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Find out about neutering your pet

Should I neuter my pet?

It is natural to be a little apprehensive about neutering as it’s a big decision in your pet’s life. We fully understand our clients' concerns when it comes to making sure they are acting responsibly but also taking good care of their pet.

If you are not planning on breeding your pet, then we would recommend you talk to your vet and consider neutering. Animal shelters across the country are struggling to cope with unwanted pets that are often the result of accidental or poorly planned breeding.

A big concern for pet owners is how neutering will affect their pet and if the procedure will have any lasting side effects.

Thankfully, with modern anaesthetics, recovery times are very quick and it is generally considered a morning procedure – in the vast majority of cases, patients walk out the door of the vet clinic with their owners at 3:00pm.

The days of dogs staying over night or a cat remaining at the vet for two days are a thing of the past, thankfully.

When should I get my pet neutered?   

At Ark Vetcare we recommend kittens are neutered at around 5 ½ – 6 months of age.

Small dogs i.e. less than 20kgs (Yorkshire Terrier, Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, Maltese etc.) would be neutered at 6 months.

Larger dogs (Labrador, Husky etc.) and giant breeds are neutered when they are around 1 year old.

I am concerned about the anaesthetics being used, should I be?

As with any procedure there is a small risk involved but it is very minimal with neutering. The anaesthetic agents used in Ark Vetcare hospitals are the exact same as a human would use if they visited St. Vincent’s Hospital for a procedure. Therefore, you should have full confidence in the safety protocol of the anaesthetics being used.

A highly experienced veterinary team

Each of our veterinary hospitals have surgeons with decades of surgical experience. Like everything in life, the more you do of something, the better you become. An experienced surgeon is a huge factor in ensuring a smooth neutering procedure.

Learn more about our teams of vets

How long is the recovery time after neutering?

Pet owners often wonder how long their pet will be in recovery after a neutering procedure. Generally, male cats and dogs are quite frisky, up and about and moving freely within 24 hours without any problems.

For female cats and female dogs, the recovery time is slightly longer at 48 hours. At this point they will be moving freely as if nothing ever happened.

Your vet should complete a post-operative check-up approximately 10 days after surgery for female cats and for male and female dogs. At which time the stitches will be removed. With male cats the stitching is internal and there is no need to remove them. They generally recover so well there is no need to bring them back to the clinic for a check-up.

The post-operative plan will include pain relief as standard.

What advice do you give to first time pet owners?

First of all, it’s totally natural to be anxious, but let the experience of our team and the safety profile of our anaesthetics help ease those concerns.

When you are planning neutering, it is best to do it practically – for example, you won’t want to be going on holidays three days after the procedure. Also try and pick a time when the household is quiet, and you are around to keep an eye on them.

Apart from providing your pet with extra hugs and kisses after their operation you should also keep an extra eye on them to ensure they are getting back to normal. Some pets might go a little quiet in the evening on the first day, but they should be back to their best by the following morning.

Should a female dog come into heat it is recommended that the neutering procedure be delayed until two months after her heat. Female dogs come into heat on average every 6-8 months, starting at 6-8 months old.

You will need to ensure they don’t lick at the surgical site. We can provide a ‘lampshade’ collar to help stop your pet licking at the area if necessary. It is okay to take your dog for a walk, but it is advisable to keep them on lead and away from muddy places to keep the area clean until at least 10 days after the operation or as advised by your vet.

With cats, your vet will recommend a length of time to keep them indoors.

Weight gain post-neutering

Neutering has minimal effect on metabolism however there can be some weight gain if there is not a robust diet and exercise regime in place. This is something our vets will discuss with you at the time.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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