Inverell Veterinary Clinic

32 Sweaney Street, Inverell

After Hours : 0427 456 616

What is desexing and why should I get it done?

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 6 months, however they are never too old to be desexed.

There are many benefits to desexing your pet at 6 months of age. They include:

  • Preventing unwanted litters
  • In males it can prevent testicular cancer and prostate disease. In  females it can help prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer)
  • Stopping the “heat” cycle in females 
  • Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males
  • Being less prone to wander or roam
  • Living a longer and healthier life
  • Reduction of council registration fees



What happens before, during and after surgery?


Before surgery:

  •  Phone or call in to book a suitable appointment day 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 10pm the night before the operation and do not give them any water after 8am on the day of surgery
  • Upon admission, a nurse will run through an admission and consent form with you to obtain vital information regarding your pets health prior to administering anaesthetic
  •  A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function
  • The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic
  • A premedication will be given to minimise stress and settle your pet (this includes pain relief)
  • They will be placed in a warm padded bed and monitored until time for surgery

During surgery:

  •  Induction: Your pet will be administered a general anaesthetic in their forearm (which is why their arm will be clipped), and anaesthetic is maintained on a gaseous anaesthetic machine via an endotracheal tube (a tube placed down the trachea of your pet) for the duration of the procedure
  • Theatre: Your pet is placed on a heated anaesthetic table in our operating theatre
  • Monitoring care: Our state of the art monitoring equipment allows the anaesthetist to monitor the patient’s respiration rate, temperature, heart rate, oxygen saturation, carbon dioxide and blood pressure. The anaesthetist is constantly monitoring these parameters
  • Nursing team: an experienced nurse assists the veterinarian during your pets procedure. This includes monitoring anaesthetic and clipping and preparing for surgery
  • The procedure: The surgeon will make a small incision and remove parts of your pets reproductive system. Once this has been done they will suture the area both internally and externally. The internal sutures dissolve and external sutures will need to be removed in 10-14 days during your pets the check
  • Tattoo: A tattoo will be placed in your pets left ear to indicate that they have been desexed. It looks like a circle with a line through on an angle

After Surgery:

  • Immediately after surgery your pet is moved to our main treatment area where they are monitored and kept warm  until they are fully awake
  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive further pain relief post surgery that lasts up to 48hours
  • When you come to collect your pet they may be a little drowsy. The drowsiness should reduce over the next 12-24 hours
  • There may be some bruising around the surgical site. This is completely normal. If you are unsure please give us a call
  • Keep your pet in a quiet and warm place when they get home
  • Food and water should be limited to small portions only on the night after surgery. If they do not feel like eating that night, don’t be concerned
  • Ensure your pet’s rest area is clean to avoid infection
  • Your pet will start to feel better within a few days but it’s important that they don’t jump or run around. Don’t allow your pet to swim and don’t bath them until the sutures are removed, as this will upset the incision site. Sutures will be removed 10-14 days post surgery
  • Check the incision site daily for any signs of abnormalities (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the clinic 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 collars assist with this problem. A single chew can remove the careful stitching with disastrous effects
  • Ensure you return to us on time for your pets routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches


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.Your pet will be discharged with a short course of pain relief medication to take at home for the first few days after the surgery.  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.


Points to note:

  • It’s important to keep your female dogs that have been speyed away from male dogs during their recovery if she is currently in season. If she mates before she is healed internally severe problems may occur.
  • It’s important to keep you male pet away from females in heat for at least 3-4 weeks. Even though the testicles have been removed live sperm may be present for some time after surgery.


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