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 by our vets, and generally your pet is home by the evening of surgery.

Many pets are desexed as juveniles or young adults although dogs and cats are never too old for desexing.

There are many benefits to desexing your pet:

  • 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 reduction in mammary tumours incidence (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
  • Reduction of council registration fees



Should I let my dog have a heat before desexing her?

Allowing female dogs to have a heat may be beneficial for bone and joint development in larger breed dogs, it may also help in prevention of urinary incontinnance.  This is less critical for smaller dogs.  Desexing between the first and second heat is likely to reduce the risk of mammary tumours in future years and prevents pyometra.  Smaller dogs do not necessarily benefit from having a heat.  We recommend discussing the age of desexing your dog with one of our vets.

What's the best age to desex male dogs?

Large breed dogs will benefit from desexing after they reach their mature size, this allows for better bone and joint development (this generally occurs after 12 months of age).  Small breed dogs are not affected by age so much and can be desexed around 6 months of age.

What's involved in desexing?

All desexings are completed with surgical sterility under general anaesthesia.  Males are desexed by removing the testicles and females are generally desexed via ovariohysterectomy (removal of the ovaries and the uterus)

Are there any other oprtions?

Chemical neutering is available for temporary/long term neutering via chemical implant.  Please get in touch with our vets if you would like to discuss this

What to do before and after surgery

Before surgery:

  • Make a booking for your pets operation.
  • If your pet is a dog, you can wash them the day before surgery as they are then unable to be washed after until the stitches are removed.
  • You can give you pet an evening meal as normal the day prior to surgery, but do not leave food out overnight. Water should be freely available to your pet until 8am on the day of surgery.
  • A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function.
  • The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
  •  Intravenous fluid therapy is included in all female desexing surgeries and all dog castrations to maintian blood pressure during surgery and aid in recovery from anaeshtesia.
  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief as part of the desexing procedure.

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 during the following 10 days.
  • Food and water should be limited to small portions only on the night following 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 (e.g. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if any of these occur. 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 and licking suture lines often allows the wount to become infected.
  • Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches.