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Home >  Blog >  What You Need To Know About Desexing Your Pet

What You Need To Know About Desexing Your Pet

Posted on 9 March 2021
What You Need To Know About Desexing Your Pet

Desexing your pet can be an anxious time - it's always difficult putting your pet through any kind of surgery. In the case of desexing, it's a procedure that is considered necessary to help reduce health and behavioural issues.

Being equipped with the knowledge of what takes place during the desexing procedure can help ease the stress involved for you and your family, allowing you to relax knowing your pet is in the best hands.


When should you desex your pet?

With dogs, the age of desexing is a point of contention and an on-going debate. The appropriate desexing age for dogs is continually being updated based on ongoing scientific developments. Current recommendations vary between breeds and breed sizes, our team can discuss with you the optimal age for desexing your dog. 

For cats, desexing usually takes place at a young age as cats can become sexually active as early as five months. It's advised the procedure takes place at 4-6 months of age.


What are the benefits for your pet?

Desexing is essentially sterilisation, stopping your pet's ability to breed. Females will not come into heat or become pregnant.

Health benefits - prevents womb infections and breast cancer in females and reduces prostate disease, testicular and perianal tumours in males

Behavioural benefits - reduces aggressive tendencies, spraying, marking, fighting


What does the desexing procedure involve?

In males, castration involves the removal of both testicles from beneath the skin. In females, abdominal surgery will be conducted to remove both the uterus and the ovaries in a procedure known as ovariohysterectomy.

All desexing procedures involve undergoing full anaesthesia.  Whilst a commonly performed procedure and one that's considered very safe, any surgery involving anaesthesia carries an inherent risk. However, veterinarians perform this surgery regularly and are very well practiced in the procedure.


What is the aftercare for a pet that's been desexed?

Expect that your pet will have a shaved area near/at the site of the surgery. Typically, one of their front legs will also be shaved and sometimes the neck area if a blood sample was taken.

Sutures are usually present after the surgery - external sutures require removal in 10-14 days, intradermal sutures are dissolving and do not require removal. It's important to check the suture line every day and keep the area clean and dry, and avoid your pet licking the wound or sutures. The use of an Elizabethan collar (you may know it as a cone) may be required.

Your pet will need to remain quiet and avoid overexcitement for 10-14 days.This can sometimes be challenging, especially given the young age at which pet's generally are desexed. Confining them to a small room when unsupervised, like a bathroom or laundry, may also be helpful.


If you notice any of these symptoms following your pet's surgery, contact us immediately:

  • Bruising and discomfort
  • Vomiting
  • Broken sutures
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Swelling or redness around the suture line
  • Reduced appetite or lethargy for more than 48 hours 
  • Lack of bowel movements for 2 to 3 days


To book your pet in to be desexed, or if you have any questions or concerns regarding desexing, please do not hesitate to contact us on (03) 9596 4804 . We're here to keep your pet as happy and healthy as possible.

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