at Benalla Veterinary Clinic
1. Dogs and Cats
Desexing or neutering your dog or cat pet is a surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce. In male pets it is commonly referred to as “castration”, and in female pets as “speying”. This 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 desex your cat or dog is between 4 and 5 months, however they are never too old to be desexed.
There are many benefits to desexing your pet before 5 months. They include:
- Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year
- Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, and it can help prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females
- Stopping the “heat” cycle in females
- Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males
- Being less prone to wander, especially in males
- Living a longer and healthier life
- Reduction of council registration fees
Common questions about desexing – FAQ’s
“Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?”
Your pet will retain their pre-operation personality, possibly with the added bonus of being calmer and less aggressive.
“Should my female have one litter first?”
No – it is actually better for her not to have any litters before being spayed.Her risk of developing breast cancer increases if she is allowed to go through her first heat.
“Will it cause my pet to become fat?”
Your pet’s metabolism may be slowed due to hormonal changes after desexing, however this is easily managed with adjusting feeding and ensuring adequate exercise. There is no reason a desexed pet cannot be maintained at a normal weight.
“Will my dog lose its “guard dog” instinct?”
No, your dog will be just as protective of their territory as before the surgery.
“Is desexing painful?”
As with all surgery, there is some tenderness immediately after the procedure, but most pets will recover very quickly. We administer pain relief prior to surgery and after surgery too. Your pet will be discharged with a short course of pain relief medication to take at home for the first few days after the surgery. In many cases, your pet will likely need some encouragement to take it easy and rest!
For dogs and cats we now offer ‘Keyhole’ spey surgery (laproscopic minimally invasive ovariectomy or ovariohysterectomy). This is performed as a day procedure like an open spey, however the wound size is reduced to two tiny keyholes.
“What are the advantages of ‘KEYHOLE‘ speying?”
1. Smaller wound size – significantly less traumatic
2. Faster recovery time
3. Usually no need for an Elizabethan collar post operatively
4. A safer procedure
“Can a gastropexy be performed on my dog at the same time?”
Yes, to reduce the likelihood of the life-threatening emergency condition called Gastric Dilatation-Volvulous(GDV) or twisted stomach a prophylactic gastropexy can be performed on larger at-risk,deep-chested breeds such as German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Saint Bernards, Great Danes, Gordon Setters, Irish Setters, Irish Wolfhounds, Bull Mastiffs, Airedale Terriers, Akitas, Weimeraners, German Short Haired & Wire Haired Pointers, Standard Poodles, Bassett Hounds at the time of desexing either by laproscopically-assisted surgery or by conventional ‘open’ surgery necessitating a full abdominal incision. As ‘open’ surgery requires a much larger wound and we recommend ‘keyhole’ gastropexy as the best option and can be performed during desexing surgery.
What to do before and after surgery
- Make a booking for your pets operation.
- If your pet is a dog, wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed after until the stitches are removed.
- Do not give your pet food after 10pm the night before the operation and do not give them any water after 8am on the day of surgery. Also feeding about half their normal food quantity over the 24 hours before surgery will be helpful.
- A blood test may need to be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function (pre-anaesthetic blood testing).
- Your vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
- Most pets require intravenous fluid support during surgery. This will be discussed with you prior to the procedure.
- To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to desexing and to take home for a few days after the procedure.
- 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 and water should be limited to small portions only on the night after surgery.
- Follow any dietary instructions that the vet has provided.
- Ensure all post-surgical medications (if any) are administered as per the label instructions.
- Ensure your pet’s rest area is clean to avoid infection.
- Check the incision at least twice daily for any signs of infection or disruption (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if these symptoms appear. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
- Prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. Special 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.
Remember if you have any concerns at all before or after your pet has been desexed, please call us.
Book an Appointment with Us
We ask that you make an appointment if your animal requires veterinary attention. This ensures you will have fast and efficient service. This can now also be done online via our portal.