Desexing your pet

Why we recommend Desexing your pet

What Is Desexing?

Desexing (or neutering) involves the removal of the reproductive organs in order to prevent your pet from breeding.

In males, the testicles are removed during a procedure called “castration”. In females, both the ovaries and the uterus are removed during a procedure called an ovariohysterectomy or “spey”.

The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia so your pet does not feel any pain. Cardiff Veterinary Hospital performs desexing from Monday to Friday.

Why Should I Desex My Pet?

Unless you’re serious about breeding, then all pets, both males and females, should be desexed between 4-6 months of age. As well as stopping unwanted breeding, it makes them happier, healthier pets.

Desexing reduces urine spraying/marking, fighting, roaming, aggression, and lowers your pet’s risk of certain types of cancer and infection. It also prevents animals from coming into season, avoids unwanted pregnancies, and reduces contribution to the stray animal population.

At What Age Should I Desex My Pet?

The recommended age for desexing both male and female cats and dogs is 4-6 months of age. There is no maximum age at which a cat can be desexed, but there are definite medical and behavioural advantages in performing the surgery early.

Female cats and dogs tend to come into “heat” or “season” and are receptive to males just after 6 months of age, so it is important to try to desex them before this occurs. If desexed before their first season, females have a much lower risk of developing mammary (breast) cancer later in life. The procedure is also much simpler and has less risk of bleeding complications when the uterus is less developed.

Male cats and dogs that are desexed prior to 6 months of age have less risk of developing undesirable behaviours such as urine marking/spraying, aggression, roaming, and mounting behaviours.

When Can I Book My Pet in for Desexing?

Pets can be booked in for desexing from Monday to Friday. They should be dropped off in the morning between 8:00am and 9:30am.

Your pet should be fasted from 10pm the night prior and water should be removed from 7:00am.

Most pets will be fine to go home between 4:00pm and 6:00pm the same day. However, if they are very sleepy, then we may recommend that they stay overnight.

Please ring us if you have any further questions or if you would like to make an appointment for desexing on 4954 7055 .

Common Myths

There is a misconception that having a litter will improve your pet’s temperament or is good for their health. There is no scientific evidence to support this theory. The reality is that in female dogs, pregnancy places extreme stresses on the body and, unless properly managed, can be detrimental to their health.

It is a common fallacy that a desexed pet will become fat and lazy. Correct feeding of a premium diet (eg. Hills Science Diet) without any extras should prevent obesity. Desexing at 6 months coincides with a reduced growth rate so it is important to reduce food intake.

Desexing does not cause a pet to lose its character. Pets may be gentler, but they neither lose their spirit nor their intelligence. Playfulness and socialisation with humans are not changed. Additionally, desexing will not interfere with guarding behaviours.

Are There Any Complications From Desexing?

Occasionally female dogs develop a weak bladder after being desexed. Usually, this happens when they are older. The good news is that there is a very effective tasteless medication that can be added to the food to correct this problem. This doesn’t tend to happen in cats.

Advantages of desexing your dog 

  • Prevents contribution to stray animal population.
  • Reduces tendency to develop aggressive behaviour, mounting and urine marking.
  • Significantly cheaper registration with local Council.


  • Eliminates risk of developing testicular cancer later in life.
  • Reduces risk of developing prostate disease (cancer, prostatitis, prostatic hyperplasia), anal tumours and perianal hernias.
  • Reduces roaming – desexing reduces the sexual urges of male animals to pursue the scent of a female in heat. This in turn reduces their roaming behaviour, which means they are less likely to be injured (eg. hit by a car, sustain animal fight injuries).


  • Avoids unwanted pregnancy.
  • Reduces risk of developing pyometra, a serious, potentially fatal infection in which the uterus fills with pus, bacteria and toxins.
  • Almost eliminates their risk of developing mammary (breast) cancer. After a single heat, this risk increases to 7%. After 2 heats, the risk is 25%. Early desexing can prevent a potentially fatal form of cancer.

Prevents females coming into season. Female dogs come into heat every 6-8 months. They will have a bloody vaginal discharge during their season. Not only is this messy, but it also attracts male dogs to your property. This will disappear with desexing.​


Advantages of Desexing Your Cat

  • Reduces urine spraying in males.
  • Avoids unwanted pregnancy in females.
  • Reduces roaming, which means they are less likely to be injured (e.g. hit by a car, sustain animal fight injuries).
  • Reduces aggressive behaviours, which also reduces their risk of contracting infections and diseases transmitted by biting such as cat fight wounds/abscesses, Feline Aids and Feline Leukaemia Viruses.
  • Prevents females from coming into season, which can cause them to become anxious, vocal and even aggressive.
  • Prevents contributing to the stray animal population.
  • Significantly cheaper registration with local Council.

Speak to one of our friendly nurses about getting your pet desexed

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