Sunnybank Veterinary Clinic (07) 3345 6689


Desexing is a surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce. In male pets it is commonly referred to as “castration”, and in female pets as “spaying”. This a routinely performed surgery by our vets, and generally your pet is home by the evening of surgery.

We recommend having your pet de-sexed at 6 months of age. There are many advantages of performing the procedure at this age.


  • Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year
  • Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, and it can help prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females
  • Stopping the “heat” cycle in females 
  • Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males
  • Being less prone to wander, especially in males
  • Living a longer and healthier life
  • Reduction of council registration fees


Preparing your pet for a desex procedure:

  • Discuss with your veterinarian when the best time to de-sex your pet is. We recommend the age of 6 months, though your pet is never too old to de-sex.
  • Aim to have your bitch desexed when she is not “on heat” ( the time in her ovulation cycle where she is bleeding).
  • Wash your pet before the surgery as you will not be able to bath him/her for two weeks.
  • Your pet will require FASTING as they will be placed under a General Anaesthetic. Please feed your pet a normal dinner the night before the procedure. No food is to be given after 8pmn the night before procedure and no breakfast the morning of the surgery. Please allow access to water to prevent dehydration.


What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Your pet will be admitted between 8-9am on the morning of surgery. Please ensure we have a reliable means of contact for you throughout the day.
  • A blood test will be performed on the morning of the surgery to check vital organ function. (Please see Anaesthetic Safety  for more information on this in house blood testing).
  • The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
  • Your pet will receive an injection that will make him/her feel relaxed and will also provide pain relief.
  • A full gas general anaesthetic will be given to perform the surgical procedure; this will be monitored by an experience nurse.
  •  Your pet will receive intravenous fluid therapy during his/her procedure. (Please refer to our Anaesthetic Safety page for more information on surgical fluids).
  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief post operatively and to take home for a few days after the procedure.

Recovering After Surgery:

  • Keep your pet restrained and quiet as the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely.
  • Keeping them quiet is also essential to allow the wound to heal.
  • Food and water should be limited to small portions only on the night after surgery.
  • Follow any dietary instructions that the vet has provided.
  • Ensure all post-surgical medications (if any) are administered as per the label instructions.
  • Ensure your pet’s rest area is clean to avoid infection.
  • Check the incision at least twice daily for any signs of infection or disruption (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if these symptoms appear. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
  • No bathing or swimming until your veterinarian has ok’d at your recheck examination.
  • Prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. Special cone-shaped collars assist with this problem. A single chew can remove the careful stitching with disastrous effects.
  • Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups.



Common questions about desexing
“Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?”
Your pet will retain their pre-operation personality, possibly with the added bonus of being calmer and less aggressive.

“Should my female have one litter first?”
No – it is actually better for her not to have any litters before being spayed.Her risk of developing breast cancer increases if she is allowed to go through her first heat.

“Will it cause my pet to become fat?”
Your pet’s metabolism may be slowed due to hormonal changes after desexing,however this is easily managed with adjusting feeding and ensuring adequate exercise. There is no reason a desexed pet cannot be maintained at a normal weight.

“Is desexing painful?”
As with all surgery, there is some tenderness immediately after the procedure, but most pets will recover very quickly. We administer pain relief prior to surgery and after surgery too.Your pet will be discharged with a short course of pain relief medication to take at home for the first few days after the surgery.  In many cases, your pet will likely need some encouragement to take it easy!

“Will my dog lose its “guard dog”instinct?”
No, your dog will be just as protective of their territory as before the surgery.