Vet Advice by Dr. Deshaylia Moodley.

Desexing (or neutering) is a vital component of responsible pet ownership. Desexing is the process of removing your pet’s reproductive organs while under a general anaesthetic. In females (also known as speying or an ovariohysterectomy) the procedure involves removal of both the ovaries and the majority of the uterus. Alternatively, in males (in which it is commonly known as castration) it involves removal of both the testes.

Why should you desex your pet?
Desexing offers a multitude of benefits including:

  • Prevention of unwanted pregnancies and litters.
  • Reduced risk of mammary cancers – desexing your pet prior to their first heat results in 0.05% relative risk of them developing mammary cancer. This risk increases significantly, rising to 8% if desexing occurs before the second heat and to 26% if it occurs before their third heat.
  • Desexing after their third heat carries a 100% relative risk of developing mammary cancer.
  • Prevention of testicular cancer
  • Prevention of ovarian cancer
  • Reduced risk of prostatic cancer as well as benign prostatic enlargement. The latter is associated with pain and inability to defecate which often results in euthanasia if the animal is not castrated.
  • Prevention of developing a pyometra (a life-threatening condition in which the uterus fills with pus causing systemic illness)
  • Reduced roaming and aggression
  • Decreased risk of perineal hernias in male dogs
  • Decreased risk of spread of certain diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV).
  • Decreased urine odour and prevention of urine spraying/marking

At the Animal Welfare League NSW Veterinary Clinic, we perform more desexing procedures than an average vet. As a result, our vets and nurses have exceptional experience in this area and can safely desex pets ranging from a 1kg kitten to a 75kg Mastiff. There can be speculation about the potential issues associated with desexing, however, our vet staff believe the pros outweigh the cons, and in most cases, desexing is still highly recommended. In addition, although the procedures are done routinely, they can be associated with potential risks (as would any surgery) such as bleeding, infection and anaesthetic complications.

If you have questions about desexing or would like to book in your pet at our AWL NSW Kemps Creek vet clinic, please call our vet team on 8777 4424 or email

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