What is Desexing?

For male cats and dogs desexing is the removal of the testes. For female cats and dogs desexing generally removes both the ovaries and the uterus.

Why desex?

There are far too many unwanted kittens and to a lesser extent puppies.

Regretfully, many thousands of cats in particular are euthanased each year in Australia. Desexing can help prevent and reduce this.

Desexed animals are generally less likely to get diseases and illness such as mammary cancer and uterine infections in females and cancer and prostate problems in males.

Your pet's 'normal' behaviour will remain unaffected.

Desexing commonly reduces behaviour problems such as roaming, aggression and urine marking in males.

In females it prevents mating behaviour and false pregnancy.

When should you have your pet desexed?

Your pet should be desexed before they are 5-6 months old, with many now being desexed at 8-12 wks.

There is no benefit in letting females have one litter before they are desexed and Children do not have to witness the miracle or birth first hand. Remember problems can occur in births where the female is too young.

How do you care for your newly desexed pet?

You can expect your companion to be quiet for the first 1-2 days after they go home. Their wound may be tender. Feed normally but in small amounts.

Keep your companion QUIET for 7-10 days - quiet exercise is fine but not lots of activity.

Keep the wound clean and dry - no swimming or bathing until the stitches are removed. It is not generally necessary to bathe the wound.

Check the wound each day. Make sure there is no redness, excessive swelling or discharge. It is normal for some swelling to occur, however, if your companion seems in any way unwell you should contact your Vet immediately.

As your companion may not be as active, be careful not to overfeed. Desexed pets should, like all dogs, be given a carefully balanced diet and plenty of exercise to ensure they don't become overweight.

Desexing Your Best Friend

Research into the reasons why people 'own' a pet has shown that only 5% of pet owners have a pet for breeding purposes. Therefore if these reasons were founded only approximately 5% of pets need to be left entire. In reality many many more animals are not desexed.

Mans best friendIt is natural for a dog to breed, but not natural for a dog to live in the bustling confusion of a busy suburb. Desexing is a good way of making a dog's life in the suburbs easier for both the dog and their guardian. Desexing has various advantages for the pet as an individual.

Firstly, female dogs who are speyed do not have the continual strain of litters depleting their bodies of essential nutrients.

Secondly, female dogs who are speyed and male dogs that are castrated do not roam the streets to nearly the same degree as undesexed dogs.

This is because male, and female dogs in season, generally roam the streets in search of romance. During such neighbourhood jaunts, wandering dogs can be baited, shot, hit by cars or become lost.

Because desexed dogs are less likely to roam the streets, they are less likely to suffer these problems.

Thirdly, male dogs are generally less aggressive if castrated and therefore less likely to suffer wounds from fighting.

Desexed female dogs are much less likely to develop the dog equivalent of breast cancer and both sexes avoid cancers of the reproductive tract and the prostate problems are reduced significantly in males.

Reducing the unwanted animal population

The advantage to the pet community is the reduction of unwanted, stray and abandoned animals particularly our feline friends.

With fewer strays, our footpaths and parks are cleaner underfoot and there is less public animosity towards stray animals and those council workers responsible for stray animal control.

The most common myth regarding desexing is that an animal should be allowed to have a litter before it is desexed. Indeed if all the dog and cat owners in just one city believed this myth, we could see an increase of over 100,000 extra dogs alone per year.

There is absolutely no advantage in allowing an animal to have a litter before having it desexed. It does not make them more tranquil or more mature, it only adds to the unwanted animal problem.

It is not advisable to attempt to recoup the costs of the pet by breeding from them.

Making money can often only be achieved by neglecting to undertake routine and essential pet care procedures such as vaccination, worming of the litter and correct feeding. Keep in mind large sums of money may be needed if you attempt to breed and encounter problems!

Appropriate age

With male dogs, castration is usually performed by removing the testicles through an incision in front of the dog's scrotum. In most, but not all cases, the scrotum itself is not removed.

The speying of a female dog involves the removal of both ovaries and uterus down to the cervix. This is equivalent to an ovario-hysterectomy in human females.
age of desexing
The operation in female dogs is conducted through an incision along the midline of the dog's abdomen.

It is safer for your dog if she is not in season when the surgery is conducted, as, when in season, the extra blood supply to the reproductive tract complicates the surgical process.

Dogs are amazing creatures. Desexing is a major surgical process, which in humans would entail bed rest for days or weeks. Dogs are given pain relief routinely by vets performing this operation.

However, when your dog is desexed she will be a lot brighter than you would imagine, but it is important to keep them quiet.

It is advisable to prepare an area for your dog's homecoming. A nice, comfortable bed in a dry sheltered area is adequate. Do not expect them to eat as much for the first few days. A soft diet is advisable.

The dog will let you know when they want more. Plenty of fresh water should be available at all times.

Sutures, if any, should be removed 7-10 days after surgery but ensure you discuss this with your vet. In the meantime, if there is any obvious swelling or discharge your veterinarian should be contacted.