Desexing

WHAT DOES DESEXING INVOLVE?

Desexing also termed Neutering is a form of surgical sterilization. Whilst there are now several options for desexing, our preferred method of surgical sterilization involves the traditional Ovariohysterectomy (spay) in females and Orchidectomy (Castration) which involves complete removal of both testicles in males. We find that with our protocols and surgical experience, recovery is very smooth and quick.

Whilst desexing procedures are viewed as routine procedures, they are treated with the same level of care and attention as any of our major surgeries, with our sterile surgical theater, surgical equipment, facilities and monitoring reflecting that. Our experienced team of veterinary Surgeons, and Theater nurses therefore take all precautions to reduce the risks associated with surgery, general anesthesia and post operative complications. 

Patient comfort is also a strong focus for us with particular attention paid to reducing stress and pain both before, during and after surgery.

It is not uncommon for many owners to have questions and concerns surrounding desexing, including when is the best time for desexing, and weather they should desex their pet at all.

SHOULD I DE-SEX MY DOG ?

It has always been excepted that all pets should be desexed. It is important to remember that it is still an elective procedure which owners choose to do for their pet. It is therefore important to understand the pros and cons regarding desexing, in order for an informed decision to be made in the best interest of each pet. 

 The main aim of de-sexing is to stop reproduction, which historically has reduced the number of unwanted puppies in the community and in shelters. This is probably not as much a consideration these days with many pets being an integral part of the family.  There are therefore other considerations when deciding if an when to desex a family pet. These may include social challenges such as off-lead parks, bleeding when on heat, along with the obligations placed on households with regards to council pet registration.

 It is a common for some owners to want to desex their dog for behavioural reasons. They believe desexing will calm, or improve their pets behaviour. Desexing will not change your pet’s personality or temperament, nor will it reduce anxiety related behavioural issue. Desexing pets who may be displaying anxious behaviours could actually have a negative impact on their behaviour.

It is important that you as a pet owner make an informed decision when it comes to weather your pet should be desexed and when to desex them.

Our aim is to be able to guide and discuss the risks and benefits that will impact your pet, taking into consideration, their age breed and sex. The information provided should help you as a pet parent make the best informed decision in the best interests of your fur child.

In light of emerging evidence and improved understandings of the impacts of desexing, especially desexing too young, our recommendation is for  delayed desexing which can have many health benefits. 

 

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF DE-SEXING DOGS?

In Male Dogs

  • It removes interest in females on heat, and any mating behaviours.
  • Reduces the chances of medical problems such as testicular cancer, prostate problem/cancer, and certain peri-anal skin conditions, and tumours.
  • May reduce Urine marking

In female dogs:

  • Prevents oestrus or heat cycles. Females will generally have a heat (oestrus) cycle every 6 months, which can last for about 3 weeks. Bitches will have some bleeding during a 2-3 week period which can always be challenging to manage when indoors.
  • Avoids mating and pregnancies.
  • Avoids phantom pregnancies which some undesexed females may have as a regular occurrence.
  • Prevents Pyometra which can be a life threatening infection of the uterus.
  • Can reduce the risk of mammary cancers,

 

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF DELAYED DE-SEXING IN DOGS?

There has been an increasing evidence to suggest that pre-pubertal desexing has led to a higher incidence of some problems such as

Joint and growth problems, particularly in large and giant breeds

Delayed desexing;

  • Reduces the incidence of certain joint issues such as hip and stifle problems, particularly in large and giant breeds.
  • May reduce the risk of Urinary incontinence in females
  • Can improve certain anxiety related disorders, including improved resilience, particularly in male dogs.

 

SOCIAL AND HEALTH BENEFITS FOR DESEXING CATS.

  • Stops reproduction and unwanted kittens.
  • In Females stops calling behaviour
  • In males can stop urine marking and spraying, roaming and fighting.

 

WHEN SHOULD I DESEX MY DOG?

DOGS

Whilst the general recommendation has always been for pre-pubertal desexing (between 5-6 months of age), in light of recent understandings the recommendation is to wait.

  • Small to medium breeds – after 12 months of age.
  • Large breeds – After 15-18 months of age (e.g. Labradors, German Shepherds, Rottweilers)
  • Giant Breeds  – After 24mths, with some even advocating for not desexing giant breed males at all. (e.g. Great Danes)

 

We also recommend that a discussion should be had with your Veterinarian regarding the specific pros and cons for dog taking into consideration their breed, age and sex.

 

 WHAT ABOUT CHEMICAL CASTRATION IN MALE DOGS?

This is a growing option which can be discussed in more detail. If there may be concerns about surgical desexing, or reasons such as the possibility of future breeding then chemical desexing which is a temporary measure, could be an option. READ MORE ABOUT CHEMICAL CASTRATION

 

CATS

At this stage we still believe that pre-pubital desexing of all cats at 5-6 months of age is still the best option.

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For the latest information from the Australian Veterinary Association and their position on desexing, please refer to the following link

AVA Desexing Guidelines

 

 

 

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