• Settle Surgery

    Station Road
    Settle BD24 9AA

  • Bentham Branch Clinic

    Main Street
    High Bentham LA2 7LE

  • Gisburn Farm Office

    BB7 4ES

T: 01729 823 538

E: info@daleheadvetgroup.co.uk

RCVS Accredited

Neutering your Dog

If you do not wish to breed from your dog then we recommend that you consider neutering. 


Male dogs can be castrated from 6 months old. Castration reduces unwanted sexual behaviour, the tendency for your dog to roam, and can sometimes reduce aggressive behaviour towards other dogs and people. Health benefits include reduction of the chances of prostate problems and elimination of the development of testicular cancer (both not uncommon in older uncastrated males). The surgery is a quick, routine procedure involving the removal of both testicles. Please ask for more information.


Statistically, bitches that are spayed live longer and have fewer health problems. The reasons for having your bitch spayed include:

  • Mammary tumours: The risk of your bitch developing breast cancer increases dramatically with every successive season. Having your bitch spayed at 6 months, before her first season, will almost eliminate the risk of breast cancer. Spaying 3 months after the first season also significantly reduces the mammary gland tumour risk, with less benefit after subsequent heats. Risk of developing tumours of the reproductive and genital tracts will also be either greatly reduced or eliminated by spaying.
  • Pyometra: This is a potentially fatal infection of the womb, which in its mild form causes lethargy, and in its severe form can lead to death. It is estimated that about 50% of entire females will develop pyometra.
  • Unwanted puppies: Even the most careful of owners can end up with an unwanted pregnancy. If the bitch is caught by a dog then contraceptive (misalliance) injections can be given after the unplanned mating to help reduce the chance of conception. However these injections are expensive and can have unpleasant side effects including pyometra. 
  • False pregnancy: This is where the bitch goes through all the usual symptoms of being pregnant, including making beds and producing milk, without having been mated or being truly pregnant. 
  • Inconvenience: Some bitches have a very heavy discharge when on heat, are more inclined to roam, and will attract a lot of attention from male dogs. Entire females need to be kept on the lead while exercised during their seasons in order to avoid an unwanted mating.

The operation to spay your bitch is called an ovario-hysterectomy. This procedure involves removing the womb and both ovaries. Normally bitches come into our Settle surgery on the morning of the operation and return back home that afternoon. As with any surgical procedure there is a small risk to your bitch, but this risk is very low especially in young healthy animals and is by far outweighed by the much greater risk should the same surgery be required later in life, for example due to the development of a life threatening pyometra.

The operation is best carried out either at 6 months of age, or 3 months after a season. Each of these timings carries benefits – please ask for advice to suit your individual pet from the vet.

In all neutered animals, male and female, metabolism can become reduced, and so even with the same amount of food and exercise as before, they may be inclined to gain weight. For this reason it is important to reduce your pet’s food intake according to its need after neutering. Please don’t hesitate to ask for advice on diet and/or weight management for your pet – it is an important part of your pet's health and we are here and happy to help.

telephone (01729) 823538    fax (01729) 825171    email info@daleheadvetgroup.co.uk

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