Desexing your pet is beneficial for their long-term health and happiness.
250,000 perfectly healthy animals are euthanised annually in Australia because there are not enough homes for them. This highlights one of the reasons it is important to have your pet desexed. Another reason why pets should be desexed is that it has positive long term health impacts.
What is Pet Desexing?
Desexing is the removal of part of the reproductive system of an animal, while under a general anaesthetic. In females, the process is known as spaying and in males castration or neutering.
Medical benefits of desexing
The medical benefits of desexing your pet are enormous. The risk of your female pet contracting diseases of the ovaries, uterus and cervix are eradicated once desexed. Life threatening diseases such as breast cancer and pyometra, a serious infection of the uterus are dramatically reduced. In males, castration reduces the risk of prostatic and perianal disease and completely eliminates the risk of testicular cancer.
Behavioural benefits of desexing
Many pet owners think their pet will ‘change’ in personality if desexed. This is incorrect. However, your pet will no longer display many of the annoying sexual behaviours such as:
- Humping you, other animals or your furniture
- Spraying or marking their territory around the house
- Male dominance and aggression problems
It will make your pet a better behaved pet, one who is not controlled by sexual instincts. Therefore they are far less likely to act aggressively or behave badly in the community. Your pet will get into many less fights around the neighbourhood. This decreases the risk of abscesses caused by fighting and reduces the risk of diseases such as FIV. Pets who have been desexed are far less likely to roam, because they are no longer seeking out other animals to mate with.
Myths about desexing
Despite the numerous benefits of desexing/spaying your pet, there are numerous misconceptions that deter pet owners from this procedure:
A female should have a litter before being desexed. This is false.
In fact, there is absolutely no advantage to allowing a female to breed before desexing her. If not desexed, she risks catching a number of diseases related to sexual activity, pregnancy and giving birth.
Desexing is harmful. This is false.
This myth is actually far from the truth and on the contrary, not desexing your animal is cruel. You’re putting them at a far greater health risk throughout their lives, such as mammary cancer in cats, which is the third most common tumours found in female cats. Desexed pets, on average, live longer their non-desexed counterparts!
Males can’t get pregnant, so it doesn’t matter. This is false.
Male pets can impregnate numerous females in a very short period of time, contributing to the overpopulation issue and putting him at many unnecessary risks. More commonly male pets have a higher risk of testicular cancer and prostate issues. Even more concerning, un-desexed males have a higher tendency to behave aggressively and escape from their homes in search for a mate.
It’s every pet owner’s responsibility to make sure their cat or dog is desexed, regardless of whether it is male or female.