Why Spay or Neuter your pet?
Spaying and neutering should be the natural choice for most pet owners. Apart from population control, there is evidence that early neutering is often better for the individual animal. There is an average of 15 dogs per day destroyed in Irish pounds. We have no official figures for cats but anecdotal evidence suggests the the country’s feline destruction rate is even higher than the canine equivalent. It is for these reasons that you will see vets and animal welfare organisations reccomend neutering for your pet.
When to do it?
In our clinics we recommend the following:
Both male and female cats should be neutered at 4-6 months of age
Both male and female dogs should be neutered/spayed at 5-6 months of age.
What is the evidence for health benefits of early neutering
Itis nearly always better to spay a bitch before her first season. This eliminates the risk of unwanted pregnancy and dramatically reduces the risk of mammary cancer. There is an increased risk of urinary incontinence in bitches that are spayed at any age however the majority of these dogs respond to simple treatment. Most vets would agree that this risk is much less serious than the alternative risk of malignant mammary cancer. Female cats can have up to 4 litters per year and are at increased risk of infections.
Castration eliminates the risk of testicular cancer – the second most common cancer in male dogs. Castration reduces the incidence of other non-cancerous conditions of the mature prostate. Castration drmatically reduces the risk of tumours of the perineum such as perianal adenoma. In male cats castration dramatically reduces incidences of fighting and therefore contraction of infections such as FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) and FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus).
Is there any evidence of any adverse effects of spaying and neutering in dogs?
There is an increased risk of weight gain in neutered and spayed animals. As with all animals this can be avoided by a sensible diet. There are increased risks of urinary incontinence in female dogs but this is easily treated. Male dogs have an increased risk of certain types of prostatic tumours but the overall incidence is very low. Anaesthetic risk is always a consideration, modern anaesthetics used in our clinics are very safe and complications are extremely unusual.
What does it cost?
Cost of neutering/ spaying varies between dogs and cats and also between male and female animals. Prices range from €76 to €225 depending on whether you have a dog/cat, weight and sex. Please phone your nearest clinic for an accurate quote.