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O' Halloran Hill Vet Centre

Desexing Female Dogs


Desex or not desex, that is the question! Desexing is one of the most important and beneficial things you can do for your dog, and for your community. We recommend desexing between the ages 6 and 18 months of age, depending on their size.


Advantages of desexing your female dog

  • Reduced risk of cancer or other diseases of the reproductive organs, such as cystic
  • ovaries, ovarian tumors, acute uterine infections and breast cancer
  • Desexed pets live longer and healthier lives


What happens when my dog comes in for desexing?

  • A general anaesthetic is given so your dog will need to fast from 8 pm the evening before.
  • The anaesthetic can cause drowsiness for 24 hours after the surgery.
  • Desexing is a day procedure – your dog will come into the clinic in the morning and go home the same afternoon.
  • If your dog has not already had a pre-anaesthetic blood test, we will recommend the test is performed on the day before the procedure. When the tests come back and all is acceptable, your dog will then be anaesthetised.
  • Your dog will be placed on a gas anaesthetic – allowing for accurate monitoring, anaesthetic, and oxygen delivery.
  • Pain relief is given at the time of the surgery and extra pain relief can be arranged if your dog needs it.
  • Stitches will remain in the skin for 10 days and after this time will be removed by our nursing staff.
  • It is important that the sutures stay dry and clean for the duration – this means no bathing or swimming until they come out.
  • The dog is not allowed to lick the stitches – an Elizabethan collar or bitterant spray is sometimes required.
  • The stitches should be checked daily to make sure the wound is not swollen, hot, red or weeping. If you are concerned, the dog must be brought in for it to be checked.
  • It is really important that the dog stays quiet and inactive whilst the stitches are in place. If the dog is too active, it can prevent the wound from healing and cause complications.

All anaesthetics face a risk. However, with today’s modern anaesthetics, pre-blood testing, and monitoring equipment, the risk of a complication is very low.

What post-operative precautions I should take?

Restrict exercise, preferably by confining your dog for four to five days after surgery. Dogs that normally have active lifestyles may risk stretching their wound or damaging their stitches if allowed to excessively exercise too soon. After 10–14 days your dog may start to return to his normal exercise routine and/or active lifestyle. Until then your dog should only have on-lead walks with no running, jumping or swimming.


Common desexing myths:

My dog will get fat after being desexed … F A L S E!

The metabolism does slow down after desexing and as the dog approaches six to 12 months of age, but providing you feed the correct type of food, don’t overfeed your dog and encourage regular exercise, you won’t have a fat dog.

Desexing will change my dog’s personality … F A L S E!

Desexing will not change your dog’s personality. Male and female dogs that are desexed have a nicer temperament as they are not as driven by their hormones and make much nicer family pets.


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Pets Health is a full service animal hospital with clinics located in Hilton and O’Halloran Hill. We are dedicated to helping you keep your best mate happy and healthy through each stage of their life with compassionate and reassuring veterinary care.

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O’Halloran Hill Vet Centre

123 Main South Road
O’Halloran Hill, SA 5158

Hilton Vet Centre

142 Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Hilton, SA 5033