As with all surgical procedures, there is always a small risk of complication; however, your pet will be closely monitored both during its operation and on recovery. Occasional surgical complications, such as swelling or wound breakdown, can also occur which is why it is important for your pet to wear an Elizabethan collar and for you to check the wound once home, twice daily, and to bring your pet back for a post-op check 3 days after his/her operation.
It is a common misconception that neutering your pet will make them fat. This is untrue; however, removal of the sex hormones will normally lead to a slower metabolic rate and so there is more chance that your pet will gain weight. You may find, therefore, that you will need to reduce his/her daily allowance of food.
Occasionally, urinary incontinence can be encountered in older, neutered bitches. The female sex hormone oestrogen plays a part in keeping the sphincters tight and therefore retaining urine in the bladder. After a bitch has been neutered, levels of oestrogen are lower and this can lead to Sphincter Mechanism Incompetence (SMI), which is the most common cause of urinary incontinence in female dogs. Urinary incontinence is, however, manageable with medication, so the potential for developing SMI does not outweigh the benefits of neutering.
Commitment of Time and Money
Many people want their pet to have "just one litter", not knowing that there is a lot of care involved with a litter of puppies or kittens:
- The mother needs special food and care
- Extra food and care for the litter
- Risk of emergency caesarean surgery if there are problems in birthing (emergency fee, surgery cost, hospitalisation)
- Vet visits for vaccines, microchipping and worming treatment before the puppies or kittens go to their new home
- Potential extra care needed if the mother rejects any babies (such as bottle feeding every 2 hours, including through the night, for 3-4 weeks)
- Risk of death of the bitch/queen