Neutering is a surgical procedure, undertaken to prevent both female and male dogs from reproducing. In males (dogs) the testicles are removed – this is the main source of the hormone testosterone, so levels of this hormone fall after the surgery. In females (bitches) the ovaries and the womb (uterus) are removed as standard – this means that your dog will no longer be able to fall pregnant, and will also not have any seasons.
At some of our clinics bitch spays can also be done via key-hole surgery – this involves making three small incisions and removing just the ovaries in a camera-guided procedure. There is no evidence of any increased risk in this method and, in fact, as the incisions are very small many dogs recover faster from a key-hole approach.
In all cases, neutering involves a general anaesthetic. Your dog will come into the clinic in the morning, stay for the day to have the operation, and in most cases will be reunited with you the same day. Although all surgical procedures come with some risk, neutering is the most common procedure undertaken at our vet clinics, and the techniques are very safe.