Desexing – All you need to know
Desexing is the only effective permanent method for preventing pregnancy in animals, and provides important health benefits as well.
Desexing surgery involves the removal of the testicles of males, known as castration or ‘neutering’, or the ovaries and uterus of females, known as ovariohysterectomy or ‘spaying’.
Your pet will be desexed under general anaesthesia. As most animals undergoing desexing are young and healthy, complications are rare. In addition, the anaesthetic will be closely monitored throughout the procedure to ensure the safety of your pet.
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Meeting Your Pet’s Needs
Your Fur life Vet is always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the desexing.
The information provided here will help you understand the benefits of desexing and what to expect when you decide to book your pet in for the procedure.
- Reduction in risk of some malignant cancers, in organs such as the testes, ovaries, cervix, or uterus.
- Prevention of infection of the uterus, or pyometra, which is where the uterus fills with pus, common in older entire female dogs.
- Prevention of ‘false pregnancy syndrome’ in undesexed female dogs.
- Reduction in risk of some serious diseases, such as prostatic disease and perineal hernia, in male dogs that haven’t been castrated.
- Reduction in territorial behaviours such as urine marking.
- Reduction in noisy calling behaviours.
- Reduction in anti-social behaviour.
- Reduction in wandering, which can lead to your pet being lost, harming native wildlife or having an accident with a car.
- Prevention of costs associated with assistance at birthing .
- Avoidance of costs associated with the serious medical diseases listed under health benefits.
- Desexing your pet also entitles you to a discount on your council pet registration fees, for the life of your animal.
The Desexing Procedure
Your veterinarian or veterinary nurse will examine your pet, checking their vital signs, to ensure they are well for their anaesthetic
In the case of male animals both testicles are removed via a skin incision. In female animals an incision is made through the skin and muscle of the abdomen. The reproductive organs are removed through this incision, which is then stitched closed.
A permanent identification mark is tattooed on the inside of your pet’s ear identifying that your pet has been desexed.
It can be convenient while your pet is anaesthetised to complete other procedures on your pet which may be required. These may include:
- Repair of umbilical hernias
- Removal of ‘baby’ or deciduous teeth
Your pet will be monitored throughout the recovery process by our dedicated team of nurses and vets.
Generally pets make a speedy recovery after routine surgery.
When you pet is due to be discharged from hosptial, the veterinarian or veterinary nurse will provide you with clear guidelines on caring for your pet at home after the surgery.
Anaesthetics allow veterinarians to perform surgical procedures safely and with minimal discomfort. Your vet develops an anaesthetic plan tailored to your pet’s needs, based on its age and physical condition. In this way your vet makes desexing as gentle, safe and comfortable as possible for your pet.
Your veterinarian may prescribe a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug, or NSAID, at desexing to help minimise discomfort from the procedure. NSAIDs are medications that help to reduce inflammation and swelling, and minimise pain by inhibiting two different areas involved in pain perception. Please use as directed by your veterinarian and contact the clinic if you have any concerns
Desexing – Common Misconceptions
- It’s better to have my pet the way nature intended.
- Sexual hormones create behaviours in our pets that may be socially unacceptable, such as mating, urine marking and roaming. These are natural behaviours of entire animals and desexing may suppress their desire for these behaviours .
- My pet will gain weight after desexing.
- Animals that are not desexed may have slightly higher nutritional requirements than animals that are desexed.
- Managing their weight by feeding an appropriate amount for your pet, combined with appropriate exercise, will stop you pet from becoming overweight, and additionally may save you money in food expenses.
- It doesn’t matter when I get my pet desexed.
- Many of the benefits to desexing are maximised when performed at certain ages. Your veterinarian will factor in general desexing advice, breed-related considerations, and your pet’s individual circumstances to provide the best advice for you.
- Desexing will be too painful for my pet.
- Animals experience minimal discomfort undergoing a desexing procedure. This is because medication to control pain and anaesthetic medications are used throughout the surgery, and additional pain relief is provided afterwards.