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 between 4 and 6 months, however they are never too old to be desexed.
There are many benefits to desexing your pet before 6 months. They include:
- Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year
- Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, and it can help prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females
- Stopping the “heat” cycle in females
- Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males
- Being less prone to wander, especially in males
- Living a longer and healthier life
- Reduction of council registration fees
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.
Booked in for surgery - now what?
For more information on your pet's desexing procedure, please visit our information webpage HERE.
Our hospital is fully equipped with an ultrasound scanner to assist evaluation of your pet’s condition if required. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires an ultrasound examination. An ultrasound scan is a very important tool to help us diagnose various conditions.
What is an ultrasound scan?
Ultrasound scanning is a painless procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (inaudible to humans) to produce images of structures within the body. When sound waves are directed into the body, some are absorbed by body tissues and others bounce back. The sound waves that bounce back are measured by the ultrasound machine and are transformed into an image on a screen. Extensive training is required in order to correctly use this equipment and interpret these images.
Ultrasound scans are most useful for looking at soft or fluid-filled organs; like the liver, kidney, bladder and heart. It is less effective for examining bones or air-filled organs, like the lungs.
What happens to my pet when it is booked in for an ultrasound scan?
The area to be scanned will be shaved, so your pet may look different when they come home. No pain is felt during an ultrasound exam, however, discomfort from pressure may be experienced. During the scan a water-soluble gel is applied over the clipped area to be examined and a transducer (probe) is placed on the skin.
Generally you can be present for the scan so our veterinarians to show you the images and to discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet.
As we are a reproductive clinic it is very important to ensure bitches are pregnant and determine approximate numbers of puppies due. This can also alert clients to possible concerns in birthing (small litters often give LARGE puppies that may require caesarians, or very large litters may result in bitches whelping earlier than expected).
Don't leave things to the last minute, we can take out some of the worry to birthing.
Our hospital is fully equipped to take radiographs (often called X-rays) of your pet. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires radiographs. Radiographs are a very important tool to help us diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving bones, the chest or abdomen.
What happens to my pet when it is booked in for radiographs?
Most of our patients are admitted into hospital for the day to have radiographs taken, unless it is an emergency and we’ll take them immediately. We ask that you bring your pet in unfed on the morning of admission, as they will most likely be sedated or anaesthetised to allow us to take the best quality radiographs possible.
Once the radiographs have been taken we will give you a call or book an appointment for our veterinarians to show you the images and to discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet.
Why do pets need to be sedated or anaesthetised to have radiographs taken?
When we have radiographs (X-rays) taken the radiographer asks us to keep perfectly still, often in unnatural positions. Most pets would never lie still enough, in the correct position, for us to take good quality radiographs required to diagnose their condition. Sedation and anaesthesia allow us to get the most useful radiographs possible.
How are radiographs made?
Taking a radiograph is very similar to taking a photo, except we use X-rays instead of light rays. The usefulness of radiography as a diagnostic tool is based upon the ability of X-rays to penetrate matter. Different tissues in the body absorb -rays to differing degrees. Of all the tissues in the body, bone absorbs the most X-rays. This is the reason that bone appears white on a radiograph. Soft tissues, such as lungs or organs, absorb some but not all the X-rays, so soft tissues appear on a radiograph in different shades of grey. We will demonstrate and explain the radiographs when your pet goes home.
Clinical pathology involves the laboratory evaluation of blood, fluids or body tissues in order to identify existing disease. Common laboratory tests include blood chemistries, complete blood counts, blood clotting times, urinalysis, faecal tests, biopsy examination, cultures and infectious disease testing.
Our animal hospital is equipped with an in-house laboratory that allows our veterinarians to quickly perform many of these diagnostic tests to achieve an accurate and rapid diagnosis. This is especially important in very ill animals and those requiring immediate or emergency treatment. Some more specialised tests may need to be performed by an external veterinary laboratory.
Our in-house laboratory can provide results within minutes. Specialised testing may take 12-24 hours for blood results or up to 14 days for biopsy results, depending on the nature of the test being performed. Ask your veterinarian when to call for your pet’s laboratory results.
Orthopaedic surgery encompasses any surgery that is related to bones or joints. It includes procedures such as fracture repairs, ligament repairs and spinal surgery to name a few.
Our veterinarians’ high level of expertise and our practice’s fully equipped surgical suite allows us to perform certain orthopaedic surgical procedures that your pet may require. These may include:
- Cranial cruciate ligament repair
- Fracture (broken bone) repair
- Amputations for severe injuries or bone cancer cases
Complicated orthopaedic cases, such as spinal surgery, will need to be referred to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon. Our veterinarians will assess each case individually and provide the best advice for you and your pet.
Our veterinarians’ high level of expertise and our practice’s fully equipped surgical suite allows us to perform the vast majority of soft tissue surgical procedures that your pet may require. Soft tissue surgery encompasses any surgery that is not related to bones. It includes procedures such as desexing, exploratory laporotomies, caesareans, lump removals, biopsies, wound stitch-ups, removal of intestinal foreign bodies - the list is endless!
A very common soft tissue surgery is the removal of lumps. Some lumps may require a biopsy prior to removal to help understand whether they are cancerous or not. This information assists us in planning the surgery accordingly to give your pet the best possible outcome. Once they have been removed, we recommend sending them to our external laboratory for analysis.
Although most lumps are benign (not harmful), a minority are more serious (malignant). In the case of malignant (cancerous) tumours, early removal and an accurate diagnosis is extremely important to maximise the chances of a good outcome.
If you find a lump or bump on your pet please make an appointment to visit one of our veterinarians to discuss any surgery your pet may require.
Please see our section under Client Information - desexing for more details about this surgery.
Ophthalmic surgery is the specific area of pet care involving treatment of an animal’s eyes. For certain breeds, this service also involves the examination and certification of breeding dogs to verify their eyes are in good condition.
Eye examinations require specific equipment, such as an ophthalmoscope (a magnifying light to look into the eye). Our veterinarians may also use a special dye called fluorescein (it glows a green/yellow colour under a UV light) to identify damage to the cornea (the clear layer at the front of the eye). Many eye conditions can be treated medically, however, specific conditions may require surgery
Our practice is fully equipped to offer the following eye surgeries:
- Enucleation (removal) of the eye for severe glaucoma or cancer cases
- Entropion surgery to prevent ocular damage from inward pointing eye lashes/eyelids
- Ectropion surgery to correct outward facing lower eyelids
- Cherry eye surgery to correct a protruding third eyelid in dogs
- Surgery to repair corneal ulcers (ulcers on the eye surface)
Our veterinarians can also refer your pet to a specialist veterinary ophthalmologist for specialised procedures such as eye ultrasound, vision testing or cataract removal.