Desexing your Pet

What is desexing?


Desexing your furry friend provides your dog or cat with many health benefits and prevents overwhelming unplanned pregnancies. This procedure involves the surgical removal of your pet’s reproductive organs under general anesthesia.

For female pets, desexing or spaying involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries. In male pets, also referred to as neutering or castration, both testicles are removed.

Why do your pets need to be desexed?

There are many reasons why we recommend that you four-legged friend be desexed. Not only does the procedure bring forth health benefits which are listed below but pets which have been desexed generally show less aggressive behaviour.


When is it best to de sex your pet? This varies depending on the size, breed and particular situation:

  • Male and female puppy dogs can be neutered any time after 8 weeks unless the pooch weighs less than 1kg. However, we usually recommend waiting until 5-6 months as the anaesthetic is safer when puppies are around this age.
  • For large and giant breed dogs recent research has shown there are some benefits in waiting until over 12 months of age for desexing.
  • Female dogs should not get spayed if they are on heat because of much higher risk of bleeding during surgery. We recommend to wait at least 4-8 weeks before booking in to allow the uterus to return to its usual size.
  • It is not recommended to de sex pets which have experienced a recent and severe injury or illness.

desexing for dogs
Generally, your puppies, male and female, should be neutered or spayed at around 5-6 months. Why so early? Because most breeds gain sexual maturity by the age of 5 or 6 months and then are capable of reproducing. When it comes to cats, desexing is generally best done before your cat hits puberty which is around six months of age.

However, feel free to discuss all the details with our friendly staff and we can advise you on what is best for you and your pet.

Benefits of desexing your puppy / dog

In male dogs, castration reduces behavioural issues such as aggression and can reduce the risks of reproductive diseases such as testicular cancer and prostate enlargement.

In female dogs, spaying eliminates periodic cycles and messy bleeding as well as risks of uterine infection (pyometra), uterine and ovarian cancer and reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer.
Read more on why you should desex your dog.

Benefits of desexing your kitten / cat

For male cats, neutering reduces risks for injuries caused by wandering and aggressive behaviour as well as risks of contracting feline immunodeficiency virus, prostate and testicular cancer.

In female cats, desexing eliminates risks of pyometra and uterine/ovarian cancer and reduces the risk of mammary cancer. It will also help to avoid injuries when wandering in search of mates.
Read our Guide on desexing your cat.


desexing for cats

What happens on the day of desexing?

  • Desexing is usually a day surgical procedure. We recommend dropping off your furry friend between 7:30 and 9:30am with an empty stomach (no food after 10pm the night before).
  • After admission your pet will be settled into the hospital where one of our vets will perform a pre-anaesthetic physical examination. Any blood tests if elected will be done at this time also. If all appears normal on physical exam and blood tests your pet will receive a pre-med which is made up of 2 medications, one to assist with anxiety and the other providing pain relief. Most pets are very calm after their pre-med and snooze until time of surgery.
  • Your pet will have an intravenous catheter placed and intravenous fluids started. The anaesthetic is given via their i/v line. Their desexing surgery is performed in our sterile surgical theatre and their anaesthetic is closely monitored by one of our experienced qualified veterinary nurses. During recovery one of our caring vet nurses stays with your pet and continues monitoring until they are fully recovered.
  • Additional pain relief is given at the end of surgery and patients go home with additional pain relief to ensure their recuperation is pain free.
  • Home time is usually mid-late afternoon depending on the time of surgery. Your pet will have a small wound. We will discuss wound care and exercise restriction on discharge. Your poor pet will go home with an Elizabethan collar or “cone of shame” to ensure they do not lick their wound excessively or remove sutures.