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Is the risk of desexing your fur baby worth it?

Making the decision of whether or not to desex your pet is indeed significant and should be approached thoughtfully. While desexing is a common and routine procedure performed by veterinarians, it's essential to recognize that all surgical procedures, regardless of their frequency, come with inherent risks.

Our goal is to provide you with a balanced perspective on the benefits and downsides of desexing so that you can make an informed decision that best suits your pet's individual needs and circumstances.


The benefits of desexing are slightly different between males and females:

For males, the benefits include:

  • Elimination of testicular tumours when an orchidectomy procedure is performed.

  • Reduced risk of certain cancers, such as benign prostatic neoplasia and perianal adenomas, as well as chronic prostatitis and perianal hernias.

  • Diminished roaming, hormonal-associated aggression and reactivity, and urine marking.

  • Desexing has been associated with increased lifespan through decreased mortality associated with trauma and infectious diseases.

For females, the benefits are:

  • Desexing, especially through Ovariohysterectomy before the first heat, can substantially reduce the risk of mammary tumors by 99.5%. If desexed after the first heat, the protective effect reduces to 92%.

  • Overall, Ovariohysterectomy reduces the risk of certain cancers, such as ovarian, uterine, and vaginal cancers, as well as sexually transmitted diseases like transmissible venereal tumours. It also prevents conditions like pyometra, metritis, ovarian cysts, and problems associated with pregnancy and parturition, potentially leading to an increased lifespan.

  • Reduced roaming, hormonal-associated aggression and reactivity, and urine marking.

Now, let's discuss the downsides of desexing, which differ between males and females:

For males:

  • Decreased hormones after desexing may increase the risk of obesity. Additionally, if desexing is performed before skeletal maturity in certain breeds, it can raise the risk of joint diseases like cruciate ligament disease, elbow dysplasia, and hip dysplasia.

For females:

  • Like males, desexing may increase the risk of obesity and joint diseases if performed before skeletal maturity, as well as raise the risk of certain cancers in some breeds.

  • Desexing can also lead to an increased risk of urinary incontinence in some breeds.

When considering desexing for your pet, it is essential to weigh these potential benefits and downsides and consult with your veterinarian to make the best decision for their individual health and well-being.


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