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Desexing pets

Our desexing service is available Monday to Friday. Desexing is performed under general anaesthesia, with sterile instruments and is a surgical day procedure. This means that most pets are able to go home the evening following the procedure, providing they can be confined and supervised.


Female Desexing

In the female, the medical term for desexing is called an ovariohysterectomy. The procedure involves a surgical incision into the abdominal cavity and the removal of both ovaries and the uterus. Although routinely performed, the procedure is not to be taken lightly. It is quite invasive, and animals do require additional care to their normal needs during the two week recovery period.

Desexing your pet is recommended for both medical and behavioural reasons. Female dogs and cats are susceptible to mammary tumours, infections, pyometra and cancers of the reproductive tract if they remain entire, even when the risk of pregnancy is controlled by solitary lifestyles. They do not go through menopause in old age, but their reproductive cycle can become erratic and sub-clinical, leading to infection risks.

It is a common misconception that female dogs and cats need to experience puberty or motherhood to ensure emotional wellbeing. This is a fallacy. The time that we recommend that they be desexed is six months of age. This is old enough that they should have received their initial influx of hormones, but not enough that they may have experienced their first heat.

Male Desexing

The castration or orchidectomy procedure is a bit simpler to conduct than the ovariohysterectomy. It involves the surgeon surgically removing both testicles from the animal's scrotum. The recovery period is no shorter than the girls, and does require strict rest, confinment, and supervision.

Desexing male dogs avoids the risks of prostate problems, testicular cancer and testosterone related skin conditions and hernias that can occur with maturity. Desexing male dogs also allows them to lead a more settled, less frustrated life. The way we keep and socialise our dogs in small spaces mean entire males become the focus of unwanted attention. Dominance and territory issues change constantly and cannot be adequately interpreted or predicted by us. Injury, recrimination and liability can be avoided by responsible management of our pets’ reproductive status.

Desexing entire male cats also reduces the risk testicular cancer and prostate problems. As well as reduces spraying behaviour, fighting and roaming. Undesexed males will often try to enlarge their territory, so spraying and roaming behaviour are prevalent and this is when they can get into accidents and nasty fights.

Medical, rather than surgical desexing is another option now available for male dogs. A testosterone suppressing implant can be injected every six or twelve months to provide the same benefits of surgical desexing while retaining the anatomy! The implant gradually dissolves and must be re-injected regularly to maintain the effect, and therefore is reversible when necessary.

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