Desexing – The Facts
Hunter Animal Rescue supports and practices the desexing of companion animals. All HAR fosters go to their new homes desexed or with a desexing agreement and prepaid voucher*.
In Australia hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs end up in shelters, pounds and rescue every year. Many of these a result of unwanted pregnancies that could have been easily avoided by timely desexing.
Cats can produce kittens at as young as 4 months of age, dogs can have their first season and fall pregnant or father puppies from as early as 6 months old. Unwanted litters are then often given away free or cheap, never desexed and the cycle continues.
Desexing is one way we can help lesson the oversupply of companion animals.
Please continue reading below for some of the facts and myths associated with desexing.
*Exception only under veterinary advice.
4 good reasons to desex your pet?
Veterinarians recommend desexing to prevent unwanted pregnancies in females. This is especially important for cats, as it is not always possible to tell when she is ‘on heat’. In female dogs, desexing automatically stops their cycles and the associated bleeding and attention from male dogs
Over-population of companion animals
There are, quite simply too many dogs and cats and not enough homes. Every extra litter born adds to the problem.
Castration helps to control male dominance aggression problems and also reduces their wandering instincts if a female dog in the neighbourhood is on heat. Tomcats have a tendency to roam and fight with other cats which can lead to other medical implications such as cat bite abscesses and FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus).
Significant medical reasons
Spaying reduces the risk of mammary tumours (which can be life threatening – just like breast cancer in women). Tumours of the ovaries, uterus and cervix and pyometra, a gross infection of the uterus, can also be prevented.
Castration reduces the risk of prostatic disease, perianal tumours, and eliminates the risk of testicular cancers.
Desexing may also be recommended in your pet to prevent hereditary diseases being passed on, or for treatment of some diseases such as prostatic hypertrophy or pyometra.
Myths about desexing.
“Females should have a litter before being desexed.”
This is not necessary for your pet’s benefit. Spaying a dog before her first heat will reduce the risk of mammary cancer to nearly zero. Every season/heat a female has, significantly increases her chance of developing mammary cancer.
“Desexing my pet will make him/her fat.”
By removing organs that produce hormones your pet’s metabolism may be slowed, overfeeding your pet will make it fat.
“Animals become lazy after they are desexed.”
There is generally no change in the character of your dog. Young males will be less inclined to mount objects and jump fences in search of a female mate. However, they will still be happy to chase their favourite ball or participate in their favourite activity.
“Desexing a trained guard dog will reduce his/her ability to guard.”
Guarding results from instinctive territorial behaviour… it is not changed by the removal of testicles.
“I don’t want to desex my dog because he will miss it”.
Desexing animals at 6 months means they do not have a chance to develop mating behaviours. This is also “humanising” what your pet feels. Dogs are an important part of the family, but remember – they are not human!