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 “spaying”. This is one of the most frequent types of surgery performed by our vets.

The most common age to desex your pet is between 5 and 6 months, however they are never too old to be desexed. With new research, many large breed dogs are being desexed at a later age to allow for further growth and lessen the risk of certain conditions later in life. We recommend discussing this option with the vet at their puppy vaccinations so that a plan that suits both you and your pet can be made.

There are many benefits to desexing your pet.
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
  • 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 
  • Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males
  • Being less prone to wander, especially in males
  • Reduction of council registration fees

What to do before and after surgery

Before surgery:

  • Call the team to schedule a suitable day for your pets operation. Admission appointments are generally from 8am.
  • If your pet is a dog, you can wash them the day before surgery as they are then unable to be washed after, until the stitches are removed.
  • You can give you pet an evening meal as normal the day prior to surgery, but do not leave food out overnight. Water can be freely available to your pet until 8am on the day of surgery. Allow your pet to toilet as normal on the morning of the operation so that their bladder and bowl are as empty as possible at admission.
  • A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function. If this is required you will notice a shaved area of hair on the neck.
  • The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
  •  Intravenous fluid therapy is required during most types of surgery. You will notice a shaved area of hair on the foreleg where the catheter and other needles are given.
  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief as part of the desexing procedure, and in most cases we prescribe medication for you to administer at home for a few days after the procedure.

After Surgery:

  • Your pet will be discharged once it is awake and mobile. This is usually from 1pm. The clinic is opened until evening so will arrange a discharge appointment around your schedule.
  • Keep your pet restrained and quiet as the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely.
  • Keeping them quiet for 10-14 days after the operation is also essential to allow the wound to heal.
  • Food and water should be limited to small portions only, on the night of operation. 
  • 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 (e.g. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if any of these occur. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
  • 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.
  • Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches.