Frequently asked questions about desexing:

Do I have to desex my dog or cat? While there is no legal requirement to desex your dog or cat at present in Brisbane, it is strongly recommended that any animal not used for breeding purposes is desexed. Not only does this prevent unexpected and unwanted litters of puppies and kittens, but it also helps prevent issues like prostatic disease in older intact male dogs, mammary tumors in intact female dogs, uterine infections, and testicular or ovarian cancers.

Will desexing change my pet’s personality? The personality of a pet will not be affected adversely by desexing. In fact, if desexed at a young age (5-6 months) it can actually help prevent the development of undesirable behaviours such as roaming, urine spraying or marking in cats, and aggression in dogs. Unfortunately, desexing mature pets does not remedy these behaviours as generally they become learned behaviours.

Will desexing make my pet put on weight? The metabolism of your pet will decrease due to loss of hormones. This may increase their likelihood of gaining weight. As your pet’s rate of growth slows down in the later months of development it is important to ensure you are not over-feeding your pet. A good exercise routine and a quality diet suited to your pet’s age are very important for maintaining a healthy weight.

Will desexing affect my pet’s growth? Desexing at the recommended age will not adversely affect your pet’s growth. A good quality puppy or kitten diet is recommended to help meet your pet’s nutritional requirements for growing.

Should I let my female dog or cat have a heat before desexing? There is no firm scientific evidence to say that allowing a dog or cat to have a heat before desexing will help with their behaviour or health. The longer a female animal is left entire can increase the risk of health problems such as uterine infections or cancers. There is also no firm scientific evidence that desexing your large breed dog before they are fully grown affects their growth.

What happens if my male dog or cat only has one testicle down? “Cryptorchid” pets with one or both testicles retained should be desexed, though the surgical procedure is slightly more involved than for males with both testicles descended. These retained testicles are at a higher risk for developing cancers, and the condition is also heritable.  At our clinic we recommend that your pet has an ultrasound prior to desexing surgery to locate the retained testicle to make the procedure much shorter for your pet.