Westbrook Veterinary Surgery

07 4630 6633

Shop 1/ 85 Main St, WESTBROOK


Desexing or neutering 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 “spaying”.This is the most frequent surgery performed by our vets, and generally your pet is home by the evening of surgery.

The most common age to desex your pet is around 6 months, however with more and more research being done there are varied opinions in regards to larger breed dogs suggesting it may be beneficial to wait until they have completed their growth at around the ages of 14-18months of age. Many factors can make this an individual choice so please feel free to do some research and ask us for any further information. 

There are many benefits to desexing your pet. 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,

  • Reducing the risk of mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females

  • Stopping the “heat” cycle in females and eliminating the risk of pyometra (infection within the uterus)

  • 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 registration fees

Common questions about desexing

“Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?”

Your pet will retain their pre-operation personality, possibly with the added bonus of 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 spayed. Her risk of developing breast cancer 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 feeding and ensuring adequate exercise. There is no reason a desexed pet cannot be maintained at a normal weight.

“Is desexing painful?”

As with all surgery, there is some tenderness immediately after the procedure, but most pets will recover very quickly. We administer pain relief prior to surgery and after surgery too. In many cases, your pet will likely need some encouragement to take it easy!

“Will my dog lose its “guard dog”instinct?”

No, your dog will be just as protective of their territory as before the surgery.

What to do before and after surgery

Before surgery:

  • Make a booking for your pets operation.

  • If your pet is a dog, wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed after until the stitches are removed.

  • Do not give your pet food after 8pm the night before the operation, and if they are a cat that is likely to hunt overnight insure it is locked up without access to food. Do not give them any water after 8am on the day of surgery.

After admission: 

  • The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering sedation an anaesthetic.

  • A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function. This is offered to all animals but strongly recomended for older animals to ensure there are no subtle health concerns with internal organs. 

  •  Some pets will require intravenous fluid support during surgery and will be placed on a drip for the procedure. 

  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to desexing as part of their pre-med. They are then given further pain relief on wake up that lasts for 24 hours afterwards. Some pets may require longer pain relief and will go home with oral medication for a few days which is included in the desexing fee. 

After Surgery:

  • Keep your pet restrained and quiet as the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely. Your pet will likely be a little drowsy until some time the following day.

  • Keeping them quiet is also essential to allow the wound to heal. Vigorous exercise while the sutures are in can lead to irritation and infection of the suture line.

  • Food and water should be limited to small portions only on the night after surgery. Don't be alarmed if your pet is not interested in eating or drinking until the following day.

  • Follow any dietary instructions that the vet has 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. Ensure your pet does not have a bath or go swimming until the stitches are removed. Many pets may have 'intradermal' sutures which are not visible and don't need to be removed, but it is still important to keep the wound dry for approximately 2 weeks post surgery. 

  • Check the incision at least twice daily for any signs of infection or disruption (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if these symptoms appear. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.

  • Prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. Special cone-shaped 'e-collars' assist with this problem, and can be provided if your pet needs it, also included in the desexing fee.  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 required at 10-14 days, which is also included in the desexing fee. 

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