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Ask Bondi Vet - Should I have my puppy desexed?

In every episode of Ask Bondi Vet, Pete Lazer is joined by one of our Bondi Vets, to discuss the answers to your pet questions.

Pete Lazer - Hello and welcome to Ask Bondi Vet, proudly brought to you by Bondi Vet pet insurance. My names Pete Lazer and we’ve got Dr. Danni, one of our Bondi vet’s with us today. Danni thanks for joining us. This is where you go to get all the answers to your pet questions and today’s question is from Freya. Freya asks a really important question:

Should I get my puppy desexed? We’ve heard that desexing can alter their personality, and we don’t want that to happen as our is very happy and has a social personality, and qwe don’t want that to change.”

Dr Danni Dusek - Absolutely and it’s just so nice to hear that there’s clients out there that love their puppy so much that they get a bit stressed, that their puppies going to change after desexing, so that’s really sweet. I guess my advice is certainly it is important to get your puppy desexed for a number of reasons. But certainly the age of which is going to be best for your pup will vary, depending on the breed. So definitely have a chat to your vet about your pup and what’s going to work out best for them.

Pete Lazer - And what about the behavioural changes after desexing and before desexing, cause as Freya has mentioned, she loves the personality of their dog.

Dr Danni Dusek - I guess there is a risk that their behaviour may change after desexing, whether that’s from the experience of the surgery itself or from the hormonal changes after desexing. So I guess some of the changes you might notice in a female, once they don’t have estrogen anymore in their body you might see that they’ve got decreased activity levels, less vocalisation, less marking behaviours, less nervous arousal in general. So not necessarily behaviours that you’re going to be too worried about if they do start behaving that way. As far as the boys, the main thing that we notice is they can have decreased aggressive tendencies, which is really fantastic and they can also be less likely to develop those aggressive behaviours as time goes on. So there can be maybe a positive side to those changes, but certainly there can be the odd, you know anecdotal change that we can’t predict. So it is possible but I’m sure you will still have a lovely, happy, friendly dog at the end.

Pete Lazer - Now you said at the top that its something really important to do, why is it really important for owners to desex their puppies?

Dr Danni Dusek - Absolutely, it is really, really important and for a number of reasons and the first one obviously is for population control. We don’t really want to have a lot of unwanted litters out there, particularly when we have a lot of animals in shelters already that are needing a home. So that’s one aspect. The other aspect is that it can be beneficial for their own health. So for females that are desexed before their first heat, they have a greatly reduced risk of getting breast cancer. So that’s obviously a massive benefit to desexing. There’s also reduced risk of ovarian and uterine diseases, because we remove the ovaries and the uterus as part of desexing. So there’s some potential benefits as well. When it comes to the boys we are obviously removing the testicles, so you don’t have issue with testicular diseases and there’s also a greatly reduced risk of different prostatic diseases as well. So there’s certainly health benefits to desexing. I would say there are sort of other diseases, that depending on the breed of dog you have, they can be at increased risk of those, so that’s where you need to have a chat to your vet about making sure that the timing is right. That you don’t increase the risks of other diseases in that process.

Pete Lazer - So many factors that are involved.

Dr Danni Dusek - Yes

Pete Lazer - It’s a really important conversation to have with you vet as well.

Dr Danni Dusek - It seems like a straightforward decision, but there is complicating factors. So having a chat to your vet, you’ll feel much more at ease about your decision and you’ll be able to have a smooth sailing process.

Pete Lazer - Thanks for all that information Danni, great to have you here.

Dr Danni Dusek - Thank you.

Pete Lazer - That’s all we’ve got time for today. Of course if you’ve got any questions make sure you get onto the Bondi vet Facebook page, or our website and we’ll endeavour to answer all of them in due course. Thanks very much for joining us, bye for now.