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We offer neutering of puppies and kittens before the age of 16 weeks. Early neutering means shorter anaesthetic times, quicker recovery from anaesthetic and shorter healing times than neutering done after 16 weeks of age.This means we can offer this surgery at much lower prices than neutering done at a later age. Neutering of pets older than 16 weeks is also available. See our neutering FAQs below.

What is laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is the term given to examination and surgery of the abdomen using a camera (endoscope), rather than making a large incision.  This involves inflating the abdomen with carbon dioxide, and introducing a camera and instruments through small ports in the skin (“keyhole surgery”).  This has a number of advantages over conventional surgery in appropriate procedures – smaller incisions, reduced pain after surgery meaning a more comfortable patient, fewer stitches and a quicker recovery.

Ovariectomy (Laparoscopic spay)
We can now offer keyhole spay surgery in female dogs.  The procedure can be performed instead of a conventional spay surgery.  It involves making 2-3 small incisions, and usually the patient is discharged the same day.  The procedure involves removal of the ovaries (conventional spay also removes the uterus, although this is shown not to improve rates of incontinence or infection compared to only removing the ovaries).  The keyhole spay is quicker and less painful than conventional spay, with a faster recovery.  As with humans, we do ask for permission to convert the keyhole procedure to an open one in the unlikely case of complications and we prepare for this eventuality, so the shaved area on your pet may be as large, even if the incisions are small.  Please bring your pet starved from midnight the previous night as for normal surgical procedures (they may have free access to water until admission).  You will have an admit consultation with the surgeon to discuss all aspects of the procedure and answer any queries you may have.  Due to the higher level of surgical training and advanced equipment required, the cost of laparoscopic neutering is higher than the conventional method.  This service costs £400 per animal.  Please ask your vet if you are interested in this procedure, or call the practice on 01604 628685 if you have any other questions.

Could it harm my pet to be neutered before 16 weeks of age?
This form of neutering has been practiced in the United States for many years and researchers in numerous Universities have followed the long term progress of animals neutered in this way. Their findings showed that there were no contraindications for neutering animals earlier than the traditional age limit of 24 weeks onwards and in fact with shorter surgery times and shorter anaesthetic times, the incidence of peri-operative complications is low. Pets only need to be starved for 2-4 hours prior to surgery and anaesthetic recovery and healing are shorter than in adults. (1)

Could my pet have stunted growth because of early neutering?
The theory that pediatric neutering may result in stunted growth has proved to be unfounded in dogs.The long bones of dogs that undergo pediatric neutering are in fact very slightly longer than those of animals neutered after 6 months of age, as the removal of hormonal influence causes a delay in closure of growth plates; however, the growth is not disproportionate, and the curve is the same.There do not appear to be any clinical problems caused by the delayed closure of growth plates. (2)

Could my pet become obese because of early neutering?
Obesity has many causes and there seems to be no direct association with the age at which an animal is spayed or neutered. A long-term study conducted by researchers at Cornell University followed 1,842 dogs that underwent neutering and were adopted from a shelter before 1 year of age and followed for up to 11 years. The results in fact showed a decrease in obesity for male and female dogs that had early-age neutering (2).

Will my pet develop hip problems because of early neutering?
Some veterinary surgeons have suggested that the incidence of hip dysplasia is higher in animals neutered earlier than 16 weeks. A study at Texas A&M University showed no increase in hip dysplasia, (4) while a study at Cornell University showed a slight increase in incidence (2) so there is no clear answer to this, however the Cornell study also showed that dogs sterilized at a traditional age were three times more likely to be euthanized because of hip dysplasia. (2)

If female dogs are neutered early are they more likely to suffer from perivulvular dermatitis?
Perivulvar dermatitis has been documented in intact and spayed female dogs. The age at the time of neutering appears to have no significant influence on the incidence(3). This condition is related to a recessed vulva and is made worse by obesity.
What about puppy vaginitis, is this likely to be seen more with early neutering?The incidence of puppy vaginitis is the same regardless of the age of the dog at the time of neutering(2).

Will my male kitten be more likely to get urinary obstruction if he is neutered young?
The suspicion that paediatric castration would decrease the diameter of the penile urethra in cats and, thus, lead to urinary obstruction has proved to be unfounded. In fact diameter of the penile urethra in an adult male cat does not vary between animals neutered at 7 weeks or at 7 months of age or from intact males.

I have a female puppy, will she be more likely to suffer from incontinence if she is neutered younger than 16 weeks of age?
Studies have shown differing conclusions with respect to estrogen-responsive urinary incontinence in dogs. The Cornell study mentioned above revealed a slightly greater risk of urinary incontinence in dogs spayed earlier than 12 weeks of age, while the Texas A&M study showed no difference. A third study showed a higher incidence of urinary incontinence in dogs spayed after their first season.

For detailed References about these research papers see our Terms of Business Page