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 the most frequent surgery performed by our vets, and generally your pet is home by the evening of surgery.
At Kingston Vet we recommend desexing small breed pets from 6 months of age and large breed pets from 12 months of age.
There are many benefits to desexing your pet. 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 testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, and it can help prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females.
- Stopping the “heat” cycle in females (which occurs for the first time at approximately six months old and thereafter approximately every six months for life)
- Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males, and decreased vocalisation in female cats
- Being less prone to wander, especially in males, and less defensive of their territory
- Living a longer and healthier life
- Reduction of council registration fees
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!
What to do before and after surgery
- Make a booking for your pet's operation (Kingston Veterinary Hospital performs the procedure any day Monday to Friday, with drop off appointments generally being from 8am-9am)
- If your pet is a dog, wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed until the surgery incision has healed.
- Do not give your pet food after midnight the night before the operation and water is fine to give.
- A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function if you have elected it, or if the pet is over seven years old.
- The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
- All of our desexing patients receive intravenous fluid support during their surgical procedure here at Kingston Vet, regardless of age or health status. All pets benefit from the steady blood pressure as well as speedy recovery from general anaesthetic, which IV fluids help to promote and maintain.
- To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to desexing and to take home for a few days after the procedure (cats receive an anti-inflammatory injection that lasts for a few days, so there is no need to tablet them at home!).
- Keep your pet restrained and quiet as the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely.
- Keeping them quiet for at least the first 7 days at which you will have a recheck appiotment with you vet and they will be reassed.
- 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 needed)
If you have any concerns before or after your pet has been desexed, please call us immediately on 9584 7500 to discuss.