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 tumors – The risk of an undesexed female dog developing a mammary tumor is more than 25% in their lifetime. The risk is just 0.5% if spayed before their first heat (approximately 6 months of age), 8% after their first heat, and 26% after their second heat. Cats spayed before 6 months of age have a 7-times reduced risk of developing mammary cancer and spaying at any age reduces the risk of mammary tumors by 40% to 60% in cats*.
- 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 urinate 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