Neutering or desexing is a surgical procedure to prevent your pet being able to reproduce. It is very common and is generally safe. Pets are usually home by the evening on the day of surgery. In female pets it is often referred to as spaying. In male pets it is often called castration. The optimum time to desex a pet is between the ages of 4 to 6 months. However, it is quite safe to desex older pets and it is recommended that pets be desexed for a number of reasons:
Desexing may result in a less aggressive and calmer pet but will not affect the general personality of your pet. While the hormone changes after desexing may cause a slowing of the pet’s metabolism, weight gain can be minimized by adequate exercise and adjusted feeding. Your pet will still be protective of their territory and will display their guarding instincts.
It is recommended that female animals especially are spayed before they go through their first heat. There is a reduced risk of breast cancer if they are spayed prior to the beginning of their first cycle. Pets do not need to have a litter to develop a nurturing instinct.
While there will be some tenderness after your pet is desexed, they usually recover quickly after this type of surgery. They will receive pain relief before and after surgery. They will also be given pain relief medication to take at home for a few days. While some animals may be a little calmer for a few days, most will be back to normal very soon.