Why should I desex my dog?
Desexing is a surgical procedure, performed by a registered vet under general anaesthesia. This involves removing the ovaries and the uterus (in female dogs) or testes (in male dogs). They will need to be kept quiet and monitored while the wound heals, and will usually be allowed to get back into their regular routine 2 weeks after surgery.
We have historically recommended desexing dogs at around 5-6 months old, at this age they should not have reached maturity, but they are well grown and at a lower risk of anaesthetic complications. For breeds at risk of hip dysplasia (such as labradors and german shepherds), we can perform the desexing procedure earlier, while under anaesthesia we can check their hips and perform corrective surgery if we identify a problem. We can discuss this when we see your puppy for it’s vaccinations.
There are many benefits to desexing your dog, these include:
- Reducing the risk of ovarian, testicular and mammary cancer and prostate enlargement.
- Avoiding unwanted puppies. Male dogs have been known to climb 6 foot fences and break through windows to get to a female dog when she is in season. Female dogs never stop cycling, even as they get older. A senior dog that falls pregnant is at a much higher risk of pregnancy complications.
- Prevent your dog from coming onto heat. Female dogs will bleed when they are in season, which can be quite messy. They can also become aggressive to other dogs when they are in season.
- Reduced risk of uterine infection. Older female dogs who have not been desexed are at risk of a potentially fatal infection in their uterus. The treatment for this is surgery to remove the uterus,but because they are unwell, they are at a higher risk of complications than a routine desexing.
- Reduce male behaviour issues. Entire male dogs will urinate frequently to mark their territory, this can be quite embarrassing when they do this inside someone else’s house! They are also more prone to escaping from your house and exploring the neighbourhood. Desexing males before they reach maturity is the best way to ensure they do not learn these bad habits.