What is Desexing?
Surgical desexing involves removal of part of a pet’s reproductive system whilst under a general anaesthetic. In females, desexing is also known as speying or an ovarian hysterectomy and involves removing the ovaries and uterus. In males, desexing is also known as castration or neutering and involves the removal of both testicles.
Deciding to Have Your Pet Desexed
Deciding on whether to have your pet desexed is a question that every pet parent asks. At Eltham Veterinary Practice we recommend that all pets not intended for breeding be desexed. Not only are there a number of health benefits but having your pet desexed also decreases the potential for unwanted puppies and kittens.
Why We Recommend Desexing
Veterinarians recommend desexing to prevent unwanted pregnancies in females and to stop millions of dogs and cats being destroyed at animal shelters every year. Desexing is especially important for cats, as it is not always possible to tell when a female is in season. In female dogs, desexing automatically stops their cycles and the associated bleeding and attention from male dogs that result in pregnancy.
Castration in male pets helps to control several behavioural related issues. In dogs it can prevent aggression problems and wandering instincts. In male cats it can reduce the tendency to roam and fight which often leads to cat bite abscesses and related complications.
In both cats and dogs, male urine odour can be particularly strong and pungent. Desexing usually prevents this odour, plus in most cases desexing will reduce or eliminate spraying in cats.
What is Included in the Cost of Desexing?
We believe in a high standard of care for your pets. Our desexing cost includes more than just the cost of the surgery. Our desexing cost includes;
- All our animals are placed on a drip to maintain their blood pressure throughout the anaesthetic.
- Our nurses monitor your pet closely during and after the procedure to minimise anaesthetic risk.
- We take the opportunity to clip your pets nails and check their ears, as these are procedures most pets find uncomfortable when awake.
- We check your pets for retained baby teeth, extra dew claws and hip laxity.
- We use buried sutures so you don’t need to worry about your pet removing them, and there is usually no need for an Elizabethan collar on your pet post-operatively (which we realise are horribly awkward and uncomfortable for both you and your pet).
- Pain relief to keep your pet comfortable at home.
- A free revisit consultation 14 days post operatively to check the surgery site but also to answer any questions you may have.
Your Pet’s Care in Our Hospital
Once your pet has been admitted to our ward, we will perform a health check, take blood and administer a sedative, this will help your pet to relax. After surgery your pet will recover on a heating pad, accompanied by hygienic, dry and fluffy bedding. Your pet will be treated as if they are our own. Not only will our veterinary nurses continue to monitor throughout the recovery process, they will also give your pet the attention (and cuddles of course) they deserve.
Common questions about Pet Desexing.
Why Should I Desex My Pet?
We recommend desexing to prevent unwanted pregnancies in females and to stop millions of dogs and cats being destroyed at animal shelters every year.
Desexing is especially important for cats, as it is not always possible to tell when a female is in season. In female dogs, desexing automatically stops their cycles and the associated bleeding and attention from male dogs that result in pregnancy.
Castration in male pets helps to control several behavioural related issues. In dogs it can prevent aggression problems and wandering instincts.
In male cats it can reduce the tendency to roam and fight which often leads to cat bite abscesses and related complications.
In both cats and dogs, male urine odour can be particularly strong and pungent. Desexing usually prevents this odour plus in most cases desexing will reduce or eliminate spraying in cats.
What are the Medical Benefits of Desexing?
In females, desexing (also known as speying) reduces the risk of:
- mammary tumours,
- eliminates the risk of tumours in the ovaries, uterus and cervix
- prevents other medical conditions such as pyometra (infection of the uterus).
In males, desexing (which is also knows as neutering), reduces the risk of:
- prostatic diseases,
- perianal tumours
- eliminates the risk of testicular cancers.
What Does Desexing Surgery Involve?
The goal of any surgery at Eltham Veterinary Practice is to minimize anxiety to your pet, perform a safe and successful procedure and eliminate pain during and after surgery. With this in mind, here are a few things you should know about surgery at Eltham Vets.
As in human medicine, the anaesthetics available for anaesthetising companion pets are extremely safe. As a result, risk is greatly minimised when a “healthy” pet is placed under anaesthetic. However, if your pet is not “healthy”, complications can occur both during and after an anaesthetic procedure. To fully assess your pets overall health, it is necessary to perform a blood test prior to anaesthesia.
Intravenous fluids will help your pet’s liver and kidneys flush out anaesthetic drugs and maintain better blood pressure during surgery. This means a safer anaesthetic and faster recovery for your pet.
Pain relief is provided to all pets during and after surgery. We also provide take home medication so your pet can continue to recover comfortably on their return home.
Eltham Veterinary Practice uses the latest and safest combination of anaesthetics including alfaxalone and isoflurance gas anaesthetic. We also use specialised equipment to monitor the administration of anaesthetic during surgery.
Just as in human surgery, the EVP surgical team are fully gowned during surgery. Instruments are sterilised in an autoclave and we have a dedicated surgical theatre.
The EVP dedicated patient care nursing staff will monitor your pet before, during and after surgery and will ensure your pet is kept in a comfortable and warm environment.
Buried Sutures (Stitching)
No dog or cat likes wearing an Elizabethan Collar (Or “bucket on the head”) after surgery. Our surgeons place buried sutures (a plastic surgery technique) so everything is hidden away and your pet doesn’t need to wear a collar after their desexing.
What is the Best Age for Desexing?
The best age for desexing can vary depending on the breed and size of your pet and your lifestyle. The current recommended age for desexing small breed dogs is around six months. However, at Eltham Veterinary Practice we recommend tailoring your pets desexing to their specific breed and size. Please ring 9439 8650 to book a free desexing check to discuss the optimal age to desex your pet.
Will I Need to Take Time Off to Care for My Pet?
We are often asked whether or not a pet parent should stay at home to care for a pet after surgery. Generally pets make a speedy recovery after routine surgeries such as desexing. For this reason staying at home with them is not necessary as long as they have somewhere warm and comfortable to stay. However, if you are considering making special plans to be with your pet, we suggest you take the day off after surgery rather than the day of surgery.
Myth: “Females should have a litter before being desexed.”
For your pets health this is not true, spaying a dog before 12 months will greatly reduce the risk of mammary cancer.
Myth: “Desexing will make my pet fat.”
Desexing is done at an age when rapid puppy growth is decreasing and diet control is necessary. Overfeeding and lack of exercise will make your pet fat not desexing.
Myth: “Desexing a trained guard dog will reduce his/her ability to guard.”
Guarding results from instinctive territorial behaviour. This does not change when a dog is desexed, in fact they are less likely to become aggressive as they get older.
Myth: “Pets become lazy after they are desexed”
There are generally no changes in the character of pets after desexing. Young male dogs however will be less inclined to mount objects and jump fences in search of a mate.
Dr. Eden Clark
Eden is a Diamond Creek girl who knows and loves the Eltham area. Eden desired to become a vet from a very young age and spent much of her childhood caring for wildlife, including housing bees overnight in homemade enclosures and feeding them sugar syrup until they were recuperated! It was her strong compassion that drove her desire to become a veterinarian.
After 6 years of study, Eden graduated from the University of Melbourne with First Class Honours in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She has been lucky enough to spend the last 3 months travelling abroad through Central and South America with her partner before joining our team.