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The do’s and don’ts of neutering are complex and confusing, yet it’s a topic we would like all pet owners to consider and understand.  Lengthy discussions can ensue. 

This helpful video breaks down the facts and fiction surrounding the neutering debate and helps clients prep for a concise and informed in-consult discussion, so the right cases can be booked for surgery at the right time. 

Neutering – Yay or Nay?

For us as members of the veterinary profession, it’s often a yay.  Quite likely because we are aware of the thousands of deserving faces housed in rescue centres as we speak, and the additional unwanted pets living elsewhere.  But do clients feel the same? And if not, why not? When are we likely to override the unwanted pets argument and advise clients against neutering?

PDSA research shows 86% of owned cats, and 71% of owned dogs are neutered.  These figures paint a favourable picture because, as we know, neutering reduces the risk of many hormone-based and genitourinary diseases, as well as reducing unwanted litters. 

We are equally aware, however, that it’s not that simple.  Neutering can be undesirable in nervous dogs, or cases where concurrent illness may affect anaesthetic safety. 

Once we’ve decided the ‘if’, we can refocus on the ‘when’ – again, far from straight-forward.  Opinions on this have changed following developments in research and advancements in anaesthetic safety.  Old-time pet owners may hold on to old-time ideas.  In contrast, even the most well-informed pet owners may struggle to determine which information is relevant when wading through the tide of internet info.  

Somehow, we’re supposed to summarise – and often in a very short amount of time!

The Neutering Conversation

A conversation about neutering is one of the essential topics in the first year of a pet’s life. It doesn’t mean all pets will be neutered in that time, but it is good for owners to feel informed so decisions to proceed or delay are made together, between client and vet, for the best reasons. 

Older pets may be considered for neutering, and owners will want to understand the advantages and disadvantages relevant to their pet’s life stage.

These conversations can be more difficult than they sound and can eat up considerable clinical time.  Never in our history has time been quite so precious.

Hot topic

Neutering is a potentially emotive subject, especially in the wake of a national lockdown and pet breeding bonanza.  It’s not uncommon to hear waiting room murmurings of soaring puppy profits or anti-neutering untruths borne from age-old wives’ tales. 

Equally, others believe a swift testicle-ectomy is a cure for all concerns – no risk, no possible complications, no chance of failure.  Some clients sit in the middle, unsure if an elective procedure is right for their pet.  All cases require a considered, gentle discussion – often starting with the basics. 

Let the video take the strain

Wouldn’t it be helpful if clients already had an idea of the main arguments for and against? What a time saver!

It’s a great starting point when your client enters the consulting room with sound ideas from which a bespoke plan of action can be rapidly moulded.  Our video can enable this.

The video aims to reduce the clinical input needed on the topic of neutering by providing clients with some essential stats and facts.  Of course, every case has bespoke requirements, and these can be discussed on an individual basis.  But there are appropriate generalisations and our video highlights these in a friendly and watchable way.   The content is devised to help owners understand more deeply what it means for their pet to be neutered. 

Not just a client video…

Your waiting room TV will work best for you if the content matches what is being said around the practice, so it may pay to show the video to staff. Conversations about neutering might begin on the telephone, continue in the consulting room, and be questioned during a surgical admit – so encouraging support staff, vets, and nurses to share the same clear and accurate answers is desirable. 

The video is a short, watchable summary to help collate the practice protocol and support your practice’s internal knowledge and experience, so this can be communicated to clients in the most efficient way.

To add this video to your Vet Channel waiting room TV playlist, log in to your account library.