As warmer weather starts to stir the loins it’s time to line up Rover or Felix for the big snip to avoid unwanted litters. With September designated ‘desexing month’ and Tenterfield Shire Council and the RSPCA chipping in to defray the costs involved, it’s time to make an appointment to do the deed.
Tenterfield Veterinary Clinic’s Luke Annetts said cats in particular can be prolific breeders, to the extent that the old saying should be ‘breeding like cats’ rather than rabbits.
“Dogs cycle maybe twice a year, but cats are pretty much in season until they get pregnant,” he said.
He shared a diagram illustrating how one unneutered cat can be responsible for more than two million descendants after eight years.
Unwanted offspring aside, Luke said there are many health and behavioural benefits to getting your pet desexed.
There’s a marked decrease in the incidence of mammary cancers in bitches, particularly if they’re desexed before their first heat (although there are still benefits when they’re older.) Uterine infections don’t get a start.
Desexing male dogs means fewer prostate issues and testicular cancers.
The ideal time to desex pups is around the six-months age.
Desexing cats has similar benefits. Luke sees fewer undesexed male cats as owners are usually keen to prevent the urine marking, spraying and other unpleasant traits associated with entire toms.
He said unless owners are prepared to take on the responsibility of breeding their pets, there’s no good reason not to desex them. There’s always a small risk where anaesthetic is involved, but the clinic has state-of-the-art equipment in a separate sterile surgical theatre and skilled staff to minimise any risk. In any case the benefits are overwhelming.
It’s a day surgery procedure and Luke is encouraging pet owners to book in their dog or cat as early as possible to get the day in September that best suits. The clinic offers a pet taxi for those who have difficulty getting their pet into the clinic.
The desexing fee is weight-based, but the subsidy being offered during September results in a 30-50 per cent discount. There are also savings on microchipping and vaccinations done at the same time.