Desexing or neutering your pet is a surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce.

In male pets, it is commonly referred to as “castration”, and in female pets as “spaying”. This is the most frequent surgery performed at Vetcall, and in almost all cases your pet is home by the evening of surgery.

The ideal age to desex your cat is between 4 and 6 months, however they are never too old to be desexed.

The ideal age for desexing dogs is determined by several different factors including expected mature weight, breed, lifestyle and temperament and may vary significantly for each dog. We will discuss with you the pro's and con's of neutering, and use the latest available data based information to decide with you what will suit your dog best.

There are many benefits to desexing your cat or dog including:

  • Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year.

  • Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, prevention of pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females.

  • Stopping the “heat” cycle in females.

  • Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males.

  • Being less prone to wander, especially in males.

  • Living a longer and healthier life.

  • Reduction of council registration fees for dogs.

Common questions about desexing

“Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?”

Your pet will retain their pre-operation personality, possibly with the added bonus of being calmer and less aggressive.

“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.

“Is desexing painful?”

As with all surgery, there is some tenderness immediately after the procedure, but most pets will recover very quickly. We administer pain relief prior to surgery and after surgery too.  Dogs are discharged with a short course of pain relief medication to take at home for the first few days after the surgery.  In many cases, your pet will likely need some encouragement to take it easy!

“Will my dog lose its “guard dog”instinct?”

No, your dog will be just as protective of their territory as before the surgery.

What to do before and after surgery

Before surgery:

  • Make a booking for your pets operation.

  • If your pet is a dog, wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed after until the stitches are removed.

  • Do not give your pet food after 8:00pm the night before the operation and do not give them any water after 7:00am on the day of surgery.

  • A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check your pet's vital organ function, and we recommend intravenous fluid support for all pets undergoing anaesthesia. These options with be discussed with you prior to your pet's procedure.

  • The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.

  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to and after desexing.

After Surgery:

  • Keep your pet restrained and quiet as the effects of anaesthetic 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 only 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 us 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 Elizabethan 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.

Click here for more information on cat desexing / dog desexing. 

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