One of the things you will always be advised to do by your vet when you get a new puppy or kitten is to get them desexed.
So why is desexing so important?
Every year approximately 150-200,000 animals are in Australian pounds and shelters. Some are lost, some are surrendered and some are feral animals. Less than half of this number are reclaimed or rehomed. That is a lot of unwanted animals that have to be euthanased each year. Desexing helps as it reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies which reduces the amount that are surrendered. It also cuts down on the amount of roaming animals that end up in pounds and shelters.
Desexing your pet also has health benefits.
- It eliminates the risk of uterine cysts and pyometra (an infection in the uterus) in female animals.
- In female animals it reduces the risk of mammary cancer.
- In male animals it reduces the risk of prostate problems.
- It eliminates the risk of testicular cancer in male animals.
- A male dog or cat can smell a female in heat from a long way away (sometimes over a kilometre!). This can lead to your pet digging, climbing or chewing their way out of their yard to try and get to them. Neutering your male animal will stop the desire to reach a female on heat and therefore less likely to try and escape from their yard. Speying your female animal will also help stop unwanted male visitors from showing up in your yard.
- Territorial urine marking in the house and yard is often reduced or eliminated after desexing. This is more prevalent in male animals and it can be very messy not to mention smelly. It is more effective to desex before sexual maturity is reached (approximately 6 months old) to combat urine marking.
- Early desexing can reduce the chance of male animals developing aggressive and dominant behaviours. This does not change their personality and should be seen as a prevention rather than cure for aggression.
- Female cats have a large breeding season that can last many months of the year and they can come on heat every three weeks or so during this time. When on heat they make very loud howling and crying noises as well as displaying odd behaviours (demanding attention, rubbing on people and furniture more than usual, shaking their tail in the air and urine marking). These noises and behaviours can be a nuisance (especially in the middle of the night when everyone is trying to get some sleep!)
There are little to no reasons why you shouldn't get your pet desexed. Did we mention it's also cheaper to register and insure a desexed pet!
If you are still unsure about the procedure itself, look out for our next blog where we will talk you through what happens when you drop your pet off for their surgery.