Desexing your pet - when and why?

The decision to desex your pet is a responsible and sensible one to make.  Some debate exists about the right age to carry out surgery.  Recent studies have been carried out to determine the safest, most beneficial age to neuter cats and dogs.

For cats, the main reason to desex is to prevent unwanted litters, decrease fighting, reduce injuries to straying pets, reduce urine spraying and to help prevent the spread of feline AIDS.  Puberty occurs at 5 to 6 months - most vets therefore recommend desexing cats at 4 months of age onwards.  We can still do surgery on cats in season and in early pregnancy.  Desexing cats is a safe procedure with many beneficial effects on the animals' long-term health.

Neutering male dogs reduces the urge to fight and stray and can make them easier to train.  It also provides protection against prostatic and testicular cancer.  The surgery can be done at any age from 4 months onwards.  Careful attention to diet and exercise will control potential weight gain.  Any dog used for stud should be an exceptional example of his breed.

The timing of speying bitches is a little more tricky.  Speying prior to puberty prevents unwanted pregnancies, protects against breast cancer and uterine infection.  It is also a quick, easy surgery with a short recovery time.  However, there is an increased tendency to develop urinary incontinence, especially when very early surgery is done.  We recommend waiting until 6 months to spey your bitch.  We don't like to spey during the ‘heat' period due to increased bleeding, but can perform surgery in early pregnancy.  If you are considering breeding from your bitch, please seek advice from your vet regarding her suitability, age and health.  It is a serious and demanding task to raise a litter of healthy puppies - planning is the key to success! 

For most pets, desexing is a safe procedure and leads to a healthier pet who is easier to look after and a joy to own.   If you would like your pet desexed, please ring Feilding or Taumarunui for an appointment and more information.