We recommend that all dogs and bitches are neutered at a young age unless they are to be used for breeding purposes.  The pros and cons are listed below so that you can make an informed decision when the time comes:


Dogs - castration


No risk of testicular tumours


Less risk of prostate disease


May reduce aggressive behaviour towards other dogs


May reduce inappropriate behaviours

(marking in house, leg mounting etc)

Neutered dogs are more prone to obesity


Surgery and full anaesthetic carry minor risk


No risk of testicular tumours

Less risk of prostate disease and prostate cancer

May reduce aggression towards other dogs

Less inappropriate behaviour (leg mounting, etc...)

Less chance of wandering/straying

 Bitches - Spaying


99.5% less likely to develop mammary tumours if spayed before first season


No more seasons/risk of unwanted pregnancies


No risk of pyometra*


No risk of uterine tumours


No phantom pregnancies

Possible link between spaying at young age and incontinence in later life


Spayed bitches are more prone to obesity


Surgery and full anaesthetic carry minor risk

*Pyometra is an infection of the uterus and usually occurs in middle aged to older bitches.  It is a very serious medical emergency and the best treatment is immediate surgery to remove the infected uterus.  By the time they are picked up, bitches are often very sick, so the risks of surgery are high.



The decision on when to neuter your pet should be made on the advice of your vet.  Dogs can usually be castrated at around 6 months depending on when the testicles descend.

Another possible complication of spaying after the first season is that bitches may sometimes go into a pseudopregnancy (or "phantom pregnancy").  During pseudopregnancy, bitches may show nesting behaviour, changes in temperament and will often start to produce milk and develop swollen nipples. If your bitch has a pseudopregnancy, we cannot go ahead with spaying until all of the milk has dried up from the teats. There are medications available to speed up this process so that the spay may be completed before the next season.

The timing of spaying is a contentious issue which has strong arguments on both sides. If a bitch is spayed before her first season, she is 99.5% less likely to develop mammary tumours than an entire bitch but the incidence of incontinence in bitches spayed at this age is thought to be higher.  On the other hand, bitches who are allowed to have their first season are 95% less likely to develop mammary tumours but are less likely to become incontinent. They also obviously run the risk of getting pregnant at their first season.

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