Desexing your pet

Desexing your pet is vitally important as it helps to reduce the number of unwanted animals in our region.

SPCA Rotorua is committed to reducing the number of unwanted animals by desexing all cats, kittens, dogs, puppies and rabbits at our Animal Centre, before they are available for adoption. At our Animal Centre, large numbers of unwanted kittens and puppies are brought into us every year. Desexing stops unwanted pet pregnancies and births, however it also offers other benefits also.

Benefits of desexing your cat or kitten:

  • They live longer, healthier lives.
  • They are more affectionate companions.
  • They are less likely to suffer from anti-social behaviour.
  • It eliminates "heat" cycles in female cats and their endless efforts to get outside and find a mate.
  • You have no unwanted pregnancies.
  • It means male cats are less likely to spray and mark their territory.
  • They are less inclined to wander, run away or get into fights, thereby reducing injuries such as: Abscesses, Feline AIDS, Accidental injury or death from cars, dogs etc.
  • It also reduces or eliminates the incidence of some health proglems that can be difficult to treat, such as: - Uterine, ovarian and breast cancer in females - Prostate cancer/disorders and testicular cancer in males (less common)

Benefits of desexing your male dog or puppy:

  • Usually the dog becomes less aggressive and more placid.
  • The dog is less likely to wander and chase bitches on heat.
  • Many councils charge more for entire (i.e. un-desexed) males.
  • Desexing prevents tumours of the testicles.
  • Desexing reduces the incidences of problems occuring in the prostate gland, perineal hernias, and hormone-related tumours.

Will neutering change my dog's nature? There is no great character change, although the dog may be quieter. A good watchdog will still be a good watchdog and bark at strangers. Ability to guard your territory is not altered.

At what age should he be neutered? We recommend that the desexing operation takes place at about 6 months of age. If your dog has been used for breeding and you now want him desexed, there is no problem with performing the operation on older dogs. We prefer not to perform castrations at earlier ages because male dogs reach sexual maturity when they are about six months old. By this time, both testicles have usually descended, and thus the surgery becomes more straightforward.

Benefits of desexing your female dog or puppy:

  • It avoids the bitch coming into heat twice a year, with the accompanying messy discharges and invasion by all the neighbourhood dogs who can smell a bitch in season literally kilometres away.
  • Dogs are extremely persevering in their attempts to gain access to and mate any bitch on heat (in season), thus desexing prevents unwanted attention of this sort and any potential damage to your property.
  • Desexing prevents unwanted pups - population control in our pets is a very real and serious problem.
  • Speying greatly reduces the likelihood of breast cancer (if the bitch is desexed before her first cycle).

Should my bitch have a litter before being desexed? No. Well-meaning people may tell you that your bitch should have a litter of puppies or at least a heat period before she is desexed. There is no clinical evidence to support the view that this enhances her "female" characteristics.

At what age should she be desexed? The female dog will come into heat anytime from 6 months of age onwards, depending on the size of the dog. Small breeds usually come on heat at about six months of age, while larger breeds may not start until nine to ten months of age. We recommend that the desexing operation take place at 6 months of age regardless of the breed.

Benefits of desexing your rabbit:

  • Reduces incidence of unwanted litters
  • Reduces dominance aggression and fighting between individuals - thus making them easier to house together
  • Reduces territorial scent marking
  • Prevents false pregnancies and aggressive behaivour in female rabbits
  • Reduces territorial aggression towards owners
  • Prevents cancer of the reproductive organs which is very common in older rabbits