Female dog in a dress

Understanding the importance of female dog desexing is key to keeping your pet healthy. Female dogs are more likely to develop reproductive cancers, such as ovarian cancer and mammary cancer, if they are not spayed.

This post will explore all the information you need to know about this procedure, including the health benefits of having your female dog desexed and what age to do it by, and more.

What is female dog desexing?

Female dog desexing is a procedure to remove your female dog’s ovaries and uterus in order to stop her from reproducing. It may also be called spaying. Female dog desexing is a safe, effective and procedure to perform.

Why female dog desexing is important?

One of the main reasons to get your female dog desexed is for their health. Female dogs are more likely to develop reproductive cancers if they are not spayed. This is because hormones are at play during the reproductive cycle, which can cause these cancers to develop. These cancers can be very aggressive and difficult to treat.

Another reason to get your female dog spayed is because it can reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancies. If the female dog isn’t spayed, she is more likely to become pregnant, and she will have puppies.

When should you get your female dog desexed?

The best time to get your female dog desexed is when she’s about 5-6 months old. This age is optimal for many reasons:

  • Your female dog is still young enough to go through the surgery without stress, pain or complications. She will be able to bounce back quickly and resume her normal activities with minimal recovery time.
  • The surgical procedure will be easier on her since it’s done before her first heat cycle.
  • She won’t have any unwanted puppies.

Desexing female dogs at early age (5-6 months) is very important to prevent the development of reproductive cancers such as mammary cancer. While desexing this young can make your dog prone to certain minor conditions such as urinary incontinence, skeletal development issues and ACL ligament issues, these are manageable, treatable and are far outweighed by the benefits of mammary cancer prevention.

The data shows that desexing dogs early extends their life expectancy. This is especially true for female dogs (regardless of size). So, if you want your female dog to live a long and healthy life, she does need to be spayed.

The message for female dog owners is clear: don’t risk it, desex your female dog early to avoid mammary cancer.

The case of deep chested dogs

Deep-chested breeds like German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Great Danes and Huskies are generally at risk of a serious condition called Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV). This is when the stomach twists on itself. GDV is usually fatal – so it’s important for them to have gastropexy surgery to prevent GV. The best time to do a GDV surgery is when they’re being desexed. A two-in-one visit is safe, will lead to cost savings and will mean that your dog spends less time in recovery.

The case of brachycephalic breeds

Brachycephalic dogs have a short muzzle and wide skull. They include pugs, bulldogs, French bulldogs, Boston terriers and more.

These breeds have lots of respiratory issues due to their elongated soft palate and tiny nostrils. To help fix this problem, a brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) surgery is done. The BOAS surgery corrects the dog’s soft palate as well as their nostrils so they can breathe properly.

Doing this surgery simultaneously with desexing significantly reduces the cost of an additional procedure (often by half) as well as makes it easier for your pet to recover from anaesthesia. On top of that, there is solid evidence and data that indicate doing a BOAS surgery at the early stage of life offers much better long term results.

Female dog desexing aftercare

The aftercare for female dog desexing is very simple. But there are a few things you should do to make sure your pet heals properly:

  • Your female dog may need pain relief if they’re in pain after the surgery. If this is necessary, give them the prescribed medicine that you were given at the time of the surgery or contact your veterinarian to get more information on what form of pain relief would work best for your pet.
  • Keep an eye on your female dog’s incision area to make sure it doesn’t become red or swollen. This could mean there’s an infection, which will require antibiotics from your vet if it gets worse.
  • While she can be allowed outside, it would be best to keep her calm and have no off leash activities for the first 7 days after surgery. Gentle activity and short on-leash walks from the day after surgery is generally safe.

Where to get your female dog desexing done?

If you are considering getting your female dog desexed, it’s important to know where to go. You want a veterinarian who is confident and experienced in performing the procedure. This ensures that you and your pup are as safe and comfortable as possible when undergoing this surgery.

We, at Mitcham Pet Hospital, would be happy to help you with your dog’s desexing. We have an onsite operation room and we can perform a wide range of procedures for your furry friend.

If you would like to book a consultation, please call Mitcham Pet Hospital today on (03) 9874 6151


Female dog desexing is a simple surgery that will improve the quality of your dog’s life. It will give her the freedom to roam around and play with the other dogs without worry of pregnancy and the associated health issues that come with it.

It is important to note that female dog desexing is not a “one size fits all” operation. It is more of a case-by-case decision based on the dog’s age, weight and medical history.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please contact Mitcham Pet Hospital.

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