Ingleburn Veterinary Hospital
Unit 4/2 Noonan Road
The terms “desexing” or “neutering” describe the surgical procedures performed on animals to stop them from breeding. In males this involves the surgical removal of the testicles. This is referred to as “castration”. In females, the surgery involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus – a procedure known as an ovaro-hysterectomy or “spay”.
As well as stopping unwanted breeding, there are many good reasons to have your pet desexed.
It is quite safe. At Ingleburn Veterinary Hospital we use the best possible anaesthetic, surgical and pain relief techniques to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet.
We generally recommend that dogs and cats be desexed at 5-6 months of age (females before their first season). There is no maximum age, so it’s never too late, but there are definite advantages to having it done at this age.
We can also desex other species including rabbits and ferrets, and there are good medical reasons for doing so.
All desexing operations require a brief stay in hospital and a general anaesthetic. We take numerous precautions before and during the anaesthetic to ensure your pet's safety.
The first thing we do is examine your pet to ensure that it is safe to give the anaesthetic. This is very important. There may also be other tests we need to do, or things we need to know about your pet.
Next a light sedative combined with a strong painkiller is given. This calms your pet, provides “pre-emptive” pain relief (so that pain relief is already on board when their surgery commences), and reduces the dose of anaesthetic needed later.
During recovery, a second analgesic injection is given, that provides ongoing pain relief for the next 24 hours for dogs and up to 3 days in cats. For dogs, they will receive additional pain killer pills to take home for another 2-3 days to ensure they have continued pain free recovery at home.
In dogs, the incision is made just in front of the scrotum – the scrotum itself is not cut. Each testicle in turn is pushed forward out of the scrotum and the sheath around the testicle is cut. The testicle is lifted out, clamped, and broken away from the surrounding sheath. The blood vessels and spermatic cord are tied with dissolving sutures, and then cut so that the testicle can be removed. Once both testicles have been removed, the tissues under the skin are stitched back together using a layer of dissolving sutures. The final layer of sutures is placed in the skin.
Finally, three layers of stitches are used to securely close the wound - first a row of dissolving stitches in the muscle, then another layer under the skin and then the skin sutures. Suture materials are chosen according to species and size, to give maximum strength with minimum tissue reaction.
Are your pet’s vaccinations up to date? - They should be - preferably before coming into hospital
Do you want pre-anaesthetic blood tests for your pet? - This can detect problems that our examination can’t such as liver and kidney disease or blood disorders. It is particularly important in older animals. For young animals, there is much less risk, but it may still be a worthwhile precaution. If in doubt, ask us for advice.
Is there anything else to be done at the same time? - This may be the ideal opportunity to catch up on other things such as nail clipping, microchip implantation, heartworm tests, teeth cleaning or vaccinations. All of these can be done whilst your pet is asleep and blissfully unaware! Some of them are even cheaper if we do them while your pet is being desexed!
Make sure your pet gets nothing at all to eat after 10pm the night before, and no water after 8am on the day.
Admission for surgery generally takes place between 8am and 9am. Please allow 10 minutes for your admission appointment.
Leave a telephone number where you can be contacted.
Make sure you tell us about any health problems your pet may have, including any recent minor illnesses.
Your pet will probably want to come home the same night, but may still feel a bit drowsy and may have to stay overnight.
A drink of water and a small meal may be given the evening of the surgery.
Provide a quiet, safe, warm, dry place for your pet to come home to recover and sleep it off!
Don’t leave your pet outside if it’s too cold.
Don’t let your pet climb stairs or walk beside the pool.
Don’t let your pet bite the stitches or lick them too much or a special head collar may be necessary.
Check the surgical wound each day for any redness, swelling or discharge. A little bit is normal, but if you’re worried, give us a call.
Your pet will need to rest a bit, so no rough games or strenuous runs for 10 days. Short walks are ok though.
The stitches shouldn’t get wet, so NO bath until they are removed!
After 10 days, the stitches will be ready to come out, so call to make an appointment to have this done by one of our nurses.