Why should pets be neutered?

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It may surprise you, but in my day-to-day life as a vet, I am asked the ‘neutering’ question many times daily. There’s so much advice out there that opinion varies, and you can get a very different answer depending on whether you ask Google, your neighbour, or the vet.

So here’s the advice from a vet’s point of view.

Having your pets neutered means you avoid litters of unwanted puppies and kittens; however, this is not the only reason. There are plenty of health benefits to neutering your pets.

Benefits for dogs

Female dogs (bitches) should, where possible, be neutered at 6 months of age, or 3 months after their first season. This eliminates the chance of pregnancy, and also greatly reduces their chance of getting breast cancer in later life, together with eliminating the risk of them becoming ill with a life threatening condition called pyometra (infected womb).

Neutering male dogs (from 6 months of age) will eliminate the risk of testicular cancer, and greatly reduce their chance of suffering from prostate disease in later life. It should also help to reduce their wandering and, if done early, can reduce sexual behaviour.

Benefits for cats

Neutering cats is very important. A breeding queen can have three or more litters per year if not neutered, and males can smell a female in season for miles! People often report six or more tomcats hanging around every three weeks, which poses a real nuisance. Tomcats will soon lose interest if the female isn’t flirting from the other side of the patio doors!

Neutering will stop females coming into season, will stop them getting pregnant, and will stop them flirting. Most of these toms have owners – and, if that’s you, neutering them will not only help to reduce their wandering, but will reduce the nuisance they cause for others in the area. We can’t promise anything, but it should also reduce their notorious tomcat smell.

Pick up the phone and have a chat with your local vet for more advice. Throughout January, Severn Edge Vets are offering 20% off our Neutering prices.

– Jeremy Hall BVMS MRCVS. Severn Edge Vets, Bridgnorth.

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