Desexing Dogs

Desexing of dogs is a routine procedure carried out on a daily basis at the clinic. Dogs stay with us for the day and go home the same afternoon. Below is some information about desexing. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to call us and ask.


Advantages of Desexing

  • Preventing Unwanted Pregnancies
    • Breeding can be very stressful and expensive, especially if the female ends up needing an emergency caesarean section (surgery) or the puppies are unwell
    • It can be hard to find good homes for even the cutest of puppies
    • Pregnancy and pup rearing can be physically and emotionally difficult for some females, especially young ones
  • Prevent cancer
    • Females: uterine, ovarian and mammary cancers can be prevented by early desexing (before her first season)
    • Males: desexing dramatically reduces or removes the chance of prostate cancer and testicular tumours
  • Prevent problematic sexual behaviours
    • Females: early desexing prevents sexual behaviours associated with coming on heat, as well as preventing menstrual bleeding.
    • Males: early desexing can help prevent aggression, problem urination, escaping to find on heat females, and “riding” objects and people
  • Prevent other diseases
    • Females: desexing removes the risk of a pyometra, which is a life threatening uterine infection, generally requiring emergency surgery
    • Males: desexing greatly reduces the risk of the prostate becoming enlarged. An enlarged prostate can lead to life threatening constipation or prostate infection
  • Discount on council registration
    • The local council offers a discount on dog registration for dogs that are desexed


Potential Disadvantages of Desexing

  • Both females and males can put on weight more easily once desexed, so it is a good idea to cut their feed by about 1/5th - the advantage of this is you will save money on dog food!
  • Desexed dogs may grow slightly taller than non-desexed dogs
  • A small percentage of female dogs may develop occasional urine leakage as they get older. It is thought this may be more common in desexed dogs. This may require medication.


What age should I get my dog desexed?

Four to six months old is the best time. This is because the benefits of desexing are greater if we desex them before they reach sexual maturity. Dogs that have been used for breeding should be desexed as soon as they are no longer being used for breeding.


What is Involved in the Desexing Surgery? 

Females: Surgery involves opening the abdomen and removing the ovaries and uterus. The wound is then closed in multiple layers of stitches.

Surgery for females is more complex so it requires a longer anaesthetic and longer surgery time. For this reason, recovery from surgery is generally slower for females than males; however, most dogs are back to normal within 24 hours of surgery. Free wound checks are available post-surgery and stitches are removed 10-14 days after surgery.

Males: The skin is opened above the scrotum and the testicles are pushed forward, then surgically removed. The wound is then closed in multiple layers of stitches.


Desexing offers multiple health benefits. Aim for 4-6 months of age.