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Desexing

Desexing is the surgical procedure that leaves a cat or dog unable to reproduce.

In males, castration involves a small incision in the front of the scrotum to remove the testicles. The testicles are responsible for the production of sperm and the male hormone testosterone.

In females, spaying involves intra-abdominal surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus. The ovaries are responsible for the production of eggs and the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Removing the uterus prevents potential infection later in life.

Desexing is a routine procedure, but although this surgery occurs every day, we always consider that it is a once in a lifetime experience for your pet. We are therefore careful to maximize your pet’s comfort and reduce stress once admitted to hospital and throughout the procedure.

Desexing is conducted under full general anaesthetic with strict hygiene controls. We always recommend pre-anaesthetic bloods to make sure your pet is healthy before surgery. Your pet will also be on intra-venous fluids throughout the procedure to support their vital organs and improve recovery time. When under anaesthetic, your pet will be closely monitored by a qualified and skilled veterinary nurse. Your pet will have an Australian Veterinary Association ear tattoo applied to their left ear to indicate they have been desexed   After surgery we utilise insulated blankets and administer pain and anti-inflammatory medication to minimise any discomfort after the procedure. Your pet will be sent home the same afternoon once he/she is fully recovered. All our patients are sent home with pain and anti-inflammatory medication and a bucket collar. We also include a 3 day post op check appointment to make sure that your pet is happy and comfortable at home and the surgical wound is healing well. Sutures will then be removed 10 days after surgery.

Choosing the best time to desex your pet will depend on a number of factors, including; the breed, size, species, behavior and family environment. Desexing has always been recommended at 4-6 months of age, however recent research suggests that large breed dogs should have delayed desexing, which means desexing them only once they are skeletally mature. Studies have found that early desexing of large breed dogs may increase the incidence of certain orthopaedic conditions e.g. hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament disease. On the other hand behavioral problems such as urine marking, mounting, anxiety and various other forms of boldness-related, aggressive or reactive behaviors can be problematic in large breed dogs that undergo delayed desexing. Due to such a large population of dogs suffering from behavioral problems, delayed desexing should be discussed with your veterinarian so that the best decision can be made for your pet.

After being desexed, your pet will have a reduced metabolic rate, so be sure to balance the number of calories they consume with those they use during exercise to maintain a healthy weight.

The benefits of desexing male pets:

  • Less behavioral problems including; aggression towards other pets and people, wandering around/trying to escape, irritability and unpredictability caused by hormonal surges, urine marking and mounting behavior
  • Less extra puppies and kittens produced, and therefore less unwanted animals at shelters
  • No risk of developing testicular cancer
  • Greatly reduces the potential for prostate problems later in life
  • In cats, greatly reduced incidence of cat fights, feline AIDS virus and abscesses
  • Less vet visits for traumatic injuries/illnesses
  • Cheaper council registration fees
  • Living a longer and healthier life

The benefits of desexing female pets:

  • Desexing before the first season reduces chances of breast cancer by over 90% – there is no physical or behavioral advantage for your pet in spaying after their first season or litter
  • Less behavioral problems including; aggression towards other pets and people, wandering around/trying to escape, irritability and unpredictability caused by hormonal surges,
  • No unwanted pregnancies or litters
  • No lock-in period when in season, and no bleeding (when entire, bleeding occurs twice a year for up to 3-4 weeks)
  • Avoidance of potentially life threatening medical conditions such as pyometra ( infection of the uterus)
  • Reduced incidence of feline AIDS virus and cat abscesses
  • No caesarean procedure for difficult births – caesarean procedures can cost $600-800! – remove
  • Less vet visits for traumatic injuries/illnesses
  • Cheaper council registration
  • Living a longer and healthier life