Why should I sterilise or desex my pet? Pet sterilisation is the most effective strategy to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The RSPCA receives over 125,000 animals every year and many of these unwanted animals are the result of unplanned breeding. Desexing your pet helps to ensure fewer unwanted and homeless animals, and research shows that sterilised animals can actually live longer and healthier lives. There are many health, financial and social benefits for you and your pets, too. Health benefits of pet sterilisation Desexing your pet can reduce the risks of some potentially serious health problems. Desexed pets are less likely to get malignant cancer in organs such as the testes, ovaries, cervix or uterus. Sterilisation of female dogs can prevent infection of the uterus (pyometra), which is where the uterus fills with pus. This is common in older, entire females. Desexing your cats and dogs eliminates the risks involved with your pet being pregnant, giving birth, and raising young. Risks include: eclampsia in which the mother’s calcium levels become dangerously low causing weakness, muscle tremors, and even seizures loss of the foetuses which can also result in severe infection if the dead foetuses are retained in the uterus a difficult birth (called dystocia), which can be due to problems with the mother or young and is generally due to either obstruction of the birth canal or a problem with the uterine muscle that makes the muscle unable to contract well enough to push the young out of the uterus. these complications may result in your pet needing a c-section where the young are removed from the uterus surgically by a veterinarian. Desexing female dogs prevents 'false pregnancy syndrome' Desexing male dogs prevents some serious diseases like prostatic infection and perineal hernia. Social benefits of pet sterilisation Desexing your pet can reduce some social problems associated with un-sterilised animals. Sterilised animals are less likely to scent mark by urinating on things, compared to undesexed animals. Desexing your pets prevents behaviours associated with the reproductive cycle that can be distressing, unpleasant, and tiresome to deal with. For example, female cats ‘calling’ or female dogs having a blood vaginal discharge when they are on heat/in season and male dogs attempting vigorously to get to females in heat. Sterilised animals are less likely to roam, reducing the risk being involved in a traumatic accident such as being hit by a car, getting into fights, and being exposed to infectious disease through fighting. Desexed animals are less likely to show aggressive behaviour. This means they are less likely to fight with other animals in your household and the neighbourhood. Financial benefits of pet sterilisation Sterilising your pets can save you money, too. Reduced costs of pet care, especially costs associated with pet pregancy and neo-natal care of puppies and kittens Avoiding costs of injury associated with traumatic accidents, fighting and treating infectious diseases Discount on pet registration fees with your local council. Some councils offer lifetime or discounted pet registration only if your pet is sterilised.