The number of puppies and kittens born each year is significantly greater than the number of good homes available for them. The result of this is thousands of healthy and unwanted animals destroyed or left to fend for themselves.
Having your dog or cat desexed not only helps reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens but is a safe and practical way to prevent behavioural problems and many diseases and conditions associated with dogs and cats who are not desexed.
Sterilisation of kittens can be done any time once they weigh over 1.2kgs.
For dogs and puppies, sterilisation suggestions can vary depending upon their breed, size and age. Our vets and nurses can offer you the best advice on this.
What does sterilisation involve?
Castration of males and speying of females is performed under general anaesthetic by our veterinarian. Your pet will be required to be fasted overnight to prevent any problems during the surgery. Castration of a male involves a cut into the scrotum of the dog or cat to remove the testicles. Speying involves a single cut into the abdomen of the female to remove the ovaries and uterus. Once the anaesthetic has worn off, and we have monitored them for several hours post op, your pet should be ready to go home in the afternoon.
Benefits of Sterilisation
Speying stops the bleeding that occurs during the heat cycle and behavioural changes such as wandering when in season.
- Reduces the risk of mammary cancer
- Prevents false pregnancies and infections of the uterus
- Helps prevent antisocial behaviours associated with sexual maturity e.g. aggressive behaviour, wandering for a mate, sexual behaviour such as mounting of animals and people.
Reduces risks of developing prostate and testicular diseases.
Common questions about sterilisation
“Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?”
Your pet will retain their personality, possibly with a calmer demeanour and temperament
“Should my female have a litter first?”
No – we recommend leaving breeding to the professionals. Choosing to breed from your beloved pet is not something we suggest anyone goes into lightly, puppies are a great deal of responsibility and require a lot of effort, time, care, and expense.
“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.
“Will my dog lose its guard dog instincts?”
No, your dog will be just as protective of their territory as before the surgery.
What to do before and after surgery
If your pet is a dog, wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed after until the sutures are removed.
Do not give your pet food after 10pm the night before the operation - THEY MUST BE FASTED 10 HOURS PRIOR TO SURGERY (with the exception of rabbits). Water is fine for them to have.
We ask if possible, to please take your dog for a short toilet walk the morning of surgery, so that they are more comfortable during their stay.
A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function. This will be discussed with you prior to the procedure.
Our vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
Some pets will require intravenous fluid support during surgery. This will be discussed with you prior to the procedure.
We ask that you please try to keep your pet calm and rested, as the effects of anaesthesia can take some time to wear off completely.
Keeping them quiet is also essential to allow the wound to heal.
Food and water should be limited to small portions 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 you have any concerns before or after your pet has been desexed, please call us immediately to discuss.