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 the most frequent surgery performed by our vets, and generally it is a day procedure with your going home by the evening of surgery.
The most common age to desex your pet is around 6 months of age 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 Townsville City Council registration fees. The Townsville City Council offers discounted dog and cat registration if the animal has been desexed. The Townsville City council will require a desexing certificate which we can provide when the pet goes home.
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.Your pet may be discharged with a short 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
- 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 any food after 7:30pm the night before the operation and do not give them any water after 7am on the day of surgery.
- Some blood tests 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 the procedure.
- Keep your pet restrained and quiet as the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely.
- Do not allow your pet to run or jump while they have sutures. Keeping them quiet essential to allow the wound to heal.
- You can offer your pet a small meal tonight; however, don't be concerned if your pet is not interested. 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 Bohle Vet Surgery immediately if these symptoms appear. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
- Make sure your pet is not licking or chewing at their stitches. If they chew their sutures out, they may require another general anaesthetic and or antibiotics. This can become an added expense and prolong recovery. We sell special cone collars that prevent them from licking or chewing their sutures. 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 follow these steps, your pet should have a trouble free and speedy recovery
If you have any concerns before or after your pet has been desexed, please call Bohle Vet Surgery immediately to discuss.