What to expect when your dog is desexed

Wondering whether it’s time to desex your dog?

06 Sep 2016 By Lizzie McClenaghan Comments

So, your puppy is peeing suspiciously frequently, is chasing after fur babies of the opposite sex, is more alert, excitable, and easily distracted, and is generally behaving differently? No, this isn’t just your puppy being more sociable. This could be a sign that he or she is ready to mate.

pug with puppies According to the RSPCA, a female dog and her offspring can produce up to 20,000 puppies within five years–that’s a whole lot of adorableness!

Unfortunately, those 20,000 puppies would then need to be rehomed. Of the hundreds of thousands of animals that shelters take in annually, a large percentage are there as a result of unplanned breeding. This is why it’s so important to have your fur babies desexed.

dog in cage Though you may opt to have your dog desexed at as early as 2 months old, vets generally recommend having them desexed at around 5-6 months old. This is because dogs reach sexual maturity at roughly 6-12 months of age, but they may mature earlier or later than this, depending on their size.

dog after operation At 5-6 months of age it is safe for your fur baby to undergo general anaesthesia for the procedure, meaning they will not feel any pain. The procedure is performed in a sterilised environment and differs slightly between males and females. 

For females, the area around the abdomen is shaved, and an incision is made through which the uterus and ovaries are removed. For males, the area around the scrotum is shaved, and the testes are removed through a small incision.

pug on sofa

After the surgery, your furry friend may need a little extra love and care, because he or she will likely be drowsy and a little bit sore. This is particularly true for females, for whom the procedure is slightly more major. It is recommended that you keep them relaxed in the days post-surgery, as they may be at risk of ripping their stitches if they overdo it.

The stitches are typically removed within 10-14 days, and you will need to keep an eye out for any signs of seepage, swelling or infection during this time. You will also need to ensure your puppy does not chew their stitches. Complications such as these are incredibly rare, so if they do occur you should alert your vet right away. You should also avoid bathing them until the stitches are removed and the incision is completely healed.

black and white dog outdoors Though your puppy may become calmer and less aggressive, you shouldn't notice any drastic changes in their behaviour or personality. They may become more affectionate, but will not become lazier, as dog owners sometimes fear. Essentially, your four-legged best friend should remain the same fluffy, adorable bundle of joy you fell in love with for many years to come.

 

There are a number of health benefits of having your dog desexed as well, such as:

  • little to no risk of developing mammary or testicular cancer
  • a lower risk of prostate or urinary tract infections
  • a reduced likelihood that they will wander in search of a mate, and get into fights, or become lost or injured as a result
  • a reduced likelihood that they will spray in order to mark their territory or attract a mate.

06 Sep 2016 By Lizzie McClenaghan Comments

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