Desexing

Many veterinarians believe that desexing not only helps solve the serious problem of unwanted pet overpopulation, but also makes for friendlier, easier-to-live-with pets. Spayed female dogs are more relaxed, while castrated males are less likely to roam, or urine-mark their territory, or fight with other males. Plus, desexing has health benefits - it may help to minimize the risk for cancers of the reproductive organs and the mammary glands in females and reduces the incidence of prostate problems and testicular cancer in males. 

 

Spaying removes the uterus and ovaries of a female dog, usually around the age of six months. It is major surgical procedure and is performed under general anaesthesia. Complications are rare and recovery normally is complete within two weeks. 

Castrating, also carried out under general anaesthesia, removes the testicles of a male dog through an incision at the base of the scrotum. Usually performed when the puppy is about six months old, it necessitates only a brief hospital stay. Full recovery takes about seven to ten days.

The most common age to desex your pet is 6 months, however they are never too old to be 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 may increase 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 three types of pain relief prior to surgery and after surgery too.Your pet will be discharged with a 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

Before surgery:

  • Make a booking for your pets operation.

  • 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 10pm the night before the operation but you must allow them access to water until they come into the clinic.

  • 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.

  •  All of our patients receive intravenous fluid support during surgery. This maintains blood pressure and helps protect the kidneys.

  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to desexing and to take home for a few days after the procedure.

After Surgery:

  • 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 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 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. 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 have disastrous effects.

  • Nearly all of our patients go home with internal sutures so that there is no need for you to return for a check up or suture removal.

  • A free post operative check is available to you if you need it.

If you have any concerns before or after your pet has been desexed, please call us immediately to discuss.