Spaying or Neutering your Dog or Cat

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  • From time to time we have special offers on Neutering, so keep an eye on our Special Offers page on this website. 

In exceptional circumstances, neutering may be delayed or discouraged for behavioural or health reasons. Please consult your Veterinary Surgeon if you feel this may apply to your pet.

Did You Know?

The term 'Neutering' refers to the surgical procedure used to prevent pets from reproducing. Both males and females can be neutered:

  • Female animals: The common name for neutering a female is spaying, which consists of removing the uterus and ovaries. The technical term is ovario-hysterectomy. 
  • Male animals: The common name for neutering a male is castration, which involves the removal of the testicles.

Click HERE to read about the benefits of Spaying and Neutering.

Ages for Neutering

  • Small breeds (less than 10kgs as adult) both male and female can be neutered from 5.5/6 months old

  • Medium breed dogs (10-25kgs) both males and females, 9-12 months old (after first heat)

  • Large breed dogs (26-40kgs) males and females, minimum of 12 months old

  • Giant breeds (41kgs +), minimum of 18-24 months

  • Bitches can be neutered 12 weeks after the first onset of bleeding, and approx 10 weeks after whelping, or when pups are weaned and milk has dried up

  • Cats: both male and female cats can be neutered from 4.5 months of age

  • Rabbits: females 6-9 months

  • Rabbits: males 4.5 months

  • Guinea: males only from 4 months


Ireland has five times more stray dogs than the UK. The chances of a dog becoming a stray and ending up destroyed is 20 times greater for a dog in Ireland than it is for a dog in the UK. There is an overpopulation crises and the ongoing destruction rate of 27 dogs per day in Irish pounds is a result of this crisis. While no official figures exist for numbers of stray or destroyed cats in Ireland, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the country's feline destruction rate is even higher than the canine equivalent.

Reasons for Neutering 

  • Neutering increases your pet's changes for a longer, healthier life - Spaying your female pet reduces her chances of developing mammary cancer and eliminates the threat of uterine and ovarian infections.
  • Neutering your male dog or cat prevents testicular cancer and may prevent prostate problems. Neutered cats are less likely to roam and fight or get killed on the roads.
  • A neutered dog or cat is a better pet - Males neutered early in life are less aggressive towards other dogs and are not distracted by females in heat.
  • Spaying your female pet eliminates the problem of stray males camping in your garden and decreases her desire to roam and breed.
  • Spaying prevents your pet from giving birth to unwanted puppies and kittens. It also stops the messy and difficult twice-annual heat period. You are helping to alleviate the dog and cat overpopulation problems we have in Ireland.

Excuses for Not Neutering

  • "My pet will get fat and lazy"
    Pets that become fat and lazy after being neutered are usually overfed and under exercised.
  • "Shouldn't a female pet have one litter first?"
    Allowing a female dog/cat to produce a litter does not have any benefits. There are health risks to the mother during the pregnancy and when giving birth. Finding good homes for puppies and kittens is not easy. Even if you manage to place your pet's offspring, you are condemning to death the numbers of unwanted animals in shelters and pounds who are in desperate need of good homes.
  • "Spaying and Neutering isn't natural"
    Humans domesticated animals and brought them into our lives. The environment we and our pets live in is very different from the natural one. We have made them dependent on us, which means we are responsible for their well being, just as we are with any other family member.
  • "We can sell the litter and make money"
    Even well known breeders are fortunate if they break even on raising purebred litters. Vaccinations, health care costs and feeding consume most of the profit.
  • "I am concerned about my pet undergoing anaesthesia"
    Although there is always a slight risk involved, anaesthetics used by veterinarians are very safe. The medical benefits of having your pet neutered or spayed far outweigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anaesthesia.

Neutering a Dog

This is a most important subject. Some owners believe it is unfair to deny their pet the opportunity to breed; however, mating is not necessarily advisable for health or happiness.

Every day in Ireland, approximately 27 unwanted and abandoned puppies and dogs have to be put to sleep…..

The average female dog comes on 'heat' twice yearly. This may last for 1 month. During this time, a bitch is ready for mating and pregnancy may result. As well as being messy and inconvenient, she will need to be kept apart from male dogs for the duration to prevent unwanted puppies.

Spaying is now a routine operation, performed under general anaesthetic. It usually involves just a day spent with us, and she will have recovered fully in approximately 2 weeks.

  • A spayed bitch will not come into season again, and so will not become pregnant.
  • Spaying prevents womb infections, which are very serious, and can be life threatening.
  • Spayed bitches are far less likely to develop mammary or breast cancer, which can be life threatening also.
  • After spaying dogs will not put on weight, as long as they are fed sensibly and exercised regularly. 
  • After the neutering procedure, your pet's metabolism will slow down.  Therefore calorie intake needs to be reduced.  It would be advisable to switch to a food specially for neutered dogs.  This applies for both males and females.
  • Contrary to popular belief, neutering has absolutely no affect on a dog's temperament or personality. It is just an old wives tale that a dog needs to have a litter of puppies. 
  • Uncastrated male dog's behaviour can alter greatly when a local bitch is in heat. They will escape at any opportunity, and may cause or be involved in a road traffic accident; get into fights with other dog's, or worst of all, get lost and go missing, possibly forever.
  • Neutering or castrating your dog is another straight forward operation, that usually involves just a day stay with us, and dogs usually make a complete recovery within 2 weeks.
  • As well as making your dog less likely to stray, dog's tend to be less aggressive and less likely to fight, and often more amenable to training.
  • Castrated dogs will not develop testicular cancer, and are far less likely to have prostate trouble or anal tumours.
  • Neutering your dog is not as expensive as you may think…. It is certainly cheaper than the cost of an unplanned pregnancy and raising a litter of pups, or the vet's bill following your dog's road accident.
  • Neutering is the only guaranteed way of preventing unplanned puppies being born, and the needless destruction of thousands of dogs every year. 

What is the Evidence for Health Benefits of Spaying or Neutering?

For female dogs spaying obviously prevents pyometra. Pyometra is when the uterus (womb) fills with pus and the dog develops an infection, which has the potential to be very serious and in some cases life threatening. It occurs mainly in older, unspayed bitches.  Surgery then has to be performed on a sick, older dog which carries a greater risk to the animal.

Aside from pyometra, the effect spaying or neutering has on mammary cancer is the most significant health reason for early spaying of bitches (before their first season).

  • Mammary cancer is the most common type of cancer in the bitch (52% of all tumours)
  • Around 50% of mammary tumours are malignant
  • Spaying a bitch at a young age dramatically reduces the risk of mammary cancer.

Statistics showing the percentage risk of mammary tumours developing in the spayed bitch compared to the intact bitch:

  • Neutered prior to first oestrus: 0.05%
  • Neutered between first & second oestrus: 8%
  • Neutered after second oestrus: 26%
  • Neutered after 2.5 years or 4 oestrus cycles: No effect

Therefore, if a bitch is neutered before her first season, she is 2,000 times less likely to develop mammary cancer than if she is left entire until she is three years of age.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is more likely to occur in bitches that are spayed at any age compared to bitches that are not spayed. However, the majority of cases respond well to simple treatment, and most people agree that this risk is much less serious than the alternative risk of malignant mammary cancer.

Much research has been carried out on the effect of the timing of spaying on urinary incontinence and there are conflicting results. Some reports suggest that incontinence is less likely if bitches are spayed before their first season, while others suggest that the opposite is true.

Male Dogs

Testicular neoplasia is the second most common tumour in the male dog. As well as preventing this, early neutering also prevents prostatic disease (benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatitis/prostatic abscesses, prostatic cysts and paraprostatic cysts). Prostatic hyperplasia starts at 1-2 years of age with 95% of dogs affected by 9 years of age.

Female Cats

Mammary cancer is the third most common form of neoplasm, though with a lower risk than in female dogs.
80% of feline mammary tumours are malignant. Entire cats (unneutered) are seven times more likely to develop mammary cancer than those spayed at puberty.

Male Cats

Neutering reduces fighting behaviour by over 80%, significantly reducing cat bite abscesses, as well as reducing the risk of FIV infection. Neutering males will reduce overpopulation of cats and kittens and also reduces wandering behaviour.

Neutering also significantly reduces male urine marking behaviour.

Book an Appointment

  • Please note this is a surgical procedure, therefore it is not available to book online. If you wish to book in a surgical procedure, please call the practice directly on 01 885 3253 so that we can give you all the necessary information.

  • From time to time we have special offers on Neutering, so keep an eye on our Special Offers page on this website. 

  • For non-surgical procedures: BOOK ONLINE NOW