The Crucial Importance of Desexing Your Pets: Promoting Health, Behavior, and Population Control

July 15, 2023

Author: Mark Ehrman

vet with a dog

Spaying or neutering your pet is a crucial decision that comes with many benefits. Not only does it help control the pet population, there are several other reasons to ensure you desex your pet. From promoting the overall health and well-being of your furry companion to curbing undesirable behaviours, such as roaming and spraying, it has become a widely recommended practice.

Leading to long-term cost savings and contributing to reducing the number of stray and abandoned animals, the best age for desexing your pet can vary. Depending on the species, breed, and individual health considerations. Basically, the earlier, the better. For cats and dogs, the ideal age for neutering is between 4 to 6 months.

At this age, the pets are typically old enough to handle the surgery, yet young enough to experience the associated benefits, such as preventing unwanted characteristics and health issues. However, some veterinarians may recommend slightly different timing based on the specific circumstances.

For larger dog breeds, the timing might be adjusted to allow for more skeletal development before desexing. It is crucial to consult with a vet to assess your pet’s individual needs and provide the most appropriate guidance regarding the optimal age for desexing. Early desexing, before sexual maturity, is often preferred for maximum benefits, but your veterinarian can help determine the best course of action for your pet.

The cost of desexing a pet in Sydney varies depending on factors such as the type of animal, size, location, veterinary clinic, and any additional services included in the procedure. Generally, the cost can range from approximately $200 to $600 for dogs and $100 to $400 for cats. These figures are rough estimates and can differ significantly depending on various factors.

The Most Important Benefits Of Desexing Your Furry Friend

vet with a dog

There are several benefits of desexing your pet. We discuss the most important factors below;

Population control

One of the primary reasons for desexing pets is to control the pet population. Excessive and unwanted pets are a problem in many countries, leading to countless stray and abandoned animals. By spaying your pet, you help prevent unplanned litters and reduce the number of animals ending up in shelters or on the streets.

Health benefits

Spaying or neutering can have significant health benefits for your pet. For females, spaying eliminates the risk of uterine infections and reduces the risk of mammary gland tumours and certain types of cancers. Neutering males can help prevent testicular cancer and reduce the risk of prostate problems.

Behavioural improvements

Desexing can often lead to positive character changes in pets. Unneutered male animals are likely to display aggressive and territorial behaviour, roam in search of a mate, and engage in urine marking. Spaying females can prevent heat cycles, which can be stressful and attract unwanted attention from male animals.

Curbing roaming and spraying

Intact males and females may be more prone to escaping from the home or yard in search of a mate. This puts them at risk of accidents, injuries, and getting lost. Neutering helps reduce the desire to roam and decrease urine spraying behaviour, making your pet more content to stay close to home.

Long-term cost savings

While there is an upfront cost associated with the spaying or neutering procedure, it can save you money in the long run. Unplanned litters can be expensive to care for, and veterinary costs for treating reproductive-related health issues can be significant. By preventing these issues through desexing, you can potentially avoid these expenses.

It’s important to note that desexing should be performed by a qualified veterinarian. They can provide specific advice tailored to your pet’s breed, age, and health condition, and help you understand the best time to proceed with the procedure. The Matraville Veterinary Practice team offers the highest quality veterinary care including desexing in a brand new facility.

What Is The Process Of Desexing A Pet?

veterinarians doing operation

The process of desexing a pet involves a surgical procedure that is typically performed by a veterinarian. Here is a general overview of the process:

  1. Pre-surgical examination: Before the procedure, the vet will conduct a thorough examination of your pet to ensure they are healthy enough for surgery. Blood tests may be performed to check for any underlying conditions that could affect the surgery or anaesthesia.
  2. Anaesthesia: Your pet will be given general anaesthesia to ensure they are comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. The veterinarian will monitor your pet’s vital signs throughout the surgery to ensure their safety.
  3. Surgery for females (spaying): For female pets, an incision in the abdomen to access the ovaries and uterus will be created. The ovaries and uterus are then removed (ovariohysterectomy). The incision is typically closed with sutures or surgical staples.
  4. Surgery for males (neutering): For male pets, a small incision near the scrotum is made. The testicles are then removed (castration). In some cases, the vet may use dissolvable sutures, or no sutures at all, depending on the surgical technique used.
  5. Post-surgical care: After the surgery, your pet will be monitored as they recover from anaesthesia. They may be given pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infection. The veterinarian will provide instructions on post-operative care, such as limiting physical activity, keeping the incision site clean, and monitoring for any signs of complications.
  6. Follow-up appointments: It is essential to schedule a follow-up appointment with your veterinarian to ensure your pet is healing properly. The veterinarian will remove any non-dissolvable sutures and assess your pet’s recovery.

You should always consult with a qualified veterinarian to discuss the specific details and recommendations for your pet’s desexing procedure. They can provide personalised advice based on your pet’s age, breed, and overall health condition.

How To Choose The Best Veterinarian To Desex Your Pet

vet with a dog and a cat

Choosing the best veterinarian to desex your pet requires careful consideration. One crucial factor to consider is their reputation and experience. Seek recommendations from trusted sources and look for one with a track record of successful desexing surgeries.
Online reviews can provide valuable insights into the experiences of other pet owners. An experienced vet with a solid reputation is more likely to provide quality care.

Credentials and specialisations are also important. Ensure the vet is licensed and has the necessary qualifications to perform desexing surgeries. Also, some may have specific experience or certifications in areas such as veterinary surgery or reproductive medicine, which can be advantageous.

Evaluate the facility and resources of the clinic. Visit them to assess its cleanliness, organisation, and overall atmosphere. Check if the clinic is well-equipped with the necessary surgical tools, anaesthesia monitoring equipment, and post-operative care facilities. A well-maintained and adequately equipped clinic indicates the veterinarian takes their work seriously and prioritises the comfort and safety of their patients.

Communication and support are crucial aspects to consider. Choose a person who is approachable, communicates effectively, and takes the time to address your questions and concerns. A good vet should explain the desexing procedure, associated risks, and post-operative care requirements clearly. They should provide support and guidance throughout the process to ensure you are well-informed and comfortable with the procedure.

Consider the cost and payment options. While this shouldn’t be the sole determining factor, it is important to inquire about the cost of the desexing procedure, including any additional fees or post-operative medications. Ask if they offer payment plans or accept pet insurance, as these options can help manage the financial aspect of the procedure.

Finally, trust your instincts and choose a veterinarian with whom you feel compatible and confident. Your veterinarian should demonstrate genuine care and concern for your pet’s well-being. Building a trusting relationship with your veterinarian is vital for ensuring that your pet receives the best possible care throughout the desexing process.

Taking the time to research and consider these factors will help you choose a reputable, experienced, and caring veterinarian for your pet’s desexing procedure. This will ensure that your pet receives the highest quality of care before, during, and after the surgery. Matraville Veterinary Practice has a large team of caring and experienced vets experienced in desexing. Book an appointment today.

Got a question?

We’re here to help you with any urgent enquiries or assistance you might need. Need a little extra help, or not sure if you should bring your pet in for a check-up? Give our team a call and we’ll happily answer your questions.