Having your pet de-sexed

De-sexing or neutering your pet is a surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce. It is commonly referred to as "castration" in males and "speying" in female pets. De-sexing is the most frequent surgery performed by our vets, and generally, your pet is home by the evening of surgery.

The most common age to de-sex your pet is between 6 and 9 months; however, they are never too old to be de-sexed.

There are many benefits to de-sexing your pet before. They include:

  • Preventing unwanted litters', which can be very costly. Having your pet sterilised reduces the number of stray animals. 
  • Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males can help prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females.
  • Stopping the “heat” cycle in females. 
  • Decreases possible aggression aimed towards humans and other animals, especially other males
  • Being less prone to wander, especially in males.
  • They are less prone to wander the suburbs, especially males.
  • Reduction of council registration fees.

Speak to one of our veterinarians if you have any concerns about when to de-sex your pet. They will take into account your pet’s individual needs and advise you appropriately.

What to do before and after surgery

Before surgery:

  • Make a booking for your pet's operation.
  • If your pet is a dog, you can wash them the day before surgery as they are then unable to be cleaned until the removal of the stitches.
  • You can give your pet an evening meal, as usual, the day before surgery, but do not leave food out overnight. Water should be freely available to your pet until 8 a.m. on the day of surgery.
  • A blood test may be performed before surgery to check vital organ function.
  • The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
  • During most surgeries, if required, the use of intravenous fluid therapy may be undertaken. Either our nursing staff or veterinarian will discuss this with you before any procedure.
  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief as part of the desexing procedure. We may prescribe medication for you to administer at home for a few days after the procedure.

After Surgery:

  • Keep your pet restrained and quiet, as the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely.
  • Keeping them quiet is also essential to allow the wound to heal.
  • Food should be limited to small portions on the night of surgery. Follow any dietary instructions that the veterinarian has provided.
  • Ensure all post-surgical medications (if any) are always administered as per the label instructions.
  • Ensure your pet's rest area is clean 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 veterinary clinic immediately if any of these occur. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
  • Prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. Unique cone-shaped collars assist with this problem. A single chew can remove the careful stitching with disastrous effects.
  • Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches.

If you have any concerns before or after any surgery please contact Bicton Veterinary Clinic as soon as possible.