My pet's going to put on weight, ‘he' is going to miss ‘it', she'll get lazy - so desexing is it for your pet? Deciding whether or not to have your pet de-sexed is a big decision, and from our point a view a very significant surgical procedure that requires a high level of care and skill. For most pets that live a healthy and event free life, desexing will be the most significant surgical procedure they will have. This article provides information on details on why and when you should have your pet desexed, what is involved in the procedure and some of the myths of desexing.
Why do veterinarians recommend desexing?
Veterinarians recommend desexing to prevent unwanted pregnancies in females. This is especially important for cats, as it is not always possible to tell when she is ‘on call’. In female dogs, desexing automatically stops their cycles and the associated bleeding and attention from male dogs.
Castration helps to control male dominance aggression problems and also reduces their wandering instincts if a female dog in the neighbourhood is on heat.
Tomcats have a tendency to roam and fight with other cats which can lead to other medical implications such as cat bite abscesses and FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus).
Significant medical reasons
Spaying reduces the risk of mammary tumours (which can be life threatening - just like breast cancer in women). Tumours of the ovaries, uterus and cervix and pyometra, a gross infection of the uterus, can also be prevented.
Castration reduces the risk of prostatic disease, perianal tumours, and eliminates the risk of testicular cancers.
Desexing may also be recommended in your pet to prevent hereditary diseases being passed on, or for treatment of some diseases such as prostatic hypertrophy or pyometra.
So you are a bit concerned you have heard a few rumours…
“Females should have a litter before being desexed.”
This is not necessary for your pet’s benefit. Spaying a dog before her first heat will reduce the risk of mammary cancer to nearly zero. Every season/heat a female has, significantly increases her chance of developing mammary cancer.
“Desexing my pet will make him/her fat.”
By removing organs that produce hormones your pet’s metabolism may be slowed, overfeeding your pet will make it fat.
“Animals become lazy after they are desexed.”
There is generally no change in the character of your dog. Young males will be less inclined to mount objects and jump fences in search of a female mate. However, they will still be happy to chase their favourite ball or participate in their favourite activity.
“Desexing a trained guard dog will reduce his/her ability to guard.”
Guarding results from instinctive territorial behaviour… it is not changed by the removal of testicles.
“I don’t want to desex my dog because he will miss it”.
Desexing animals at 6 months means they do not have a chance to develop mating behaviours. This is also “humanising” what your pet feels. Dogs are an important part of the family, but remember – they are not human!
When can my pet be desexed?
Pets can be desexed at any age including during their more mature years. Whilst pets can be desexed as early as 6 weeks of age, most pets are desexed between 5 and 6 months of age. We also generally recommend, unless necessary for medical reasons, not to desex a female pet whilst they are in heat/ season as the nature of being in season makes the surgery potentially more complicated.
How soon after an oestrous cycle can my bitch or queen (female cat) be desexed?
When an animal is in season, there is an increased blood supply to both the uterus and the ovaries. Animals can be desexed whilst they are in season, but generally you should try to do the surgery from about 4 to 6 weeks after the start of their last oestrous cycle.
How long will my pet be in hospital?
In most cases your pet will be required to stay for a day and can return home the same evening as the surgery.
Your local Vet will assist you with perparing your pet for this step. Usaully they require you to fast your pet the night prior to surgery. Nursing staff will see that your pet is comfortable before and after surgery and keep you upto date of your pets operation and recovery.
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Flea Control and Its Benefits
Desexing your Pet
The Care of Senior Pets
Giving Your Pet a Tablet
How to Apply a Spot on Treatment
Your Pet and Managing Biting
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Resource informaion provided by Vetwest Website.