Here at Sandhole Vets, we recommend neutering all dogs, cats and rabbits routinely. There are already huge numbers of unwanted pets in the UK, and by removing the risk of unwanted pregnancies, responsible pet owners can avoid creating more homeless pets.
If you have a pet in the Snodland, Sandhole region, you can register and book your pet's neutering, spaying, or castration procedure with us online, or by calling or speaking directly with our Sandhole Vets practice.
What is Pet Neutering?
Pet neutering is a surgical procedure - performed most commonly on dogs, cats and rabbits under general anaesthesia - to remove part or all of an animal’s reproductive organs, preventing them from reproducing. In males, it is called castration and in females, spaying. We know that neutering provides significant benefits for you and your pet, and is directly associated with helping pets to live happier, healthier lives.
For male dogs, we generally recommend castration from the age of six months (older in large breed dogs), although at Sandhole Vets, we undertake a full behavioural assessment before neutering - some less confident dogs may need their testosterone a little longer!
Castration brings a number of benefits:
- Reducing the risk of prostate cancer
- Removing many behavioural problems
- Preventing the likelihood of straying
- Preventing unwanted litters
For females, we generally recommend dog spaying before their first season, at approximately six months old.
Spaying brings a number of benefits:
- Preventing uterine and ovarian cancers
- Removing the risk of pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus
- Preventing unwanted pregnancies and messy seasons
In line with the latest policy statement from the Cat Group, at Sandhole Vets, we recommend 'early' neutering, undertaken from four months of age.
Neutering brings a number of benefits, and is important to do before your cat is capable of reproducing:
- Less likelihood of roaming and fighting
- Prevention of infections and cancers
- Reducing the spread of infectious diseases such as feline aids
Neutered rabbits of both sexes enjoy improved health and happiness, and we recommend this be carried out from four months of age. Un-neutered rabbits would have to live alone, which isn't fair on an animal that needs company.
Neutering brings a number of benefits, and is important to do before your rabbit is capable of reproducing:
- Preventing accidental pregnancies
- Reducing aggression, both towards other rabbits and humans
- Preventing uterine cancers, very common in rabbits
Your pet requires a general anaesthetic for neutering; here at Sandhole Vets, we have measures in place to ensure their safety during the procedure. A dedicated Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) will monitor your pet throughout their surgery and recovery. All anaesthesia comes with some form of risk; however, these are very low, especially neutering, as pets are often young, fit, and healthy when having this procedure. Risk levels of anaesthesia increase with a pet’s age, certain breeds and if your pet has any underlying health conditions. We can perform a pre-anaesthetic blood test before your pet’s surgery to detect any underlying illnesses; this can be discussed when booking in for the procedure and on the day of their surgery. Your pet will receive a premedication to relax them and will also receive two types of pain relief. Rest assured, the Sandhole team will be with your pet every step of the way.
We will always make recommendations based on the individual animal, and in full consultation with you - please do speak with any of the team if you have any questions or concerns about neutering your pet.
Your pet will stay the day with us
On admission, we will discuss the procedure and go through the consent form. Please note we must gain a signature from the registered owner (over 18) or authorised agent on the consent form. Your dog, cat or rabbit will be admitted as a ‘day patient’, and they will be discharged later that day once our team are happy with how your pet has recovered. During your pet’s discharge appointment, the team will go through everything you need to know about caring for your pet after their neutering surgery and their pain relief medication. We are always at the end of the telephone for you and your pet, so please contact us if you have any further questions once you have your pet settled back at home.
With cats and rabbits being typically more sensitive than dogs to the change of environment in coming to our practice, please note the following:
For cats, please bring them in a secure cat basket with a blanket that smells of home. Cats are territorial creatures who prefer to stay in areas familiar to them; click here to read how you can prepare for travelling to us with your cat.
For rabbits, bring them in a secure box or basket with a blanket that smells of home; we advise rabbits are brought along with their companions to reduce the stress of separation between a bonded pair. Bringing your rabbits lunch is also preferable. We require rabbits to eat relatively quickly after a general anaesthetic; having their favourite foods on hand speeds up their recovery time so we can have your rabbit back home with you as soon as possible.
Here at Sandhole Vets, we hold the ISFM Silver accreditation for being 'cat-friendly', as well as RWAF's 'rabbit Friendly vet' standard, which means our practice has everything in place to help your pet have a positive experience with us.
Another benefit is that our Pet Health Plan members can claim a discount off any neutering procedure. Our plan offers preventative healthcare, and you could be saving each year on what you spend on your pet treatment-wise. Find out more here.