Contact Us:   Purleigh | Maldon | Burnham | Totham

Pet Neutering 

Pet Neutering

Females are spayed (removal of the uterus and the ovaries) whilst males are castrated (removal of the testicles). It should always be considered if your pet is being kept solely as a pet. All neutering procedures are done under general anaesthesia.

The advantages of spaying a bitch include:

1. She will no longer exhibit seasons (heat) and will therefore generally not be attractive to male dogs at certain times through the year. This avoids the bleeding associated with seasons.
2. A reduction in mammary (breast) cancer. The degree in reduction depends on when
she is spayed – recent figures have shown that a bitch spayed before her first season has a 0.5% chance of developing mammary cancer through her life, whilst a bitch spayed between her first and second season increases to 8% and a bitch spayed between her second and third season is 26%.
3. She cannot develop pyometra, a serious life-threatening bacterial infection of the uterus
4. Cessation of false pregnancies. This condition may occur in certain bitches 6-8 weeks after a season where they develop mammary gland enlargement and milk production. This can cause transient behavioural problems.

The disadvantages are:

1. Weight gain – generally food must be reduced by 25% to avoid this problem.
2. Certain breeds, such as spaniels and setters, may develop a fluffy coat and lose their sleek appearance.
3. Urinary incontinence may be seen in a small percentage of bitches as they get older. Certain breeds seem predisposed to this problem. This is treatable.

Edgewood advises spaying either before any seasons or in certain circumstances, between the first and second seasons. If your bitch is an adult, then wait until 3-4 months after her season before having her spayed. We do not spay a bitch if she has a false pregnancy and would advise medical treatment to resolve this problem.

The advantages of castrating male dogs include:

1. Removal or reduction in male behaviour, such as mounting objects or people, running away, fighting with other dogs and inappropriate urination (i.e. urinating in the house).
2. Reduced chances of developing anal tumours, called anal adenomas.
3. Benign prostatic enlargement is reduced or eliminated by castration. Prostatic enlargement can cause problems with passing of faeces and/ or urine.
The disadvantages of castrating males dogs includes weight gain if their food is not managed appropriately post-castration (i.e. reduction if food) and possible development of a fluffy coat in certain breeds.

We advise castration from 6 months of age but can be done at any age.



CATS – the advantages are:

1. Cat population control. A queen (female) can have up to 3 litters a year which leads to a large number of unwanted kittens.
2. Reduction in nuisance factor – entire females will cycle approximately every 2 weeks from January until the autumn which will result in increased male cat attendance with subsequent spraying, fighting and caterwauling.
3. Elimination of the chance of pyometra (infection of the uterus)
4. Reduction in chances of contracting Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
5. Reduction in male cat aggression towards other cats and their owners
6. Reduction in cats wandering over wide areas with a reduction in the risk of road traffic accidents
Edgewood advises neutering of cats from 5 months of age. There is no evidence to show that neutering earlier than six months (and as early as seven weeks) has negative developmental or behavioural consequences. The perceived increased risks of surgery/anaesthesia are now considerably reduced by published information on improved techniques and agents. For further information see


RABBITS – the advantages include:


1. Does (female rabbits) benefit from spaying because of the high risk of uterine cancer in entire animals.
2. It prevents the doe becoming broody in the spring and summer and having false pregnancies.
3. Reduces aggression in does and bucks (males)
We advise neutering in rabbits from the age of 4 months.
OTHER PETS – we neuter guinea-pigs and other small rodents and perform vasectomies on ferrets. Please enquire at the Purleigh surgery for further details

Purleigh Surgery Map Purleigh Surgery Information Maldon Surgery Map Maldon Surgery Location Burnham Surgery Map Burnham Surgery Information Little Totham Surgery Map Little Totham Surgery Information Home Delivery Service Home Visits Service Book An Appointment Recommend A Friend Follow Us On Twitter Find Us On Facebook Visit Edgewood Vets On Google+ Edgewood Vets Pet Health Club Edgewood Vets On Instagram