Should you desex your pet? You keep it locked in your yard, or your home, take it for walks on a lead and are always aware of its whereabouts...right? So why the big deal? It's my pet, my choice! Well this is very true, we can't tell you what to do but we can tell you the reasons why you should because the health benefits far outweigh any adverse affects you might see from desexing...and your pet can actually live longer too!
You might think it will change your pet, make them gain weight or alter their temperament but with high levels of unwanted animals currently crowding our local shelters, combined with the fact your pet could be at risk of some serious conditions if not desexed, you might want to reconsider the options...
Yesterday we saw a beautiful little female dog, still barely a pup herself at just over a year old, present with a pup stuck inside her abdomen. On x-ray we could see the puppy was far too big for the mother to be able to birth naturally and as she had been labouring for some time, it began to threaten not just the puppy (that had already died) but the mother dog as well. Unfortunately the owners weren't aware their dog had even come on heat, let alone mated and fallen pregnant with what was suspected to be a much larger breed than herself.
Fortunately we were able to save the little mother dog and after removing her damaged uterus, she'll now go on to lead a healthy and happy life.
And there are some other very serious conditions that can arise from a pet not being desexed, such as an infected uterus (pyometra) in female dogs which can very quickly lead to death if left untreated. Various cancers - like mammary cancer in female dogs which if desexed before their first heat, means she has almost zero chance of ever contracting it as well as prostatic abscesses and cancers in male dogs and even behavioural issues within both male and females that will often settle once the pet has been desexed and hormones level out. On average, we see approximately four to five cases of pyometra come through the doors of The Pines Vet a year. That is four or five too many. All of which wouldn't have required emergency surgery had they been desexed.
You see it's not just about preventing your pet from having litters - or indeed even creating them - the benefits of desexing your fur friend mean they have a much better chance of going on to lead a healthy and happy life...which is what we all want :)