Desexing Your Pet


Every year, thousands of unwanted kittens, puppies, adult cats and dogs are euthanased or dumped because a pet was not desexed. If you have bought your dog or cat as a pet and companion, you should consider having them desexed. It can often mean they will be easier to live with. 

Some breeds grow into large, powerful dogs and can be easier to control after being desexed and cats are definitely easier to live with when they are desexed.

Desexing your dog or bitch does not change their personality, nor does it interfere with their working or guarding ability. Desexing a dog does not influence the relationship with people either, except that a desexed dog will accept authority from its human pack members more readily than it would have before the operation making them easier to live with.

Andergrove Veterinary Clinic encourages responsible pet ownership with desexing between 5 to 6 months of age, although there are many instances of them being desexed earlier as they can start their reproductive cycles as young as 4 months.

The advantages of desexing female dogs are:

  • Eliminates common diseases of the ovaries and uterus
  • Reduces mammary gland tumours
  • Avoids neighbourhood stress caused by female dogs on heat which encourages male dogs to roam
  • Prevents birth of unwanted puppies
  • Often live a longer, healthier life

The advantages of desexing male dogs are:

  • Reduces prostate gland diseases and perineal hernias
  • Can make the dog more obedient
  • Can make the dog less aggressive
  • Can reduce roaming
  • Reduces marking of territory with urine and faeces
  • Can reduce barking
  • Generally makes the dog cleaner
  • Often live a longer and healthier life

Clarifying some myths about desexing:

  • Your pet will retain its own, very individual personality after desexing
  • Bitches and queens do not need to have a litter or a season before they are desexed
  • Desexing your pet does not lead to it being overweight: they get overweight from being fed too much food and not exercised enough

What if my Pet is In Season or Pregnant?

Female animals can come in to season (oestrus) anytime from 4 plus months of age. Desexing a female animal in season or if pregnant comes with increased surgical risk due to the increased blood supply in the reproductive tract. The surgical procedure is more difficult and the time to complete the procedure is longer. If you prefer to reschedule the procedure, it is recommended that you return 5-6 weeks after being in season for your pet to be desexed.

Have my Pets Testicles Descended?

In some male animals none or only 1 of their testicles may have descended to the scrotum. If the testicles are retained the veterinarian needs to try and locate them in the abdominal or inguinal areas and remove through a separate surgical site.

 For Older or Larger Male Dogs

The desexing procedure for male dogs removes the testicles located inside the scrotum. If your male dog is being desexed at an older age, or if they are large or giant breed, their scrotum can be particularly pendulous. It is advisable to remove the scrotum along with the testicles in these instances to reduce post operative complications such as excessive swelling. This procedure is called scrotal ablation and can be requested at time of desexing.

 After Surgery Care

When you take your pet home it will be a little drowsy. This is quite normal following an anaesthetic and surgery. The drowsiness will decrease over 12-24 hours. During this time please keep your pet in a quiet, warm place and only give small amounts of food and water (please be aware that some animals may vomit following an anaesthetic).

Unfortunately during the recovery stage following surgery your pet may want to run, jump and move about.  This will upset the healing so be aware that your pet needs to be kept confined for the whole of the healing time – 10 days.

 The surgical area has been sutured closed and the site will need to be reviewed and stitches removed 10days later. Your pet is allowed to have backyard exercise as long as the activity is restricted.


 Your pet’s recovery will depend on good aftercare


It is not recommended that your animal is washed over the next 10 days and certainly no water or shampoo should come into contact with the wound or its sutures.

Problem Signs

  1. Excessively licking or biting the wound and the sutures. In this case your animal will need to have a collar fitted at our hospital to prevent her getting to the wound area.
  2. Dull and listless especially after the first 24 hours of recovery.
  3. Sudden swelling with pain over the wound.
  4. Pus or any discharge from the wound.
  5. Pain exhibited when you touch the wound after the 3rd day.
  6. Your animal starting to hunch over or show abdominal discomfort after the 3rd day post surgery.
  7. Not eating more than the 3rd day post surgery


Andergrove Veterinary Clinic sends a reminder letter for desexing prior to maturity. Please phone us if you have a query regarding desexing so we can provide you with the necessary information.

Desexing your dog will also benefit your pocket, because registration with Mackay Regional Council is less for a desexed dogs!