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Desexing: A Stitch At A Time


Desexing of male and female animals (castration and ovariohysterectomy) are two of the most common procedures that we perform in veterinary practice.

It’s a good idea to desex your pet if you don’t have the time, knowledge or finances to responsibly breed from them. Routine care of a female and her pups (including vaccinations, special diets and parasite control) can be expensive and time-consuming, and any medical birthing or puppy health complications can potentially cost thousands of dollars in emergency fees.

Local councils frequently encourage desexing by offering cheaper registration fees for desexed pets – this is done to help address the issues of unwanted pets in shelters, and feral cats and dogs devastating our wildlife.

Correctly-timed desexing also provides benefits such as:

  • Prevention of pyometra (womb infection) or uterine cancers in females.
  • Prevention of testicular cancers in males.
  • Reduced risk of urine spraying in male cats.
  • Reduced risk of problem urine marking or humping in male dogs.
  • Not having to manage female oestrus (heat) periods, where there is a risk of accidental mating, and sometimes yowling theatrics in female cats!
  • Reduced risk of male rabbit territorial aggression.

In large breed dogs, we may make a medical recommendation for later desexing at around 12-18 months old. Recent studies indicate this helps with optimal musculoskeletal development in these dogs, reducing the risk of future injuries such as cruciate ligament tears.

When your pet is with us for desexing, we can sometimes perform other beneficial procedures under the same anaesthetic if required, e.g. removal of retained baby teeth, repair of umbilical hernias, gastropexy in giant breed dogs to reduce risk of stomach twisting (GDV), or removal of hind dewclaws.

If you have any further questions about desexing your pet, please give our Pet Doctors team a call on 5576 0400!