Veterinarians recommend desexing your pet for a number and variety of reasons. There are many urban myths around why you shouldn’t have your pet desexed and give reason to keeping an animal entire. However, none of these myths are true, and none equal the medical and behavioural benefits FOR desexing.
WHAT IS DESEXING?
Surgical desexing involves removing a part of the pet’s reproductive system whilst under general anaesthetic. Female dogs and cats are spayed, which is an ovarian hysterectomy; this involves the removal of both ovaries and the uterus. Male dogs and cats are castrated; this involves the removal of both testicles.
By removing these reproductive organs, hormones which cause many unwanted behaviours and health problems, are stopped. This leads to a variety of benefits for both you and your pet.
- Desexed pets are less territorial, reducing the desire to fight and scent-mark their space. This prevents injuries and, for cats, the transmission of diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (for which there is currently no cure)
- Desexed females no longer go on heat; during which time they bleed and can become moody or irritable due to hormonal changes
- Desexed pets tend to stop escaping and/or wandering as the need to find a companion is stopped. This can reduce the number of traffic accidents which may prove to be costly or fatal
- Spaying prevents tumours of the ovaries and uterus as well as pyometra (an infection of the uterus which requires immediate costly emergency surgery to prevent death). Mature entire females are at high risk of developing pyometra.
- Spaying also significantly reduces the risk of mammary and cervical tumours
- Males are not immune to the threat of cancer either. Castration prevents testicular cancer and greatly reduces the likelihood of prostate and perianal cancers, along with a few other prostate diseases.
- Desexing pets is also the number one way of preventing hereditary diseases being passed on. These diseases include hip and elbow dysplasia, cryptorchidism (where one or both testicles have not fully descended), entropion (where eyelids roll inwards) and distichiasis of the eyes (where eyelashes protrude into the eye) to name a few.
PREVENTION OF UNWANTED PREGNANCIES:
In Australia alone, millions of dogs and cats are destroyed each year as they are unwanted. Desexing your pet prevents unwanted pregnancies and reduces the number of unwanted animals in our community.
REDUCTION IN NUMBER OF SURRENDERED PETS:
Additionally, by desexing your pet, the unwanted behaviours mentioned above are prevented, which is the second most common reason for animals to be surrendered to an animal shelter for rehoming.
WHEN TO DESEX:
We recommend desexing most pets at six months of age. There are exceptions to this rule, depending on the individual situation. The best way of knowing what’s best for your pet is by talking to your vet and making the decision together.
Veterinary care for exotics, dogs & cats in Hervey Bay
Our fear-free approach ensures your pet and you have a stress-free experience with keeping your animals healthy.