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Desexing surgery - what to expect from a desexing procedure

Desexing

North Road Veterinary Centre is fully equipped with a professional surgical suite and advanced monitoring equipment, to ensure your pet receives the highest standard of care whilst a surgical procedure is performed under general anaesthesia in our hospital.

Desexing is a surgical procedure requiring a general anaesthetic.

It is performed as a day procedure, Monday-Friday. Your pet will usually be admitted early in the morning and discharged in the evening.

Desexing is recommended for dogs, cats and rabbits to help prevent some serious medical diseases in later life and also to avoid potential behavioural problems.

We recommend cats to be desexed at 4-6 months of age.

The recommended age for desexing male and female dogs is continually debated, with age recommendations being modified and updated based on ongoing scientific studies. Current recommendations vary between breeds and breed sizes, our team will discuss with you the optimal age for desexing your pet.

We understand any surgical procedure can be an anxious and concerning time for you and your pet.

A health assessment is performed by the surgeon prior to surgery. Pre-anaesthetic blood tests and intravenous fluids are recommended during the procedure.

Advanced anaesthetic monitoring equipment is used, a dedicated anaesthetic nurse is assigned during and in recovery to ensure close monitoring of your pet.

Appropriate pain relief is administered and also dispensed after surgery.

The Desexing Procedure:

  • Males undergo a castration which is the removal of both testicles from beneath the skin.
  • Females undergo a spey (ovariohysterectomy), which requires abdominal surgery to remove  both the uterus and the ovaries.

The Benefits:

  • Females will not come into heat or become pregnant.
  • Health benefits for females preventing womb infections (pyometra) and breast cancer. 
  • Health benefits for males such as reduced prostate disease, testicular cancer, perianal tumors.
  • Behavioural benefits such as reduced aggressive tendencies, spraying, marking, fighting.

What to Expect after Surgery:

  • We routinely place a desexing tatoo inside the left ear to indicate your pet has been desexed.
  • For males, the groin area will be clipped of hair and there will be a small suture line in front of the scrotum.
  • For females the belly area will be clipped of hair and there will be a suture line in the mid-line.
  • Grogginess.
  • Decreased appetite for 24-48 hours.
  • Mild bruising and discomfort a day after surgery may occur.
  • Mild cough 2-3 days after surgery may occur from the anesthetic tube causing a small amount of irritation to the throat.
  • Mild clipper rash at the surgery site can sometimes occur.

Protecting Sutures and Wounds Advice Sheet

Please call us if you notice any of these signs:

  • Severe bruising or discomfort 
  • Swelling or redness around the suture line
  • Swelling of the scrotum in males
  • Discharge from the suture line
  • Urinary incontinence (leaking of urine following surgery)
  • Vomiting
  • Off food or lethargy for greater than 48 hours
  • Chewing at sutures
  • Broken sutures
  • No stools for more than 2 days after surgery
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