There are so many benefits of desexing that outweigh the concerns about not desexing your pet. We’d like to provide some information on desexing to help you make the right decision for your pet.
You may be anxious about the pain and the risk the procedure may cause your beautiful fur baby and the guilt of putting them through such a procedure.
At Ourimbah Vets one of the most important things to us is that our patients are comfortable and pain free. Each and every single one of our patient’s analgesia (pain relief) is managed according to their individual needs to ensure they are as comfortable and pain free as possible- this also extends to the days following the procedure.
It is a fact of life that general anaesthesia comes with a risk- however a young and healthy animal undergoing an anaesthesia for a routine procedure poses minimal risk. On admission you are asked very specific questions about your pet so we can determine whether or not your pet is fit for surgery. Along with these questions a thorough physical examination is performed by your vet prior to the anaesthetic. During every anaesthetic procedure a dedicated, trained nurse monitors the anaesthetic from sedation to recovery.
There are ways to assess risks even further by performing a pre anaesthetic blood screen, (in addition to a thorough physical examination of your pet) to check for underlying organ dysfunction.We clip a little fur under the neck area and draw approximately 1ml of blood to be tested. This blood screen tests your pets kidney and liver function, the organs that are mainly responsible for metabolising the anaesthetic drugs. The test is run in house on our state of the art laboratory equipment and we get the results within minutes. If the results are abnormal we can tailor a more specific anaesthetic plan for your pet or in some cases may need to postpone the surgery to a later date. If the results are normal, you and your vet have peace of mind that your pet is healthy. The results are kept on your pets history as a baseline we can refer to for the rest of their life.
Another way to minimise the impact of anaesthesia is to administer intravenous fluids throughout the procedure – we clip a little fur off your pet’s leg, we then place a catheter in the vein of their leg and connect it to a fluid pump to administer the fluids to your pet. By doing this we are maintaining blood pressure, hydration levels, kidney function and it also aids in the recovery process
How does Desexing benefit your pet?
Desexing performed around 5-6 months of age is an ideal time. Your pet is old enough to cope with the anaesthesia but also young enough that they are less likely to have started any behavioural problems that arise from not being desexed. Desexing can be done at any age providing the anaesthesia will be safe for them, in fact some medical conditions such as enlarged prostate in undesexed dogs are treated by desexing- even in relatively old dogs.
Some behavioural problems may occur in increased incidence in undesexed animals- aggression towards other animals (particularly in undesexed males), territorial and dominate behaviour,spraying and marking of territory, escaping the yard to find a mate, fight wounds including abcesses. The older your undesexed pet gets prior to desexing the less likely the unwanted behaviour will be helped by desexing.
Your pet is less likely to stray or wander looking for a ‘mate’. Some animals may do whatever it takes to get out and injure themselves in the escape. They dig under or jump over fences, some dogs are known to even jump through windows causing terrible injuries! An animal that has escaped from their home is a danger to themselves and to the public- your pet may be hit by a car or cause an accident and you also run the risk of never finding them. If they are taken to the pound you will have to pay a fee for them to be released.
Desexing may reduce the risk of certain cancers and diseases that can arise when pets still have their reproductive organs such as:
- Pyometra (infected uterus)- this can make your dog extremely sick and is potentially life threatening
- Testicular cancer
- Mammary tumours
- Prostate issues
- Ovarian tumours and cysts
- No risk of accidental litters. Sadly there are too many unwanted pets at our pounds and shelters. Pregnant animals need proper management and may have complications during the birthing process which could be quite costly and traumatic for your mumma pet not to mention to the cost and time involved in raising puppies or kittens
Council lifetime registration is substantially cheaper if your pet is de sexed at the time of registration.
When do dogs go on heat?
Female dogs usually have their first heat at 6-9 months of age, then every 6-12 months. Each heat lasts 2-3 weeks.
When do cats go on heat?
Female cats can come on heat around 6 months of age but this depends on the season as they are seasonal breeders. When in heat it can last from 1 to several days. During mating season cats go out of heat then come back into heat within 1-2 weeks (if not mated).
MYTH- My pet will become lazy and overweight or their personality may change
Your pet will not put on weight or become lazy – after Desexing animals may become more placid, loyal and cuddly as they are not on ‘edge’ from being hormonal and looking for a mate. A regular exercise routine and good diet are a must in every animals life.
MYTH- It’s good for them to have their first season or good for them to have at least one litter
There are no proven health benefits for your pet by letting your dog have a litter or their first season.
MYTH- Your male dog may feel less masculine
Other than the slight discomfort straight after the surgery. Your dog will be none the wiser that he has had his testicles removed.
MYTH- It is expensive
It is a fairly priced procedure especially when compared to the cost of raising a litter of kittens or puppies. The cost of registering a desexed cat or dog is a lot less expensive than registering an undesexed one.