Desexing Your Pet | Glen Iris Vet

You can help to stop unnecessary animal suffering by desexing your pet!

250,000 perfectly healthy animals are euthanised annually in Australia because there are not enough homes for them. We are now facing an oversupply of animals and it is heartbreaking to think that they will be put down. This oversupply proves the importance of desexing your animals.
Misconceptions and myths about desexing or spaying have led pet owners to avoid this procedure. However, the benefits of desexing far outweigh the negatives.
So here are the facts.

Desexing your animal will be beneficial in the long-term and provide you with a more balanced, healthier and happier pet!

Desexing is the removal of part of the reproductive system of an animal, while under a general anaesthetic. In females, the process is known as spaying  and in males castration or neutering.
Early age desexing has been proven to be entirely safe and of minimal risk to the animal and you don’t need to wait until 6 months when at that age they could possibly get pregnant or impregnate!

Prevent animal overpopulation and death

The number 1 reason why desexing is important is to reduce unwanted litters. A female cat that has NOT been desexed can produce more than 15 offspring per year, so the importance of desexing your pets is very relevant.
This large pet overpopulation problem results in thousands of unnecessary deaths per year. It does not matter if you have homes for all the litter, you are directly contributing to the pet overpopulation problem and restricting homes for those pets who need to be re-homed.
By desexing your pet, you lessen the number of stray animals (who may also go on and breed) and the number being euthanized, if unable to be re-homed. 
But the benefits of desexing do not end there.

Medical benefits of desexing

The medical benefits of desexing your pet are enormous. The risk of your female pet contracting diseases of the ovaries, uterus and cervix are eradicated once desexed. Life threatening diseases such as breast cancer and pyometra, a serious infection of the uterus are dramatically reduced. In males, castration reduces the risk of prostatic and perianal disease and completely eliminates the risk of testicular cancer.

Behavioural benefits of desexing

Many pet owners think their pet will ‘change’ in personality if desexed. This is incorrect.  However, your pet will no longer display many of the annoying sexual behaviours such as:

  • Humping you, other animals or your furniture
  • Spraying or marking their territory around the house
  • Male dominance and aggression problems
  • Roaming

It will make your pet a better behaved pet, one who is not controlled by sexual instincts.  Therefore they are far less likely to act aggressively or behave badly in the community.
Your pet will get into many less fights around the neighbourhood. This decreases the risk of abscesses caused by fighting and reduces the risk of diseases such as FIV. Pets who have been desexed are far less likely to roam, because they are no longer seeking out other animals to mate with.

Myths about desexing

Despite the numerous benefits of desexing/spaying your pet, there are numerous misconceptions that deter pet owners from this procedure:

  • A female should have a litter before being desexed. This is untrue.

In fact, there is absolutely no advantage to allowing a female to breed before desexing her. If not desexed, she risks catching a number of diseases related to sexual activity, pregnancy and giving birth.

  • Desexing is cruel. This is untrue.

This myth is actually far from the truth and on the contrary, not desexing your animal is cruel. You’re putting them at a far greater health risk throughout their lives, such as mammary cancer in cats, which is the third most common tumours found in female cats. Desexed pets, on average, live longer their non-desexed counterparts!

  • Males can't get pregnant, so it doesn't matter. This is untrue.

Male pets can impregnate numerous females in a very short period of time, contributing to the overpopulation issue and putting him at many unnecessary risks. More commonly male pets have a higher risk of testicular cancer and prostate issues. Even more concerning, undesexed males have a higher tendency to behave aggressively and escape from their homes in search for a mate.

It's every pet owner's responsibility to make sure their cat or dog is desexed, regardless of whether it is male or female.


For more information, please contact us at Glen Iris Veterinary Hospital & Cattery.

We are conveniently in the City of Stonnington and Glen Eira. The pawfect location for pet parents living in Glen Iris, Malvern, Toorak, Kooyong, Armadale and surrounding areas!

kim power

Hi i’m just enquiring about desexing my 4 1/2 mth pup, I asked my local vet and they advised to have her done at 6 mths, also the cost involved etc. Cheers kim.

Sun Nov 2014

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