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 one of the frequent surgeries performed by our vets, and generally your pet is home by the evening of surgery.
The most common age to desex your pet is around 6 months, 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 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 council registration fees
What does desexing involve at Kincumber Vet Hospital?
Desexing involves surgically preventing pets from reproducing. It is a permanent procedure and has health benefits also. Pets undergo a full general anaesthetic, under which we remove the ovaries and uterus in female pets and the testes in male pets.
Prior to anaesthetic all pets receive a clinical examination from our vets, where we determine their fitness for an anaesthetic. We offer and recommend pre-anaesthetic blood tests prior to pets receiving an anaesthetic. This helps to assess liver and kidney function, ensure pets are not anaemic or diabetic and that their immune system will help them recover.
Every single pet undergoing a full anaesthetic (more than five minutes) is administered intravenous fluids - this helps maintain hydration, ensure adqeuate blood pressure and help the liver and kidneys recover from anaesthetic. Every single pet is given pain relief prior to recovery from anaesthetic, so they are comfortable in recovery. We give all pets several days of pain relief post operatively to keep them comfortable at home. All of this is included within the cost of our standard desexing procedure. We believe this is the minimum standard of care for pets.
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 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!
“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 food after 9pm the night before the operation, water overnight is fine.
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.
We provide intravenous fluid support during all major surgery. This helps pets to recover from anaesthetic, keeps them hydrated and provides improved blood pressure during surgery.
To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to recovery after desexing and to take home for a few days after the procedure.
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 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 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 call us immediately to discuss.