one large incision, there will be 2 very small incisions around half a centimetre across. Your Vet will use one of these to pass a camera through so they are able to see to complete the procedure, and the other for the special laparoscopic instruments. Using these, the ovaries are removed and the uterus is left in place. The small incisions are then closed and due to their size, usually only need a single internal stitch on each.
– Due to the smaller wounds, there is a significantly lower chance of infection
– Your pet will also experience less pain due to the small incision sizes and ‘neater’ surgery
– As a lap spay requires a less invasive procedure, your pet’s recovery will be quicker
Are there any disadvantages?
There are no disadvantages of a lap spay compared to a traditional spay, other than it will take a little longer and generally due to the specialist equipment and training required, tends to be a little more expensive.
Male dogs are best castrated between six and nine months of age, depending on breed. After this age they can be castrated at any age. Unneutered males are at greater risk of developing prostatic disease and anal tumours, as well as testicular tumours, and as such, we recommend castration of all male dogs not intended for breeding purposes.
If you would like to book your dog in for a neutering procedure, please contact Stanhope Park Veterinary Hospital on 01325 380111.