Frequently Asked Questions about Neutering
Spring time is synonymous with baby animals, so let’s talk a little bit about desexing.
We regularly receive enquiries from proud new puppy and kitten parents who want to know more about sterilisation and what’s involved. It’s a lot to take in when you’re also trying to learn about puppy training, nutrition and preventative health treatments! To help, we’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions about desexing.
Why do we sterilise cats and dogs?
There are a number of important health, behavioural and social reasons why we recommend desexing your pet:
Prevent unwanted litters. These can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are euthanased each year.
Prevent testicular cancer and prostate disease in males.
Prevent pyometra (uterine infection) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females.
Stopping the heat cycle in females.
Decrease aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males.
Decrease risk of escaping and roaming, especially in males.
Prevent urine spraying, especially in male cats.
Living a longer and healthier life.
Reduction of council registration fees
What age should my pet be desexed?
This can be dependent on your pet’s breed but as a general rule we recommend that puppies and kittens be sterilised at around six months of age when they reach sexual maturity. Some larger dog breeds may be desexed later when their bones are fully developed. Our vets will help you to determine the best age for desexing your pet based on their breed, size and other health considerations.
Desexing of female cats and dogs (also known as ‘speying’) involves a full ovariohysterectomy (removal of the uterus and ovaries).
Desexing of male cats and dogs (castration) involves the removal of both testicles.
All surgeries are performed under general anaesthetic and a pain relief injection is administered before your pet goes home.
How long will my pet need to stay in hospital?
Desexing is a day procedure so your pet will be back home with you the same night.
Patient admissions usually occur first thing in the morning. The surgery nurse will need about 10 minutes of your time to gather some information about your pet and complete the admissions form.
You’ll be offered a pre-anaesthetic blood test for your pet which will help us to assess their liver and kidney function. Although not mandatory, we highly recommend this test to check that your pet’s organ function is within normal limits prior to the procedure. Blood tests will also provide a baseline for future tests if required.
After your pet is admitted to hospital the vet will give them a full nose to tail health check. They’ll then be given a sedative to help them relax prior to the anaesthetic, all under the close supervision of our vets and nurses.
We’ll call you after the surgery has been completed and update you on your pet’s recovery. At this time we’ll also arrange a discharge appointment for later the same day.
At your pet’s discharge appointment we’ll explain recovery and wound care, and book a follow up appointment for your pet within the next 10-14 days for suture removal. Your pet will be required to wear an elizabethan collar to prevent them from licking their wound. If there are any medications to be dispensed they will also be given at this time.
Will desexing change my pet’s behaviour?
Although having your pet sterilised won’t change their personality, castration can help to reduce roaming and aggressive behaviour in male dogs. It can also help to reduce urine marking and sexual behaviours such as mounting.
How long after the operation can we resume normal activities?
Although it’s not easy to keep an excited puppy still, you should try to limit your pet’s physical activity for a few days after surgery. If your pup is crate trained this can be an ideal place for quiet recovery. After about a week you should be able to start going for gentle walks.
Normal activities can resume after the sutures have been removed and the wound is completely healed.
How much notice do you need for my pet’s booking?
We only require 2-3 days notice to make a booking for your pet’s desexing procedure. Please call us on (03) 9568 2211 and our team can explain some important information you need to know before you bring your pet to hospital. We’ll also answer any questions that you may have.