Desexing your pet is a surgical procedure that removes the source of their reproductive ability, however that is not the main reason why we recommend desexing. Animals who are entire (not desexed) have increased risk of health conditions such as mammary cancer, pyometra (an infection of the uterus which can progress to an emergency), or prostate disease for the boys.

This is the most frequent surgery performed by our vets, and usually has low risk of complications provided aftercare is followed, and this will be discussed at your discharge appointment. Your pet will usually be home by the evening after surgery.

The most common age to desex your pet has traditionally been around 6 months, and this is recommended for cats. However, for dogs there has been more discussion and research around the ideal time of desexing, which varies for the breed of dog. Larger breed dogs require a longer time to fully develop their bones and joints, so there is more advocacy for waiting until 9-12+ months before desexing. If you have questions regarding desexing, please book an appointment to chat with one of our vets.

There are many benefits to desexing your pet, such as:
  • Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, and pyometra and mammary cancer in females
  • Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming stray population
  • Stopping the heat cycle in females and avoiding altercations with other unknown dogs
  • Decreasing behavioural problems such as urine marking, humping, aggression
  • Avoiding high council registration fees

Before surgery:

  • Discuss the procedure with your vet and make a booking
  • You can wash dogs the day before surgery as they are then unable to be washed after until the stitches are removed.
  • Your pet should be fasted the night before surgery. They  can have dinner before 8pm but do not leave food out overnight, and no breakfast the day of as well. Water is fine to leave as normal until 7 am on the day of surgery.
  • Sometimes a blood test may be recommended to check vital organ function before going under anaesthesia, especially older animals or if they have had previous issues.
  • Intravenous fluid therapy is also recommended to support your pet's circulation and blood pressure during surgery. This will be discussed with you prior to the procedure.
  • Arrive on time for your admit appointment, as you will need to sign a consent form before surgery.


After Surgery:

  • It is critical that you keep your pet as quiet as possible so that the wound can heal properly and avoid swelling or re-opening. 
  • The anaesthetic medications may take up to a day to resolve, and your pet will be quiet. Give them some TLC, and they should return to normal within 1-2 days. 
  • You should only feed a small amount of food on the night after surgery. Try giving a quarter of their usual amount, and if they do well with this, you can give another quarter in an hour. 
  • Your pet will usually have received injection medications during their stay, such as pain relief. There will usually be some oral medications to go home with as well, but they should be given the following day. Give these medications as per the label instructions.
  • Ensure your pet’s rest area is clean and dry to avoid infection.
  • Check the surgical wound at least twice daily for any signs of infection or disruption (e.g. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the clinic immediately if any of these occur. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
  • You MUST prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. A single chew can remove the careful stitching with disastrous effects. They will have received a special cone-shaped collar, keep this on for the whole time until your recheck appointment. Taking it on and off will usually be more trouble than leaving it on, they will get used to it eventually.
  • Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches.