Desexing of pets is very important to minimise the number of abandoned or neglected animals. It also offers a number of behavioural benefits and some health benefits as pets age. In the ACT, cats over three months of age and dogs over 6 months of age must be desexed to comply with the Domestic Animals ACT 2000. The most common age to get pets desexed is between 4-6 months, though animals are never too old to have the surgery. If you would like your cat or dog to remain entire for breeding purposes, you must obtain a Sexually Entire permit from TAMS. 

Desexing is the most frequent day surgery performed in the clinic and generally your pet is home the same day. Animals are admitted on the day of surgery 8.00-8.30 am and will be ready to return home with you between 3.30-6.00pm, whenever is most convenient with your schedule.

Some of the benefits to desexing your pet before 6 months:

  • Prevention of unwanted litters
  • Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males
  • Help in prevention of infection of the uterus and mammary tumours in females
  • Stopping the 'heat' cycle in females 
  • Decreasing aggression, especially in males
  • Less prone to wander, especially males
  • Living a longer and healthier life
  • Reduction of council registration fees

What to do before and after surgery

Before surgery: 

  • No food after 8.00pm the night before surgery and no water after 7.00am on the day of surgery
  • ‚ÄčTake dogs for a walk the morning of surgery; an empty bladder and bowels contribute significantly to comfort during the day in hospital

After surgery:

  • Keep your pet rested and quiet to allow the effects of anaesthetic to wear off and the wound to heal
  • Food and water should be limited to small portions on the night of surgery
  • Check the incision at least daily for any unusual signs eg bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge. Contact the vet immediately if these symptoms appear. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
  • Prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound as this disruption can have disatrous effects. Special cone-shaped collars assist with this problem. 
  • Return after 10 days for a post-operative check-up and removal of stitches.

For further information on desexing dogs in the ACT, please visit the ACT Government Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) Website by clicking on the link.

For further information on desexing cats in the ACT, please visit the ACT Government Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) Website by clicking on the link.