Desexing (getting your pet ‘fixed’) is a part of responsible pet ownership for those who do not wish to breed their animals. In New Zealand veterinary clinics, operations are very common practise and have a low complication rate. In males, the desexing operation is called castration, and involves removal of both testicles from the scrotum. In females, the desexing operation is called a spey and involves removing the uterus and ovaries from the abdomen.

Though the surgery presents an upfront cost, it carries many benefits that last throughout your pet’s life. Below are some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to desex your pet.

Every year the SPCA and similar organisations struggle to find homes for thousands of unwanted kittens, puppies and adult animals. Bringing more kittens and puppies into existence, even if they all get good homes, means fewer homes for the unwanted animals in shelters around the country.

Unneutered cats are more prone to getting into cat fights which result in cat bite abscesses and potential feline immunodeficiency viral infection (FIV) or cat aids.

Looking after a litter of puppies and kittens is a costly and time-consuming venture, requiring worming, vaccinations and checkups.

While the majority of canine and feline pregnancies progress simply, complications can occur before or during birth that require an emergency caesarean. This is a more dangerous and costly surgery than a simple spey (desexing operation).

Speying female dogs before their first heat has been shown to decrease the chances of developing mammary tumours and it eliminates the chances of developing pyometra, a potentially life-threatening uterine infection.

Castration helps to improve behaviour in some male animals with dominance and aggression issues and eliminates the chances of testicular tumours developing, and decreases the chances of prostate tumors and other prostate problems developing.

Having unspeyed female cats and dogs increases the chances of meandering males hanging around your property. Walking female dogs in heat can also be a challenge as they are very attractive to male dogs.

Giving long-term hormonal treatments to prevent female dogs going on heat or to stop males showing testosterone-related behaviours often end up costing more than the desexing operation itself. Like all medications, these medications also carry the possibility of side-effects.

If you have any questions about the procedure, feel free to ring up and have a talk to our staff.

Finally, I interviewed a satisfied patient after the procedure–‘Without testicles, life has become much simpler. I am no longer concerned with impressing the lady dogs next door, and now that I’m not using Tinder I have much more time free on my paws. And my tennis balls are the only ones I have to worry about. I highly recommend castration for all who want a calmer lifestyle.’