Desexing or neutering is a common surgical procedure that involves removing the reproductive organs of your pet to prevent them from reproducing. In males, this procedure is commonly referred to as “castration,” which involves removing the testes, while in females, it is called “spaying,” which involves removing the ovaries and uterus. It is generally a safe and routine surgery and in most cases, your pet can go home on the same day as the surgery.
Desexing your pet before 6 months of age has several benefits, including a reduced risk of certain health issues, such as testicular cancer, prostate disease, pyometra (infection of the uterus), and mammary tumors (breast cancer). Additionally, desexing can help prevent unwanted litters and reduce aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males.
However, even if your pet is older than 6 months, they can still be desexed. It’s never too late to have your pet desexed, and there are still many benefits to doing so, including reducing the risk of certain health issues and preventing unwanted litters. Moreover, desexing can help your pet live a longer and healthier life and can also reduce council registration fees.
What to do before and after surgery
- Book a date for your pets operation
- Wash your dog the day before surgery, as they will not be able to be washed until the stitches are removed
- Do not give any food after 10pm the night before the operation
- Do not give any water after 8am 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 may require intravenous fluid support during surgery, which will be discussed with you prior to the procedure
- To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, they will receive pain relief prior to the surgery and will be sent home with pain relief medication for a few days after the procedure
- It’s important to follow any other pre-surgical instructions your veterinarian provides to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet
- They will be feeling a bit tired, the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely
- Keep them quiet to allow the wound to heal
- Food and water should be limited to small portions only on the night of the surgery
- Follow any further dietary instructions that the vet has provided
- Ensure any post-surgical medications is administered as per the label instructions
- Ensure your pet’s rest area is clean to avoid infection
- Check the incision at least twice a day for any signs of infection or disruption (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if these symptoms appear
- Prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound – we send you home with an e-collar to assist with this problem
- Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches
Common questions about desexing
Q. Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?
A. Some pets may become calmer and less aggressive after being desexed, but it is not guaranteed. Some pets may still exhibit unwanted behaviors even after being desexed, and it is important to address these behaviors with appropriate training and management techniques. It is always best to discuss any concerns about your pet’s behavior with your veterinarian.
Q. Should my female have one litter first?
A. There is no medical or behavioral benefit to allowing a female pet to have a litter before desexing her. In fact, there are potential risks associated with breeding, such as pregnancy complications and the risk of passing on genetic disorders to offspring.
Q. Will it cause my pet to become fat?
A. Your pet’s metabolism may be slowed due to hormonal changes after desexing. However, this can easily be managed with proper diet and exercise. It is important to monitor your pet’s weight and body condition regularly and adjust their food intake and exercise routine as needed to maintain a healthy weight.
Q. Is desexing painful?
A. 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 will 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!
Q. Will my dog lose its “guard dog” instinct?
A. No, your dog will be just as protective of their territory as before the surgery. Proper training and socialisation are key to ensuring that a dog’s protective instincts are directed in appropriate ways. It is always recommended to work with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist if you have concerns about your dog’s behavior.
If you have any questions or concerns in relation to your pet’s desexing, give us a call to discuss.