Why we recommend ‘desexing’ your pet

There are many differences of opinion and myths around the topic of de-sexing your pet. Without a doubt, de-sexing your pet prevents the unfortunate circumstance of unwanted puppies and kittens but many pet owners still have reservations about de-sexing their animal.

Dr David Fowler discusses the significant and varied health benefits that come with de-sexing your pet, and although it can be a difficult decision to make, it really is important that when pet owners do decide that they are well informed. 

“The most substantial health related benefit associated with de-sexing that I like to discuss with my clients is in female dogs and cats. Where females are de-sexed early in life, the risk of mammary or breast cancer later in life can be virtually eliminated, and this is the major reason for considering early de-sexing” David says. “Not only this, but female pets that have not been de-sexed are at increasing risk of developing pyometra (a serious and life-threatening infection of the uterus) as they get older, and de-sexing eliminates this risk also”. “On the other hand, when it comes to male dogs, de-sexing substantially reduces or removes the risks of various prostate diseases such as benign prostate enlargement and prostate infection, as well as perineal hernia, testicular tumours and some other testosterone influenced tumours” David says.

David can’t stress enough, “The behavioural benefits from de-sexing are just as important. Many entire pets I’ve seen throughout my career have been more likely to roam, exhibit anti-social behaviour and fight with other animals. It’s a shame to see animals demonstrating any of these health or behavioural problems, especially where simply de-sexing can have the effect of substantially reducing the risk of some of these issues occurring”.

Many pet owners believe or have heard that de-sexing can cause a change in personality, however there is no evidence to suggest that there are any psychological effects from de-sexing, and if anything it can make them more affectionate and easier to train.

If you are unsure about de-sexing your pet, please seek advice from your veterinarian or veterinary nurse first. They will be able to discuss with you the ins and outs of the de-sexing procedure, and answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have.

“Originally published in South Coast Style magazine”

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