Animals living in urban environments should be desexed.

Our age for recommendation of desexing has recently changed due to more recent research stating that there are benefits of keeping animals entire until they are 9-12 months.

The benefits are for both health and behavioural reasons.

Currently in NSW it is law to desex all cats by 4 months of age and dogs by 6 months of age. We are happy to supply you with a statutory declaration for registration purposes along the following lines.

  • Female cats can be desexed safely as long as they are more than 1kg in weight – generally from 10 weeks of age.
  • Male cats should be desexed at 6 months of age unless they show male like behaviour (spraying / marking ) .
  • Male dogs can be done from 6 months of age although we recommend if appropriate to castrate at 9 months of age.
  • Female small breed dogs can be done from 6 months of age although we recommend to wait till 9 months of age. Please note depending on the season it is possible your dog will go into season.
  • Female large breed dogs should wait till 9 months of age and should definitely be done before 12 months of age.

Benefits of desexing:
Male dogs that are desexed are often calmer and better behaved. In the ‘pack’ in the park they are less likely to increase overall arousal levels, which may reduce fighting. They are also less likely to wander.
Female dogs become better pets, do not attract male dogs and do not bleed when they are in season.
Both sexes will have reduced likelihood of getting breast cancer and cancer of their reproductive organs.
We recommend all cats be desexed for the above reasons. Additionally, desexing generally stops male cats from “spraying” urine to mark their territory and stops female cats “calling” (yowling) during their heat, which occurs every 16 days!
Please speak to your vet if you have any questions or concerns.

Considerations At The Time Of Desexing

Deciduous Teeth: Puppies will lose their baby teeth and these are replaced by the adult teeth. When both the baby and adult teeth are present simultaneously – overcrowding, food entrapment and subsequent gum disease can occur. It is recommended in these cases, that the extra teeth are removed during the general anaesthesia given for desexing.

Please note however, that baby teeth present without their corresponding adult teeth are not removed at this time so as not to interfere with normal eruption and will need to be monitored over the following two months.

Blood Tests: Pre-anaesthetic blood tests are recommended before the desexing surgery. This tests looks at the liver and kidney function (important for metabolizing the anaesthetic drugs), protein levels (important for healing), blood glucose (important for recognising diabetes or need to supplement with glucose).

The test also measures the electrolytes and red blood cell quantity – both are important for normal organ function. Even if your puppy is full of beans and energy, it doesn’t mean that the insides are functioning perfectly.

The test will pick up congenital problems as well as providing a good base line for any future tests. At Vet HQ, we have the latest and most reliable technology to measure all biochemistry assays as well as haematology (red and white cells). We also do full profiles not just a few individual tests.

Key Hole Surgery: We offer laparoscopic spays, commonly known as key hole surgery. Laparoscopy reduces the size of the surgical incisions, and reduces the discomfort associated with surgery. This surgery is only indicated in female desexing (spay) of large dogs greater than 10kg. It can be paired with a gastropexy, the surgery to reduce gastro-dilatation and volvulus (GDV) also known as twisted stomach. We also use key hole surgery to find undescended testis in male dogs.

Anaesthetic Concerns

Desexing procedures involve a full general anaesthetic. Most of our clients dislike a general anaesthetic themselves let alone for their pets. We perform up to 10 general anaesthetics per day and complications are incredibly rare. We use only the best drugs on the market for anaesthesia and most of them are used in human hospitals.

To ensure we have no issues with anaesthesia we have the most up to date monitoring devices on all our anaesthetic machines. These include:

  • Blood Pressure (systolic, diastolic and mean)
  • Pulse Oximeters
  • Capnography (carbon dioxide measurement)
  • ECG
  • Temperature
  • Bair Hugger heat producing machines
  • Auto recording of vitals to anaesthetic monitoring sheets enabling nurses to have more time to watch the patient and not be recording dots (smartflow)
  • Defibrillator

The Extras

When we estimate a routine procedure, we include:

  • Pain relief (2 types) during the procedure and anti-inflammatories for 3-5 days afterwards
  • Elizabethan collar
  • Free recheck and sutures out at no charge
  • We update the Companion Animal Registry – desexed status