Desexing or neutering your pet is a surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce. In male pets this procedure is commonly referred to as “Castration” and in female pets as “Spaying”. Desexing surgeries are one of the most common surgical procedures performed by our Veterinary Surgeons, and although it is commonly seen as a routine procedure, we take these procedures very seriously.
There are many benefits to desexing your pet which include:
Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that end up in shelters
Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, and it can help prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females
Stopping the “heat” cycle in females
Common questions about desexing
"At what age should I desex my pet?"
Desexing should occur at or shortly after sexual maturity which in cats and small dogs happens around 6 months of age. Larger and giant breed dogs should wait until 12 months or older for desexing as they grow and mature at a much slower rate.
“Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?”
Your pet will retain their pre-operation personality, possibly with the added bonus of being calmer and less aggressive.
“Should my female have one litter first?”
No – it is actually better for her not to have any litters before being spayed. Her risk of developing breast cancer increases if she is allowed to go through her first heat.
“Will it cause my pet to become fat?”
Your pet’s metabolism may be slowed due to hormonal changes after desexing,however this is easily managed with adjusting feeding and ensuring adequate exercise. There is no reason a desexed pet cannot be maintained at a normal weight.
“Is desexing painful?”
As with all surgery, there is some tenderness immediately after the procedure, but most pets will recover very quickly. We administer pain relief prior to surgery and after surgery too.Your pet will be discharged with a short course of pain relief medication to take at home for the first few days after the surgery. In many cases, your pet will likely need some encouragement to take it easy!
“Will my dog lose its “guard dog” instinct?”
No, your dog will be just as protective of their territory as before the surgery.
What to do before and after surgery
Make a booking for your pets operation.
If your pet is regularly bathed, wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed until after the stitches are removed (roughly 10 - 14 days).
Do not give your pet food after 8:00pm the night before the operation and do not give them any water after 8:00am on the day of surgery.
Keep your pet restrained and quiet when they first arrive home, as the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely. Keeping them quiet is also essential to allow the wound to heal properly.
Food and water should be limited to small portions on the first night as they may feel nauseous after the anaesthetic.
Ensure all post-surgical medications (if any) are administered as per the label instructions.
Check the incision daily for any signs of infection or disruption (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if these symptoms appear. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
To prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. Special cone-shaped collars assist with this problem. A single chew can remove the careful stitching with disastrous effects.
If you have any concerns before or after your pet has been desexed, please call us immediately to discuss.