Small Animal

Routine neutering

As a veterinary practice, a proportion of our work is speying (the removal of ovaries and uterus in a female) and castration (removal of testicles in a male) for the purposes of breeding control, behavioural reasons and for health reasons.

Neutering is a surgical procedure requiring a full general anaesthetic in all cases. Your pet must be in good health and will need to stay at the surgery for the day. See the Admissions and Inpatients page for details of what this involves. They will need to be starved from 8pm the night before the surgery (except herbivores).


Cats may be speyed or castrated from 4 months of age at any time. They will need to be kept indoors for a period after the procedure, so be prepared with a litter tray.


Dogs may be castrated from 5 months of age, although we recommend waiting until after 1 year of age to allow maturation. There can be valid reasons for earlier neutering, however.

Bitches may be speyed from 6 months of age. We recommend waiting until a bitch has had her first season before speying to allow maturation, but will spey earlier if there is reason. A bitch cannot safely be speyed whilst in season, nor in the following 2-3 months until all signs of phantom pregnancy have passed. Any time between this and the next season is fine, although it is best to not leave it too close to when a season is due.


Rabbits may be neutered from 5 months of age at any time. Rabbits should not be starved for an anaesthetic, or at any other time. We recommend paper bedding for a few days following the procedure to prevent straw or sawdust sticking to the wound.


Ferrets may be speyed or castrated from 5 months of age. We also perform vasectomies for ferrets, preferably in a mature male at least one year old.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs may be castrated from 4-5 months old as long as the testicles have descended properly. The inguinal ring remains open in this species and so must be closed as part of the procedure to prevent hernia formation.

We do not recommend the speying of guinea pigs routinely. Abdominal surgery carries significant risks of complications in this species.