Desexing or neutering your pet is a surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce. In male pets it is commonly referred to as “castration”, and in female pets as “speying”. This is the most frequent surgery performed by our vets, and generally your pet is home by the evening of surgery.
The most common age to desex your pet is between 4 and 6 months, however they are never too old to be desexed.
There are many benefits to desexing your pet before 6 months. They include:
- Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year
- In males it prevents cases of testicular cancer, prostate disease, anal tumors and if one or more testicles have been retained (not dropped down) they can become cancerou
- In females it can help prevent a pyometra (infection of the uterus which can cause death if not treated) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) which can be fatal.
- Stopping the “heat” cycle in females
- Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males
- Being less prone to wander, especially in males, the ratio of male to female animals hit by cars is significantly higher in intact- males.
- Living a longer and healthier life
- Reduction of council registration fees
- Cheaper desexing price, the older the animal the more involved the surgery especially in females which involves a laparotomy
Common questions about desexing
“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 and better family pets, especially around children.
“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 may also 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 a dog, you may wish to wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed after until the stitches are removed 10-14 days post op.
- Do not give your pet food after 10pm the night before the operation and do not give them any water after 8am on the day of surgery.
- A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check their vital organ function, this is an optional extra but one that we do recommend and would do for our own pets please ask us for a quote when booking in your surgery.
- The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
- Any animal undergoing a general anaesthetic will benefit greatly from being on intravenous fluids. Anaesthetic gas lowers blood pressure which can put strain on the internal organs so I.V Fluids help to keep their blood pressure up to support their internal organs and also helps to flush the anaesthetic from the animals system to aid in a faster recovery. Some pets will require intravenous fluid support during surgery. This will be discussed with you prior to the procedure. Placing your pet on Intravenous Fluids is an optional extra please ask us for a quote when booking in your surgery.
- To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to desexing and after before being discharged, and if need be may also be given some to take home for a few days after the procedure.
- Keep your pet restrained and quiet 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.
- Food and water should be limited to small portions only on the night after surgery.
- Follow any dietary instructions that the vet has provided.
- Ensure all post-surgical medications (if any) are administered as per the label instructions.
- Ensure your pet’s rest area is clean to avoid infection.
- Check the incision at least twice daily for any signs of infection or disruption (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if these symptoms appear.
- 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. Licking will also cause infection and discomfort.
- Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches.
Desexing is performed Monday to Friday. Please call to book.
If you have any concerns before or after your pet has been desexed, please call us immediately to discuss.