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Keeping your pets safe this Summer – The Benefits of Desexing your Dog

Desexing renders dogs and bitches unable to breed, and removes the sexual urge. Temporary or semi-permanent control can be effected by the use of certain drugs, however surgical desexing is permanent and has fewer side effects.

Desexing dogs is compulsory in the ACT unless you have a permit to keep your pet entire. If you do not intend to breed from your dog surgical desexing has undoubted advantages both in the male and the female. In the male dog it removes the sexual urge and lessens their urge to roam. Desexing the bitch means she will not come into heat and therefore will not have to be confined and deprived of her usual exercise and companionship. Heat usually occurs twice a year for at least 3 weeks each time.

Owners are often tempted to have at least one litter from a bitch as there appears to be a general misconception that having a litter will improve temperament. There is no scientific evidence to support this theory. It has however, been proven that neutering the bitch not only prevents uterine disease but also reduces the possibility of mammary cancer if desexing occurs before the first heat. Bitches on heat (oestrus) often surprise their owners with their determined and often successful attempts to escape to be mated. Once desexed the bitch will have no oestrus and will not have unwanted puppies or phantom pregnancies, which in some bitches causes as lot of distress.

Both female and male dogs are usually desexed between 6–12 months of age although the operation can be carried out at any time. In the male, desexing entails removal of the testicles. Occasionally one or both testicles have failed to descend into the scrotum, desexing these dogs is more complicated but well advised, as testicles retained within the abdomen are more vulnerable to tumour development later in life. The desexing of females is less complicated when they are not on heat, pregnant or overweight. We recommend bitches be desexed closer to six months of age, when the immaturity of the ovaries and uterus facilitates their easier removal.

The desexing procedure is done under general anesthesia so the dog must be fasted for 12 hours prior to surgery. General anaesthesia always carries a slight risk but with modern anaesthetic agents, careful monitoring by qualified nurses and intravenous fluids this risk is minimal. The dog will be examined by a veterinarian on admission to the hospital prior to receiving a premedication. This is the time to discuss any remaining questions and inform the veterinarian if your dog is not in peak health. The surgery is performed during the morning and your dog remains in hospital under observation for the afternoon. We will discuss after care and the use of post op pain relief with you at the time of discharge and call to check on your pet’s progress the following day.

CANBERRA CAT VET IS OPEN!

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Canberra Cat Vet, Hall Vet Surgery’s feline offshoot, is open. Phone Leanne or Dr Kate on 6251 1444 for an appointment for consultations, check-ups, vaccinations, dental treatments, desexing or any other cat-related matter.

Come in and have a look around our brand new facility at 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen. Drive in from Gillott St and park right next to our front door. We are near the Post Office, below the bus depot and Officeworks, behind the old police station and in the same building as Belconnen Physiotherapy.

We have a gift for our first 50 visitors (and their cats!)

Why should I desex my dog?

There are many advantages to having your dog desexed.

Desexing prevents the conception of puppies and eliminates the sexual urge.

We remove the ovaries and uterus in the female and the testes in males.   Dogs and bitches are usually desexed at 6 months of age although some are done earlier.

The hormone testosterone takes about a month to decline after castration.  Once it is out of the system desexed male dogs are less likely to wander and have no interest in bitches on heat.  Because they escape or wander less they are less likely to get run over, get involved in fights or lift their legs on every post.

A testis that has not descended into the scrotum has a higher risk of developing a cancer and should be removed as early as possible.

Heat periods or seasons in bitches occur about twice a year and last 3 weeks each time.

Bitches on heat often surprise their owners with their determined attempts to escape and find a mate.

Desexed bitches do not come on heat and cannot conceive puppies.

Desexing also prevents pyometron, an overwhelming infection of the uterus that makes older bitches very ill. Removal of the uterus is the best treatment for pyometron but general anaesthesia for the surgery is a big risk in an old, already sick bitch.

Desexing reduces the risk of breast cancer.

The desexing of females is least complicated when they are not on heat, pregnant or overweight. We recommend desexing bitches at 6 months of age before they come on heat and while the uterus is still immature.

Desexing is done under general anaesthesia. Dogs must be in good health and fasted for twelve hours prior to surgery. General anaesthesia always carries a slight risk but with modern anaesthetic agents, this risk is minimal.  A vet examines all dogs on admission to hospital and before sedation. Discuss any worries with the vet and let us know if your dog is not in peak health.

We do the surgery during the morning and keep your dog in hospital under observation for the afternoon.  A discharge time is arranged on admission.  A vet or veterinary nurse will discuss aftercare with you at discharge.

Once desexed and over the surgery a dog’s metabolism slows down.  Cut the total amount of food fed per day by 30% and make sure you continue with normal exercise routines.