Chisel is now over 6 months old and we thought it was time to give you some updates on his care and development. The vet visits aren’t needed as frequently once all the vaccines are done, so we haven’t seen Chisel as often in the clinics, but we’ve still been keeping in touch with his growth and development.
- He’s now quite a big dog, weighing over 25kg!
- He’s been up to a bit of mischief, including swallowing rope/string and pulling plants out of the garden. Read our blog on puppy mischief here!
- He’s been getting Drontal and Simparica monthly to cover him against worms, fleas and ticks, and is booked in soon for his booster heartworm injection.
- He has not yet been desexed, and with some recent changes occurring around desexing recommendations and registration rules, we thought we should discuss this and update our clients on these changes, so that will be the main focus of this blog.
Our general advice has always been to desex all dogs and cats, male and female, between 5 and 6 months for age, and for the majority of dogs, this advice remains unchanged. There are very good reasons for these recommendations including …
- Prevents unwanted breeding.
- Reduces behavioural problems, aggression and injuries, and urine spraying/marking. It also makes training easier.
- Prevents health problems later in life, including uterine infections, prostate problems and breast cancers.
- Big $$ discounts on registration fees for desexed dogs (see below)
Despite the above, there are some people who now recommend delaying desexing in some breeds of dog, including Golden Retrievers. There is some limited evidence to suggest that in some breeds (mostly large breeds), dogs desexed when they are very young are more likely to get joint problems, and in small numbers of cases, more likely to get some types of cancer, such as lymphoma. The evidence is by no means convincing, but we want to make our clients aware of this. We have discussed this with Chisel’s owners, and they have decided that at least for now, they are going to delay his desexing, probably until 12months of age. If he starts developing any male behavioural problems then he will be desexed sooner!
If you are concerned about the best age to desex your large breed dog, please discuss this in consultation with one of our vets – and continue to read below.
In NSW, all dogs must be microchipped by 12 weeks old, and you must then pay a lifetime registration fee by 6 months old. There are big savings for registration of desexed dogs, with the lifetime fee reduced from $216 to $60, but ONLY IF the pet is desexed by 6 months of age. So if you’re going to desex your dog, it’s not only better for them (in most cases) but also cheaper to desex them BEFORE they reach 6 months of age. With our help, Chisel’s owners were able to register him for $60, even though he is not desexed. In limited cases, where your vet has recommended delayed desexing, you can still register your pet for the reduced fee, if you have written advice from your vet BEFORE 6 months of age.
So, once again, if you are concerned about the best age to desex your dog, please discuss this in consultation with one of our vets. Based on current information, in most cases, our vets will still be recommending desexing by 6 months of age, regardless of breed. If your vet advises delayed desexing, then they will either write you a letter to take to council or make an entry directly on the online pet registry, allowing you to delay desexing and still get the discounted registration fees.