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 one of the the most common surgeries performed by our vets. The procedure is generally a day procedure, where the pet is dropped off in the morning for surgery and picked up later that afternoon after recovering from their anaesthetic.
We recommend desexing your pet around 6 months of age, however they are never too old to be desexed.
The main reasons we recommend desexing before 6 months include:
- Living a longer and healthier life. Isn't this what we all want for our pets?
- Preventing unwanted litters. Looking after litters of puppies or kittens can be very time consuming and expensive and if homes cannot be found for them they put a large burden on animal shelters, which may have to put them down.
- Prevention of prostate problems and testicular cancer in males as they get older.
- Prevention of infections of the uterus (pyometra) which can be life threatening
- Reducing the chance of mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females as they get older. The liklihood increases every year left entire.
- Stopping the “heat” cycle in females. Animals on heat can try to escape, can be vocal, messy and may become pregnant.
- Decreasing aggression especially between males
- Being less prone to escape and go wandering. This is more common in males.
- Reduction of Townsville City Council registration fees. The Townsville City Council offers discounted dog and cat registration if the animal has been desexed.
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 slow down 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.
“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. Give one of our 4 Paws Vet clinics a ring to book them in for a day that suits you. Desexing operations are performed daily monday to Friday.
- If your pet is a dog, wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed after until the stitches are removed.
- Do not give your pet food after 7.30pm the night before the operation and do not give them any water after 7am on the day of surgery.
- A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function.
- The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
- Some pets will require intravenous fluid support during surgery. This will be discussed with you prior to the procedure.
- To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to desexing and after their operation.
- 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 4 Paws Vets immediately if these symptoms appear. 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.
If you have any concerns before or after your pet has been desexed, please 4 Paws Veterinarians immediately to discuss.