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Desexing could have more benefits for your pet than you realise.
It is often assumed that the only purpose of desexing your pet is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Whilst this is an obvious benefit of the procedure, there are also additional health and behavioural advantages for your pet too.
The desexing procedure involves removing the uterus and ovaries in female animals, and the testicles in male animals. This also has hormonal effects on your pet, and can reduce or even eliminate undesirable or distressing behaviour associated with mating and coming into season.
Benefits of desexing for female animals include:
- No risk of unwanted pregnancies
- No risk of ovarian and uterine cancer
- Reduced risk of mammary cancer and diseases
- Reduced likelihood of attracting unwanted male attention
- No longer coming into season and bleeding
Benefits of desexing for male animals include:
- No risk of unwanted pregnancies
- No risk of testicular cancer
- Reduced likelihood of aggressive territorial behaviour such as roaming and marking
The desexing procedure is a common surgical procedure, and in most cases your pet will be able to return home with you and continue their recovery the very same day as their operation. One of our team will give you a full briefing on caring for your pet after their procedure, including any necessary pain relief they might need, but you will find that they are back to their normal selves within a couple of days.
All pets desexing at our clinics receive the best possible care. When your pet is desexing, we always make sure:
- Your pet is given intravenous fluids throughout the procedure and while recovering. This helps maintain their blood pressure during surgery, flush the anaesthetic drugs from their system, and leads to a safer anaesthetic and quicker recovery
- Warm air blankets during surgery and heat pads for recovery. Keeping warm and comfortable is important after any surgery
- Pain relief is given before, during and after the surgery. All pets will go home with pain relief to make their recovery as comfortable as possible
- A qualified nurse will monitor your pet throughout the procedure and the recovery.
- We monitor blood pressure, oxygen levels, breath carbon dioxide and perform an ECG throughout the surgery. Close monitoring allows us to adjust the anaesthetic as needed to keep it as safe as possible.
- We provide a collar to stop your pet from licking its wound. Although most pets behave themselves when it comes to leaving their sutures alone, you don’t want to get to the middle of the night and realise your pet has chewed a stitch out. By sending your pet home with a collar, we know their wound will be protected
- All this is provided in the price we give you. We believe all these things are essential when it comes to operating on your pet in a safe manner and giving the quickest, most comfortable recovery. That’s why they are all included, and not “optional extras”.
What happens with my pet during their stay at the vets?
- Your pet will have an admission appointment. If we’ve never met your pet before, this will be with one of our experienced veterinary surgeons. Otherwise, it will be with one of our registered veterinary nurses. We normally admit patients between 8am and 9am each morning. If you can’t make these times, please call us to discuss alternative options.
- Once admitted, your pet will have their own cage or run for the day. They will be put in a cage which is big enough for them to be completely comfortable but small enough for them to feel secure. They will be given bedding and blankets to ensure they are warm and contented.
- The vet performing the procedure will do a physical examination, checking the heart, lungs, mouth, abdomen, temperature and hydration status of your pet. If we have any concerns we will contact you prior to proceeding.
- Your pet will be given a “premed”. This is normally a combination of a sedative and a powerful pain killer, with the type and dose of each medication tailored specifically for your pet. By giving this premedication, we find our patients only require a low dose of anaesthetic, recover smoothly and are relaxed and comfortable during their stay
- Your pet will be placed on intravenous fluids. With 85% of animals experiencing low blood pressure during surgery, intravenous fluids are important to help maintain blood pressure during most surgical procedures. If a patient experiences low blood pressure for any extended period of time, some serious adverse effects can result, including: liver and kidney damage; delayed wound healing and increased risk of infection. Since we have been using intravenous fluids as a standard; we have found that our patients are normally walking out of the clinic within a few hours of their surgical procedure. Gone are the days of dogs wobbling out to the car, still half asleep.
- Your pet will be anaesthetised with an injectable anaesthetic. They are then intubated, which allows us to use an inhaled anaesthetic to maintain their anaesthesia, and keeps their airway open and protected
- Once anaesthetised, patients are connected to our anaesthetic monitoring equipment. This equipment monitors blood pressure, oxygen levels, breath carbon dioxide levels and temperature throughout anaesthesia. This is critical to make the anaesthetic as safe as possible. It has been shown time and again that careful anaesthetic monitoring gives a surgery team the chance to correct small problems before they become big problems.
- The surgery site is clipped and prepped for surgery. We remove hair from around the surgery site to keep the wound clean, then use specialised disinfectant products to remove infectious organisms from the skin. While this is happening, the vet performing the surgery will be scrubbing their hands and arms to prepare for surgery, gowning up and putting on sterile surgical gloves.
- Your pet is moved through to theatre, and a warm-air blanket is applied to keep them warm during the procedure. Without adequate support, an animal’s body temperature drops during anaesthesia and hypothermia (low core body temperature) can result in delayed wound healing and recovery. The warm environment we create is also for your pet’s comfort… Imagine waking up from a big surgery feeling sore and very cold. Now imagine waking up with a warm air blanket and lots of bedding. A much better way to recover we think.
- The surgery is performed by one of our veterinary surgeons. During the procedure, one of our registered veterinary nurses is monitoring the anaesthetic.
- During or immediately after the surgery, your pet will be given additional analgesics to minimise pain and discomfort. The type and amount will once again be tailored specifically to your pet.
- Once your pet is awake, they will be returned to their cage or run, which will have fresh bedding and a heat pad to keep them comfortable during the recovery period. They will continue to be monitored by one of our qualified veterinary nurses until their discharge appointment.
- You will have a discharge appointment booked with one of our nurses when it is time for your pet to go home. Sterilisations are usually a day procedure, so we normally discharge our surgery patients between 3pm and 6pm. At this discharge appointment, the nurse will discuss any aftercare requirements and answer any questions you may have.
- 10 days after the procedure, we will recheck your pet to ensure the wound has healed well, and any external sutures will be removed. This recheck is performed at no additional charge.
What do I need to do before my pet's surgery?
Before your pet is desexed, there are a few basic things we ask you to do:
- Don’t feed your pet after 8pm the night before (except rabbits)
- Rabbits should be allowed to eat right up to the time you bring them to the clinic.
- For rabbits, we also ask you to bring some of their regular food so we can start feeding them again straight after the procedure to minimise the risk of gut problems
- All pets can have free access to water until they come in to the clinic
- For dogs, please give them a bath the day before the surgery. This means they are clean and dry for the surgery. They won’t be able to have a bath for around 10 days after the surgery, so this will be your last chance for a while
- Ensure you have a lead for your dog and a basket for your cat. For their own safety, pets need to be well controlled in the car and at the clinic
- Take your dog for a walk to encourage it to toilet before coming to the clinic
- Think about anything else you may like done while your pet is under anaesthetic (teeth cleaned/ nails clipped/ microchipping/ do they have a hernia?)
How do I book my pet in for desexing?
We offer routine desexing surgeries from both our Bunbury and Eaton Vet Clinics every weekday.
To make a booking, simply give us a call. We can normally fit your pet in for surgery within one to two business/ working days, but if you have a specific date you would prefer; we advise you to book a couple of weeks ahead if possible.
Information we will ask you for will include the age, breed and approximate weight of your pet. This is to ensure your pet is an ideal age for desexing (we prefer dogs to be at least 6 months old, while we may desex cats younger if needed), and so we can ensure we have the right sized enclosure or dog run available that day for your pet to fit comfortably.
If we have never met your pet before, we would prefer to meet them (and yourself) before performing the procedure. This can be either on the day of the surgery, or a few days before. This gives your pet a chance to get to know the clinic so it is more relaxed on the day of the surgery, and allows us to examine your pet and discuss the procedure with you. This consultation will be provided at no charge to you – simply ask for a pet desexing consultation.
How much does it cost to desex my pet?
To get a price on sterilising your pet, please give us a call during our normal office hours. The information you will need to have is the pet’s age, breed, gender and approximate weight.
One of our fully qualified nurses will be able to give you an accurate estimate, discuss the procedure with you, and talk through any questions you may have about the operation.
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