Desexing / Sterilisation

Desexing or sterilising your pet is a surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce. In male pets it is commonly referred to as “castration”, and in female pets as “speying”.This is the most frequent surgery performed by our veterinarians.


The most common age to desex your pet is 6 months, however they are never too old to be desexed.


There are many benefits to desexing your pet at 6 months. They include:

  • Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year.
  • Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, and it prevents pyometra (infection of the uterus) and may reduce mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females.
  • Stopping the “heat” cycle in females. 
  • Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males.
  • Being less prone to wander, especially in males.
  • Living a longer and healthier life.
  • Reduction of council / Shire registration fees.


Frequently Asked Questions

“Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?”

There is absolutely no scientific evidence that sterilising your pet will alter it's temperament. Along with retaining their pre-operation personality, owners often experience the bonus of their pet being calmer and less aggressive.

“Should my female have one litter first?”

No – it is actually better for her not to have any litters before being speyed.Her risk of developing mammary tumours increases if she is allowed to go through her first heat.

“Will it cause my pet to become fat?”

Your pet’s metabolism may be slowed due to hormonal changes after desexing, however this is easily managed with adjusting nutrition and ensuring adequate exercise. There is no reason a desexed pet can not be maintained at a healthy weight.

“Is desexing painful?”

As with all surgery, there is some tenderness immediately after the procedure, but most pets recover very quickly. We administer pain relief prior to surgery and after surgery too. Following some procedures we will actually discharge your pet with a short course of anti-inflammatory pain relief medication to take at home for the first few days after the surgery. In many cases, your pet will likely need some encouragement to take it easy!


What To Do Before and After Surgery

Before Surgery:

  • Make a booking for your pet's operation.
  • If your pet is a dog, wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed after until the sutures (stitches) are removed.
  • Do not give your pet food after 8pm the night before the operation and make sure they have no access to food overnight i.e. remove all food bowls. They are able to have water upto the time of the surgery.  
  • A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function. This will be discussed with you prior to the procedure.
  • The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination before administering the anaesthetic.
  • Some pets will require intravenous fluid support during surgery. This will be discussed with you prior to the procedure.
  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to desexing and during their operation.

After Surgery:

  • Keep your pet indoors the night following the operation as the effects of the anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely. 
  • Keeping them quiet 3-5 days after the surgery, and reduced activity until the sutures are removed is also essential to allow the wound to heal.
  • Food and water should be limited to small portions only on the night after surgery. Thereafter the normal diet can be offered unless otherwise advised.
  • Follow any dietary instructions that have been provided.
  • Ensure all post-surgical medications (if any) are administered as per the label instructions.
  • Ensure your pet’s rest area is clean to avoid infection.
  • Check the incision at least twice daily for any signs of infection or disruption (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the veterinary hospital immediately if these symptoms appear. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
  • Prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. There are many tools that can be employed to prevent this problem. A single chew can remove the careful stitching with disastrous effects.
  • Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of sutures.


If you have any concerns before or after your pet has been desexed, please call us immediately to discuss.