After welcoming a puppy or kitten to your family and ensuring you’ve adhered to the vaccination schedule the next significant health consideration lies around the timing of your fur babies de-sexing.

There is no reason to not de-sex your pet. Adoption and rescue groups are overflowing with un-homed dogs and cats, with many euthanised each year so in addition to safeguarding unwanted litters, other reasons to de-sex include:

  • Preventing unwanted behaviours including marking and humping (particularly in dogs)
  • Minimising distractions of other animals in season (which can lead to ‘heroic’ efforts of escapism and in turn injury)
  • Blood deposits whilst females on heat
  • Health benefits

desexing-recoveryTraditionally, the ‘best time’ for de-sexing cats and dogs was considered for females to be before their first heat, and males before 7 months – this was thought to be optimal for reducing cancer risk. However, there really is no right or wrong answer as to timing given it can be breed and size dependant, as well as reliant on individual medical and behavioural issues.

It is best to discuss your fur baby’s individual requirements with a veterinarian and in turn book the procedure at an agreed time. Your vet can also talk you through preparation, not only for your puppy or kitten pre-operative i.e fasting, but also what to expect for their post-operative care as this can be quite confronting and emotional as a pet parent.

In general though, here’s what to expect when the time comes for your fur baby to be de-sexed:

Procedure Appointment

On the day of the surgery, after signing a consent form and being given an estimated cost, it is time to leave your beloved in the caring and capable hands of the veterinary team.

Catheter placement will take place allowing fluids and medications to be administered efficiently whilst in surgery and post-operative. Your pet will be monitored throughout their sedation and anaesthesia including coming around in the recovery phase.


Discharge appointment

Your vet or duty nurse will speak with you regarding the surgery and homecare (including medications) before your fur baby is brought out. Wound care and post op checks will be discussed but you will normally also receive a sheet with written instructions.

All animals recover differently – some pets drag their owners out of the building however it’s best to be prepared that others can still be very drowsy and need to be carried out.


The wound must be kept clean and dry (it may or may not have a dressing over it) and exercise and movement must be minimised for a period after surgery to ensure the wound can heal and prevent infection. Beware, once your pet starts to feel better, keeping an active pooch quiet, can be quite an ask!

A post op check is normal between 2-4 days after surgery. Common issues are clipper rashes, seromas forming, wounds failing to heal normally or infection of surgical wounds.

Total skin healing time is 10-14 days so if skin stitches are present, you will need to pop back into the clinic for their removal. This quick appointment is usually included in the cost of the surgery.

After sutures are removed and healing is complete, your fur baby can return to normal life!

Every pet is different so to discuss your fur baby’s individual requirements with respect to de-sexing, please book a vet chat. Here we can cover any further questions regarding the procedure, post-operative care, and as with any surgery, potential risks. We are also happy to outline our Thriving Pets Plus Plan which includes a discount of $100 off de-sexing.