Reasons you should Desex your Dog

Did you know that the South Australian Government is bringing in laws that will make it a requirement for you to desex your pet (both dogs and cats) as of July 2018? While you’re at it, you’ll also need to have a microchip implanted.

Seems like a bit of a drastic move? Well maybe, but there are actually very good reasons behind this decision. I’d like to give you a bit of the background as to why you should do all of this, even without the government legislation.

Cats and dogs share many similarities but also have distinct differences. As such, I’m going to talk to you about cats in an upcoming article. For the moment, I’ll give you the picture on all the good reasons why you should desex your dog!

Desexing will prevent, or a least help to reduce, all of the following:

  • Aggressive and territorial behaviour
  • Wandering and subsequent dog fights
  • Anti-social behaviour such as leg mounting and inappropriate urination in males
  • Bleeding when ‘in season’ (every few months in female dogs)
  • Ovarian and mammary cancer in females and testicular cancer in males
  • ‘Pyometron’ – a life-threatening infection of the uterus in females
  • Perineal hernias in males
  • Unwanted litters of puppies

There’s a long held theory that dogs should be allowed to mature fully (ie sexually) before being desexed – is there any truth to this theory?

  • Very simple answer – no, none at all.
  • Dogs (both male and female), can be (and are) desexed as early as 7 weeks of age without any demonstrable problems

What’s involved in desexing?

  • For both males and females, the surgery is a day procedure.
  • For females, we remove the uterus and ovaries through a small incision into the abdomen.
  • For males, we take out the testes through a small incision just ahead of the scrotum
  • In both cases, the surgical wound is minimally invasive and heals very rapidly
  • Sutures are buried so there’s nothing for you to see and nothing much to bother your dog post-surgically

Does it hurt?

  • Dogs are much tougher than us and will usually be back pretty much to normal within 24 hours
  • We provide loads of pain relief medication both during and after surgery so, no, it really doesn’t bother them at all!

What about microchipping, how does that work?

  • We implant a microchip through a small needle in the back of the neck. The chip can be read by a scanner (all pounds and vet clinics have these) and lasts for ever.
  • We can do that in the consult room or while your dog is anaesthetized for surgery, in which case it doesn’t hurt in the slightest!
  • A microchipped pet is far more likely to return home safe and sound so this should provide you with a lot of peace of mind.

Is there any reason not to desex your dog?

  • You won’t be able to have a litter of pups after this
  • The occasional female will develop mild urinary incontinence as a consequence of reduced hormone levels but this is relatively easily controlled with medication
  • Otherwise, short-term pain in your hip pocket is the only reason.
  • On this note, desexing is a very heavily discounted service at most veterinary practices (ours included) and so won’t set you back too much given how much benefit you gain from desexing.

We’re not sure, as yet, what will happen with older, undesexed dogs when the July deadline kicks in. We’ll do our best to keep you informed on that front. The good news is that many registered breeders are now desexing and microchipping puppies before they go out to their new homes so you may not need to worry about any of this! For costs and for further information, the best thing would be to give our lovely receptionists a call on 8522 3500 or go online to book an appointment directly.

Picture of Anne Crouch

Anne Crouch

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