Why desex your pet?
Speying or desexing a female dog means you, as a pet owner, won’t struggle to keep your entire female at home when she comes into season nor will you have to manage (and cover the costs of) unwanted litters of puppies or kittens. Females desexed before their first heat have a much lower incidence of mammary tumours (the most common cancer in female dogs), and the removal of the uterus as well as the ovaries prevents pyometron developing, a life-threatening infection of the uterus that occurs in entire females.
The castration of male dogs before puberty reduces aggressive, territorial and hypersexual behaviour. Your pet will be more content to stay at home than roam in fighting packs following females on heat, and desexed male dogs have a significantly reduced incidence of prostate problems and testicular cancer. Desexed males are also less likely to urinate inappropriately.
The neutering operation does NOT change the personality of your pet, nor does it make them obese or change the ability of working dogs to work.
Our vets perform desexing operations on any weekday – please ring us on (02) 4832 1977 to make an appointment or to speak with our staff if you have any questions about neutering your pet.
What age should your pet be desexed?
At Crookwell Veterinary Hospital we recommend cats and dogs (both male and female) are desexed by 5 to 6 months of age, and we strongly encourage early desexing from 8 weeks of age. This is now well-recognised as a safe and common practice.
But - pets are rarely too old to desex! Pending a good health assessment, older pets should also be desexed.
What are the health benefits of desexing?
Significant health benefits result, including prevention of two serious disease conditions. Health benefits of desexing include:
- Females desexed before their first heat have little to no incidence of mammary tumours, the most common cancer in female dogs
- Desexed female pets will not develop life-threatening pyometra
- Castrating dogs before 1 year of age prevents prostatic disorders and testicular cancer
Pyometra is a life-threatening infection of the uterus seen in middle-aged to older non-desexed female dogs 8 to 12 weeks after coming into season (less commonly in cats). It is dangerous for the pet and requires major surgery and intensive care to treat successfully. Desexing stops pyometra developing.
More than 80% of non-neutered 8 year old male dogs can develop painful prostate disease, making it difficult to pass faeces and urine. Castration causes the prostate gland to shrink, and castrating dogs before 1 year of age stops the development of prostatic disorders altogether.
Desexing is usually a one day procedure. For both cats and dogs, it involves full anaesthesia in a sterile environment. For females, the spaying operation involves abdominal surgery with the removal of the uterus and ovaries (ovariohysterectomy). Castration of male animals involves the removal of both testicles.
Refer to our handouts How to prepare your pet for surgery and Post-operative care for information about the surgical process and what you can expect.