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Dog, Cat & Rabbit Neutering

Here at Eastcott Vets, we offer a kind and comprehensive Swindon pet neutering service for dogs, cats, and rabbits.

What is pet neutering?

Neutering stops females and males from reproducing. This procedure is performed under general anaesthesia, and your pet would stay with us as a day patient. Neutering has multiple health benefits and enables us to make a better world for pets.

Dog Neutering

In male dogs, both testes are removed; this is known as ‘castration’.

In female dogs, either the uterus is removed or both the uterus and the ovaries; this is known as ‘spaying’.

Spaying a female dog eliminates the ability to reproduce, and your dog will no longer come into season. Females can be neutered from six months of age; for most breeds, we suggest spaying females before they have had a season, known as pre-season. If your dog is older than six months or has already started having seasons, we would need to wait three months after a season to ensure we are operating at the best possible time.

Here at Eastcott Vets, we can also perform a female dog ‘spaying’ procedure via keyhole surgery; your pet would have three small incisions, and females often recover faster from this surgery.

At what age are dogs neutered?

Neutering is usually carried out at around six months of age for males and pre-season for female dogs, reducing the likelihood of females developing mammary cancer. We would also consider your dog’s breed, size, overall behaviour and other risk factors to provide the most suitable recommendation for your dog based on the latest evidence.

Male dogs older than six months can be neutered at any stage; however, we would still consider the dog’s breed, size, overall behaviour and other risk factors upon discussion of the procedure.

If your female dog is not spayed before her first season, we would wait three months after the season.

Dog neutering benefits:

  • Reduces prostatic disease in males
  • Reduces male to male aggression in some cases
  • Eliminates womb infections in females (which can be fatal)
  • Eliminates false pregnancies in females
  • Reduced mammary cancer risk in females spayed pre-season
  • Eliminates testicular cancer in males and ovarian cancer in females
  • Reduces roaming behaviours
  • No risk of unwanted pregnancies
  • Reduces scent marking

Cat Neutering

Cats reach reproductive maturity rapidly; we follow the RSPCA and Cats Protection guidelines recommending neutering both female and male cats around four months of age. Spaying a female cat involves removing their ovaries and uterus. Castrating a male cat involves removing both of their testes.

Cat neutering benefits:

  • Reduces cat to cat fighting
  • Prevention of testicular cancer
  • Reduces roaming behaviours
  • No risk of unwanted pregnancies
  • Reduces spraying

Rabbit Neutering

Rabbits are usually neutered around four months of age. Castration involves removing the testes of a male rabbit, and spaying is the removal of the uterus and ovaries of a female. It is worth noting that sperm can reside in the genital tract for up to six weeks, so it’s best to keep your rabbit away from un-neutered females during this time. Rabbits are extremely social creatures; neutering helps pair or bond rabbits, making them much happier.

Rabbit neutering benefits:

  • Eliminates prostatic and testicular cancer
  • Helps owners to litter train rabbits
  • Reduces aggressive behaviours, especially in males
  • Eliminates womb infections in females
  • Eliminates uterine cancer in females, the commonest cancer in rabbits
  • No risk of unwanted pregnancies
  • Reduces spraying
  • Promotes successful bonding of rabbits

Common questions and procedure information

Should I let my dog/cat/rabbit have one litter before spaying her?

This happens to be a common question, and there are no known health benefits to letting your dog, cat, or rabbit have a litter.

General anaesthesia

Your pet requires a general anaesthetic for neutering; here at Eastcott Vets, we have measures in place to ensure their safety during the procedure. A dedicated Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) will monitor your pet throughout their surgery and recovery.

All anaesthesia comes with some form of risk; however, these are very low, especially neutering, as pets are often young, fit, and healthy when having this procedure. Risk levels of anaesthesia increase with a pet’s age, certain breeds and if your pet has any underlying health conditions, but we can also perform a pre-anaesthetic blood test before your pet’s surgery to detect any underlying illnesses; this can be discussed when booking in for the procedure and on the day of their surgery.

In terms of rabbits, although they are considered ‘high risk’ under anaesthesia, the health benefits alone far outweigh the risks, and over the years, rabbit anaesthesia has become much safer.

Your pet will receive a premedication to relax them and will also receive two types of pain relief.  Rest assured the Eastcott Vets team will be with your pet every step of the way.

Your pet will stay the day with us

On admission, we will discuss the procedure and go through the consent form. Please note we must gain a signature from the registered owner (over 18) or authorised agent on the consent form. Your dog, cat or rabbit will be admitted as a ‘day patient’, and they will be discharged later that day once our team are happy with how your pet has recovered. During your pet’s discharge appointment, the Eastcott team will go through everything you need to know about caring for your pet after their surgery and their pain relief medication. We are always at the end of the telephone for you and your pet, so please contact us if you have any further questions once you have your pet settled back at home.

With cats and rabbits being typically more sensitive than dogs to the change of environment in coming to our practice, please note the following: 

For cats, please bring them in a secure cat basket with a blanket that smells of home. Cats are territorial creatures who prefer to stay in areas familiar to them; click here to read how you can prepare for travelling to us with your cat. 

Here at Eastcott Vets, we hold the ISFM Silver Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation, which means we have everything in place to make your pets' stay with us a pleasant one.

For rabbits, bring them in a secure box or basket with a blanket that smells of home; we advise rabbits are brought along with their companions to reduce the stress of separation between a bonded pair. Bringing your rabbits lunch is also preferable. We require rabbits to eat relatively quickly after a general anaesthetic; having their favourite foods on hand speeds up their recovery time so we can have your rabbit back home with you as soon as possible.

Eastcott Vets' Pet Health For Life plan members can claim a 10% discount off any neutering procedure. Our health club offers preventative healthcare, and you could be saving each year on what you spend on your pet treatment-wise. To find out more, click here.

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Eastcott Vets

Edison Park Clinic & Hospital, Hindle Way, Dorcan Way, Swindon, SN3 3FR

(You may need to use SN3 3RB for sat nav)

Tel: 01793 528341

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Eastcott Vets

Bath Road Clinic, 59 Bath Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 4AU

Tel: 01793 528341

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Eastcott Vets

Cricklade Road Clinic, 6 Clive Parade, Swindon, SN2 1AJ

Tel: 01793 528341

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