top of page
Why should  idesex my pet

Why Desex Your Pet ?

Desexing is the surgical procedure that renders a male or female cat or dog unable to reproduce. Desexing is a routine procedure for our surgeons, but it is a once in a lifetime experience for your pet. We are therefore careful to maximize your pet’s comfort and reduce stress once admitted to hospital and throughout the procedure.

Male castration involves a small incision in the front of the scrotum to remove the testicles, which are responsible for the production of sperm and the male hormone testosterone. In females, speying involves intra-abdominal surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus. The ovaries are responsible for the production of eggs and the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

Woman Hugging Dog

Benefits of Castrating Male Pets

  • Less behavioral problems including: aggression towards other pets and people, wandering around/trying to escape, irritability and unpredictability caused by hormonal surges, urine marking and mounting behavior

  • Fewer puppies and kittens produced, and therefore less unwanted animals at shelters

  • No risk of developing testicular cancer

  • Greatly reduces the potential for prostate problems later in life

  • In cats, greatly reduced incidence of cat fights, feline AIDS virus and abscesses

  • Less vet visits for traumatic injuries/illnesses

  • Cheaper council registration fees

  • Living a longer and healthier life

Image by Japheth Mast

Benefits of Speying Female Pets

  • Desexing before the first season reduces chances of breast cancer by over 90% – there is no physical or behavioural advantage for your pet in speying after their first season or litter

  • Less behavioural problems including; aggression towards other pets and people, wandering around/trying to escape, irritability and unpredictability caused by hormonal surges

  • No unwanted pregnancies or litters

  • No lock-in period when in season, and no bleeding (when entire, bleeding occurs twice a year for up to 3-4 weeks)

  • Avoidance of potentially life threatening medical conditions such as pyometra (infection of the uterus)

  • Reduced incidence of feline AIDS virus and cat abscesses

  • No potentially expensive caesarean procedure for difficult births

  • Less vet visits for traumatic injuries/illnesses

  • Cheaper council registration

  • Living a longer and healthier life

Details about Procedure and Delayed Desexing

Desexing is conducted under full general anaesthetic with strict hygiene controls. We always recommend pre-anaesthetic bloods to make sure your pet is healthy before surgery. Your pet will also be on intra-venous fluids throughout the procedure to support their vital organs and improve recovery time. When under anaesthetic, your pet will be closely monitored by a qualified and skilled veterinary nurse. Your pet will have an Australian Veterinary Association ear tattoo applied to their left ear to indicate they have been desexed. After surgery we use insulated blankets in combination with pain and anti-inflammatory medication to minimise discomfort. Your pet will be sent home the same afternoon once they recover. All our patients are sent home with pain and anti-inflammatory medication and a bucket collar. We also include a follow-up appointment 3 days after surgery to make sure that your pet is happy and comfortable at home and that they are healing well. Sutures are removed 10 days after surgery.

Choosing the best time to desex your pet will depend on a number of factors, including the breed, size, species, behavior and family environment. Desexing has always been recommended at 4-6 months of age, however recent research suggests that large breed dogs should delay desexing until they are skeletally mature. Studies have found that early desexing of large breed dogs may increase the incidence of certain orthopaedic conditions e.g. hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament disease. On the other hand, behavioural problems such as urine marking, mounting, anxiety and various other forms of boldness-related, aggressive or reactive behaviours can be problematic in large breed dogs that undergo delayed desexing. Due to such a large population of dogs suffering from behavioural problems, delayed desexing should be discussed with your veterinarian so that the best decision can be made for your pet.

Common Myths About Desexing

1. Desexed pets put on weight


Metabolic rate is reduced after desexing, so feed intake may need to be decreased to meet their level of metabolism and level of activity. If you keep an eye on your pet's weight and adjust feeding appropriately, making sure to go easy on the treats and hard on the long walks and games of fetch, weight gain is easily avoidable. Our team can also advise you about a healthy diet plan for your pet in your 3 day and 10 day check-up appointments.

2. Desexing stops a dog from being a good guard dog

Basic temperament, intelligence and instincts are not altered by desexing, so if your dog is protective of your house before their surgery, this will not change. If your aim is to have an aggressive dog, we would like to remind you of a few things. Firstly, you can't control or predict the temperament of an animal, desexed or not. Secondly, a loud bark is just as effective as aggression in a guard dog. Finally, in the long term, investing in a good security system will cost a lot less and cause a lot less problems than an aggressive pet!



3. It is best to let your animal have a season/ litter before being desexed


Seasons cause unwanted dogs or tomcats to appear around your house – this means howling, fighting, urine spraying and unwanted pregnancies! There are no medical reasons for having a season. In fact, desexing before the first season reduces the chances of mammary cancer development in females from around 90% to almost nil. Males also benefit as the incidence of testicular and prostatic disease and perianal hernias is very high in entire adult males. Also, females often become more aggressive after a litter, as their protective instincts are magnified, while frustrated entire males are unpredictable and aggressive.

4. Desexing is cruel/barbaric/painful

The procedure is carried out under anaesthesia with strict hygiene controls and monitoring to ensure maximum safety. Strong pain relief and anti-inflammatory injections are routinely given before and during this surgery to minimise any post-operative discomfort. Also, the procedure helps to avoid possible injury and illness for your pets in future (see lists of benefits above). It is a quick, minimally painful procedure designed to help your pets enjoy a longer and healthier life. Isn't that worth a few days of an irritating cone collar?

5. There is no need to desex "inside" pets that stay confined all the time


Entire animals can suffer sexual frustration when females in season are within smelling distance or when they themselves are in season. This can lead to changes in their behaviour, often leading to destructiveness and aggression. Desexing eliminates this problem, leading to a happier, healthier and better-adjusted family pet. It also reduces mess and complications from female pets bleeding when they are in season (bleeding typically occurs twice a year for up to 3-4 weeks).

6. I can make money from breeding my pet


Unless you run a professional breeding kennel of pedigreed animals, put in a lot of capital, pay proper attention to quality feed, worming and vaccinations, you will more likely end up in debt over the experience of breeding your dog. For example, your pet may require an emergency cesarean in the middle of the night, costing upwards of $2,000 and producing just one puppy.

7. Having pups will be a good experience for the children


Newborn animals are exhausting and expensive to care for - it's like having half a dozen squealing little babies in the house, who need feeding and washing every few hours, around the clock. Kids are often only interested in holding/playing with the animals for a little while, and quickly lose interest in putting the proper effort and time into caring for them. The “good experience” also often turns into a nightmare when the female has trouble having her litter and the children have to see her in pain.  A better learning experience for the children would be to show them how to be responsible pet owners by having the pets desexed and not producing more pups/kittens when thousands end up homeless at the RSPCA each year.

bottom of page