Dr Terri's Home Vet Visits

0430410283

Carters Ridge Sunshine Coast, QLD,
After Hours : (07) 5353 7005

To desex or not to desex, that is the question

Why should you get your pet de-sexed or neutered? 
 

Throughout Australian animal shelters, over ¼ million pets are euthanised each year due to being homeless.  You can help to reduce this number by having your pet de-sexed or neutered.  De-sexing can also reduce the development of some behavioural issues. 
 
Did you know that it is about $100 cheaper to register your pet with the council if they are de-sexed?

 

Common questions asked when it comes to de-sexing dogs and cats 
 

Q:  What is the ideal time to de-sex my pet? 
A:  Cats and dogs with an adult weight of less than 25kg tend to come into sexual maturity at around 9 months of age.  De-sexing before sexual maturity is important to reduce the development of behavioural issues associated with excess sex hormones in the body and to reduce the chance of certain cancers (see below).  De-sexing is therefore recommended from 4 to 6 months of age.  Larger dog breeds, such as the Great Dane, take longer to reach sexual maturity and therefore we recommend de-sexing from 6 to 9 months. 
 


Q: Isn’t it dangerous for my pet to undergo de-sexing or neuter surgery? 
A: No. Thousands of cats and dogs are routinely and safely de-sexed every day by veterinarians all across the country.  Although there is an inherent risk with anaesthesia, safer drugs, monitoring equipment and the highest standards of care ensure this risk is minimal. 
 


Q: Isn’t de-sexing expensive? 
A:
Most Vet clinics offer a heavily discounted price for de-sexing procedures.  De-sexing is much cheaper than having to pay for a caesarean after an accidental mating! 


 
Q:  Won’t de-sexing early stunt their growth? 
A:  Dogs and cats continue growing until they are 12-18 months old.  Only a small proportion of this growth is based on hormones.  Large breed dogs, such as Great Danes, mature later and I do recommend that they are de-sexed at 6-9 months.  
 


Q: If I have my pet de-sexed, won’t he or she become fat and lazy? 
A:
Pets that have been de-sexed can be just as active as unsterilized pets.  Their metabolism does slow however, which means they are prone to gaining weight.  To combat this you just need to reduce their food intake – which will save you money in the long run. 
 


Q: Isn’t it healthier for female cats and dogs to be bred once? 
A:
No. This is definitely a myth – the opposite is actually true.  

  • Females de-sexed before their first heat has less than 1% chance of developing mammary (breast) cancer in the future.  After their first heat; this increases to 8%, jumping to a 26% chance after their second heat and so on. 

  • The de-sexing procedure removes the ovaries and uterus so there is no risk of future ovarian or uterine cancer. 

  • No unwanted pregnancies. 

It is also healthier for male dogs to become de-sexed; 

  • There is no longer a risk of testicular cancer

  • The chance of prostate cancer, prostate inflammation and perianal tumours is greatly reduced. 

  
Q: Won’t my pet’s personality change if I have them de-sexed? 
A:
There is no way to change someone’s personality.  Any change you do see will be for the better.  

  • Male cats tend to become calmer and more affectionate. 
  • Male dogs exhibit fewer aggressive tendencies. 
  • De-sexed male dogs and cats are less likely to escape and roam in search of a mate. 
  • Less fighting to obtain and maintain territory (mainly cats) 
  • Less likely to spray or mark territory with urine. 
  • In female dogs and cats, no change in personality is seen with de-sexing.

 

Q: Wouldn’t it be great for my kids to witness the miracle of birth by letting our pet have a litter?

A: Watching the birth of puppies or kittens is indeed an amazing experience.  But, the best lesson you can provide for your children is around responsible pet ownership.  De-sexing, providing excellent health care, plus providing mental and physical stimulation for your pet will help develop excellent pet owners in the future.