Routine Neuter Operations

The information here covers:

  • Preoperative procedures
  • Admission procedures
  • Contacting the in patient nurse to check progress and arrange collection
  • All about Dog Neutering

Preoperative arrangements

Making your appointment

For routine neutering, Please try to ring at least a week in advance to organise your pet's operation.

Pre-anaesthetic preparationnil by mouth

  • Dogs should be starved from at least midnight on the night prior to an anaesthetic.
  • They should be allowed access to drinking water up to morning.
  • Dogs should be walked or given the opportunity to pass urine and faeces prior to coming to the surgery, but shouldn’t be allowed to get excessively wet or dirty.

On the day

  • A vet or qualified nurse will admit your pet.
  • They will need to ask a few of the following questions:
  • Is your in good health and a suitable age?
  • Is it the sex that has been booked in?
  • Have they been starved?
  • Are they fully vaccinated?
  • Are they microchipped yet? (if not would you like this doing whilst your pet is asleep?)
  • There will be a health and weight check.
  • You will be offered a pre-anaesthetic blood test for your pet.
  • You will be asked to complete a consent form giving us a number we can contact you on if necessary during the day.
  • You will be given a direct telephone number for our inpatient nurses, enabling you to contact them easily later in the day to check progress and arrange collection of your pet.

operation dogBitch Spay

Your dog should generally be aged 6 months or older.


It is not necessary for your dog to have had a season before being spayed. Equally it is not ‘a good idea’ to have a litter of pups unless you are experienced with breeding dogs. It is an easier and quicker operation for your dog if spayed at 6-months of age, before the first season.


  • Please let the vet/nurse know if your dog has had a season and when the last one was seen.
  • Ideally we will wait 3 months following a season to spay a dog as there are increased surgical and hormonal risks if spayed too soon after a season.

Why spay a bitch?

  • Spaying significantly reduces the risk of mammary tumours if performed before the first or second season. 1:2000 develop mammary tumours if spayed before first season compared to 1:4 if spayed after the second.
  • Prevention of future uterine problems such as life threatening infections of the uterus.
  • Prevents unwanted pregnancy, false pregnancies and the hassle of seasons.

Potential side effects / complications of spaying

  • Anaesthetic/surgical risks (very low in healthy animals).
  • Spayed dogs have a lower metabolism so need to be fed 10-15% less to prevent obesity - also saving you money on dog food!
  • No proven link but may be a factor in urinary incontinence in old age. However if this were to occur it can be easily controlled by medication.
  • Transient false pregnancy can occur in some bitches shortly after spaying, especially in older bitches. This is more likely if spayed within 3 months of a season. It is easily treated.

Post operation care

  • On the night you get home, offer her water and bland food such as chicken or one of our special canned diets. Dogs are sometimes sick with more complex food after an operation.

    sore dog

  • Keep her on the lead for 7 days following the operation, lifting her into the car and preventing her from climbing steps.
  • Check the wound daily for any signs of discomfort or infection.


Dog Castration

We routinely castrate from 5-6 months of age.

Why Castrate a dog?



  • Castrated dogs are less likely to develop signs of hypersexuality, such as mounting other dogs, people's legs etc.
  • Less chance of inter-male aggression.
  • Less chance of dominance related behavioural problems.
  • Less chance of wandering and escape in the hunt for bitches.
  • Reduced desire to urine mark.

N.B. In dogs castrated over 2 years of age, there is less chance of improving hormonally driven bevavioural problems by the procedure.

Health Benefits

  • Precludes the development of testicular tumours.
  • Reduces development of prostatic disease, perineal hernias and certain peri-anal growths.

Possible side effects / disadvantages of castrating dogs

  • Anaesthetic/surgical risks (these are very low in healthy animals).
  • Castrated dogs have a lower metabolism so need to be fed 10-15% less to prevent obesity - also saving you money on dog food!
  • Not all male dogs develop hypersexuality behavioural problems and can lead normal happy lives if left entire. Generally there is no disadvantage to waiting until the dog is a little older to decide whether to castrate i.e. doesn’t have to be done at 6 months.


Join our Health Club to save 20% on the cost of neutering.

Holly House Health Club Emergency service 

Holly House Veterinary Hospital, 468 Street Lane, Moortown, Leeds  LS17 6HA

Holly House Veterinary Clinic, Unit C, Moor Allerton Centre, King Lane, Leeds LS17 5NY

t. 0113 2369030

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