DISCOUNTED PET CARE: Vet Nikki Green  is backing a program to increase responsible pet ownership in the Central Highlands.
DISCOUNTED PET CARE: Vet Nikki Green is backing a program to increase responsible pet ownership in the Central Highlands. Contributed

A 'fix' for furry friends

A DISCOUNTED pet desexing and microchipping program is being launched in the Central Highlands in an effort to reduce illness among cats and dogs and lift the rate of responsible pet ownership.

Nikki Green, a vet at Kyarra Holdings Vet Surgery in Rolleston, said she backed an increase in desexing pets across the region as she would like to see a decrease in diseases and illness as well as other preventable issues.

Central Highlands Regional Council and Animal Welfare League Queensland's National Desexing Network announced the subsidised program last week.

It hopes it will contribute to fewer unwanted kittens and pups in the area.

"Desexing is also about ensuring the animals become less likely to wander and get lost or become involved in a road accident,” Dr Green said.

"The other thing that is important is that out here the dogs on properties go roaming more often and they're getting attacked by dingoes, and there are horrible cases.”

Dr Green said a desexed animal was also less likely to show aggression and less likely to mark their territory with urine spraying.

"Desexing will decrease the likelihood of prostrate and testicular cancers in the males and in the females you're decreasing the likelihood of mammary cancers.

"If you desex at six months of age then the chance becomes very, very low, but the later you leave it, the more chance they have of getting sick.”

Eligible residents in the Central Highlands region will pay $35 to desex their male cats and $55 for female cats, and $50 to $80 to desex their dogs (depending on size), while funds last.

Microchipping is available for an additional $5.

It is a requirement that dogs in urban areas be microchipped and registered with council. Cats must be microchipped, but no registration is needed.

The National Desexing Network's strategic director Dr Joy Verrinder urged pet owners to desex their female cats early, as cats can be pregnant by four months of age.

"Kittens can be safely desexed from two months of age and one kilogram in weight,” Dr Verrinder said.

Participating veterinary clinics include Emerald Veterinary Surgery, Blackwater Vet Clinic and Kyarra Holdings Vet Surgery in Rolleston.

Residents can phone the National Desexing Network on 07 5509 9044 to check their eligibility for a voucher to take to a participating veterinarian.