PRE-OPERATIVE DESEXING INFORMATION

Dogs & Cats

For dogs and cats, ‘desexing’ refers to surgical sterilisation, and prevents animals from reproducing. It is a recommended procedure for all dogs and cats not intended for breeding purposes, as dogs and cats left intact are at risk of a number of health issues. For males, the testicles are removed through a single incision directly in front of the scrotum (dogs), or through an incision over each testicle (cats). For females, the reproductive organs are removed through a small incision in the abdomen. Please note: for both males and females, this procedure is irreversible.  

Benefits of desexing:
    • Prevention of unwanted litters
    • Health benefits:
      • Females: reduced risk of mammary (breast) cancer, reduction/elimination in the risk for uterine infections (pyometra).
      • Males: reduced risk of prostatic disease, testicular cancer and perianal tumours
    • Behavioural benefits: reduced spraying/marking, fighting and aggression (if castration occurs before the onset of puberty – desexing mature dogs is not as effective in reducing aggression).
     
    Ideal Age Desexing is usually recommended before puberty, but can occur at any age. For most dog breeds, 6 months is the ideal age for desexing; and 3-4 months is the ideal age for cats. Recent studies have linked early desexing to an increased risk of diseases later on in life. For breed-specific recommendations tailored to your pet’s circumstances, we recommend discussing with your veterinarian. For animals which are already pregnant, on heat (females), or with undescended testicles (males), we recommend discussing with your vet.

    Before Surgery
      • Bath your pet: After surgery, your pet will not be able to get wet for approximately two weeks, until the incision has healed. Bathing your pet before surgery is a good idea to ensure they remain clean and smelling nice.
      • Fasting: It is important that your pet’s stomach is empty before an anesthetic, as the drugs we administer can cause vomiting. Pets who vomit while sedated or recovering from their procedure run the risk of aspirating. Aspiration pneumonia is often life threatening, therefore we will delay your pet’s procedure if they have not been adequately fasted. Please do not feed your pet after 10pm the night before surgery. They may have a little bit of water throughout the night, but please remove access to water first thing in the morning. If your pet is due for oral medication the morning of the procedure, please hold off unless we have advised that it is safe to do so.
      • Blood Tests: Prior to anesthesia, a veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination to ensure that your pet is well enough for the procedure, and that there are no new medical conditions that could complicate the procedure and compromise the health of your pet. There is always the possibility a physical exam alone will not identify all of your pets health problems. Prior to anesthesia, a pre-anaesthetic blood test can be performed. Blood tests allow us to screen for illness, dehydration, infection, inflammation, and organ dysfunction – all of which may increase the risk of complications while under general anaesthesia if not addressed prior. More information about pre-anaesthetic blood testing can be found in our pre-operative surgery handout.
            Please note that pets over the age of 8 years old are strongly encouraged to have blood tests prior to anesthesia.
        • Vaccination and Parasite Control: If your pet is due for parasite prevention, a heartworm injection (usually administered at the same time as desexing), or vaccination, we can often perform this on the same day.

          The Day of Surgery On the day of surgery, an admission appointment with one of our nurses will be booked between 8am and 9am. This admission process will take a few minutes as you will be asked questions about your animal’s health and you will also be required to sign an anesthetic consent form. This form describes that no anesthetic or surgical procedure is without some risk to the patient. Every care is taken to ensure the health and safety of your pet- it is our first priority- however, we would be irresponsible not to inform you of the risks involved. If you are uneasy about this procedure or the complications that may arise please contact us for more information. We are here to help.  

            Fees All fees and costs must be paid in full on the day of surgery, being finalised before your pet is discharged. Please speak with us directly before booking your pet’s procedure if you would like to information about payment options.

            Patient Discharge Once your pet is awake, we will contact you and arrange for a discharge time. Discharge instructions will be emailed on the day of surgery, and one of our veterinary nurses will be available to answer any questions about post-operative care upon discharge. During your discharge consultation, the nurse will book a follow-up appointment to check on your pets wound and remove their sutures (if skin sutures were placed). This appointment occurs 10 days after surgery. If you get home and you have any concerns regarding your pet please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

            Pet Pick Up When you pick your pet up they may be tired and groggy. As such, it is important that they are transported home by vehicle and are not expected to walk there. Once at home they need to be kept confined in a warm, quiet place to recover. We always administer and/or dispense additional pain relief after the procedure, so your pet should have a comfortable night back at home.