Sterilising your Dog

Over the past few years, I have realised that there are a lot of misconceptions about sterilising your dog. In South Africa, everyone goes on and on about the fact that it prevents overpopulation but I believe that, although preventing overpopulation is very important, there are other, just as important reasons why you should sterilise your pet, if you are not breeding with them.

Here are the main reasons:

  • To prevent an infection in your female pet’s uterus

  • To prevent mammary cancer

  • To prevent ovarian diseaseTo prevent infection of the prostate

  • To prevent enlargement of the prostate

  • To prevent prostatic cysts

Many clients are concerned about how sterilisation will impact their pet’s personality. The truth is that sterilisation doesn’t make your pet lethargic or change their personality or make them fat. Yes, you need to take into account that your pet’s metabolism will slow down a bit and you will need to adjust their food intake, but your pet is also getting older and will calm down naturally. Sterilisation does decrease some territorial behaviour that is linked to the hormones of your pets.

As you read this post, you might have a geriatric pet that still needs to be sterilised. Before sterilising your geriatric pet, we will do pre-anaesthetic bloods to evaluate their organ function and decide which anaesthetic protocol to use and if they should receive intravenous fluid therapy.

All pets get a full clinical before we sterilise. As in humans, they also get a pre-medication to make the induction of anaesthetic smooth as well as the maintenance of anaesthetic. During anaesthetic, they are on gas consisting of oxygen and isoflurane. All patients get pain medication before sterilisation and for a few days after sterilisation. We always advise that patients wear a buster collar to prevent them pulling out their stitches and advise that they are kept as quiet as possible for the next few days at home.

As with any anaesthetic, there is always a risk involved but we care about all our patients and thus special care is always ensured that things are done correctly by our experienced staff and vets.

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