Desexing is a routine procedure in dogs and cats.
Most dogs and cats, both male and female, will be neutered at around 6 months give or take.
We do this for a number of reasons:
- Control of unwanted pregnancy
- Prevention of disease - pyomentron or pus in the uterus and mammary cancer in females and prostate enlargement and testicular cancers in males
- Behavioral management - prevention of wandering behaviour in dogs and cats intent on finding a mate and a reduction in aggression fueled by sex hormones.
But did you know that desexing is VERY important in a number of other species?
Rabbits should be desexed. Female rabbits are very prone to uterine cancers and endometriosis causing painful hemorrhage. Unless you intend to breed from your female rabbit we strongly recommend you have her desexed. Male rabbits may spray urine around in a sent marking behavior. This can be a bit much to live with and desexing will halt this behavior. Surgery in rabbits is often a cause for owner concern but we are experienced in the anesthesia and surgery of rabbits here at Brudine Veterinary Hospital and are well set up to manage the unique requirements of these lovely pets. If you have a rabbit who has not been desexed please consider the surgery and speak with one of our vets.
Ferrets should be desexed. Desexing will reduce odor in males and females and this is quite desirable. In females desexing is particularly important as a female ferret will stay 'in season' until mated. The high sex hormones related to this will end up causing life threatening bone marrow suppression and eventual death if she is not mated! Desexing female ferrets not used for breeding really is a MUST! Interestingly there are surgical and non surgical options for ferrets. A long acting hormone implant can be used in these critters. Speak to one of our vets to work out what is best for your furry friend.
Rats should be desexed. Just as in ferrets there are surgical and non surgical, hormone implant based options. Desexing male rats will reduce urine marking behavior and in females can have up to a 90% protective effect against mammary cancers!! Mammary cancers are an all to common cause of death in female rats to this is hugely significant and has the potential to extend their lifespan considerably.
Guinea pigs should be desexed. In males there is a reduction in odor and in females desexing will prevent painful polycystic ovary disease and endometriosis. These conditions are often missed, going undetected until they progress to causing painful problems later in life. Prevention is far better than cure so speak to our vets regarding planning desexing!
Birds may need to be chemically desexed. Surgery is normally not the choose method in these species but good medical options are available. Some birds will develop chronic egg laying. They lay egg after egg to the detriment of their physical and mental health and medical desexing will control this for them.
So there you have it, desexing is not just a dog and cat thing!
So many of our other furry and feathered friends will enjoy better health and longer, happier lives with desexing. As always, our vets are happy to discuss the options and pros and cons for your pet, whatever the species!