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 5 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
- 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
- Living a longer and healthier life
- Reduction of council registration fees
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.
“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. We recommend sending your pet home with a short course of pain relief medication 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
Do not give your pet food after 8pm the night before the operation. Ideally we prefer no water after this time also, however with the Brisbane heat, we understand if you take the water up first thing on the morning of the operation.
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 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.
Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches.
If you have any concerns before or after your pet has been desexed, please call us immediately to discuss.