An expert panel is to debate the potential benefits and risks associated with the neutering of dogs at next week’s London Vet Show.
The discussion comes amid increasing concern about the possible impacts of the procedure and follows the release of new BVA figures indicating limited awareness of non-surgical alternatives.
Data from the association’s latest Voice of the Profession survey found only 6% of clients who chose to have their dogs neutered last year opted for a non-surgical intervention.
Fewer than one in 10 (9%) even asked for information about alternative options, such as sustained-release implants to suppress testosterone production.
Among owners who did consider alternatives to surgery, cost (67%) and the need for repeat treatments (58%) were the most commonly cited concerns, while more than a fifth (22%) were worried about individual variation and the duration of their effectiveness.
The debate, “Is neutering dogs doing more harm than good?”, will take place in the BVA Congress stream next Thursday 16 November, at 10.30am, and will be chaired by the association’s current president, Anna Judson.
She said: “Canine neutering is a firmly established part of preventive pet health care in the UK, but it is also very much a live discussion within the veterinary profession, with a healthy ongoing debate around its merits and risks, based on evolving evidence.
“BVA’s survey shows low awareness among clients about all available neutering options for their pets, with only a tiny percentage choosing to go down the non-surgical route.
“Our discussion will offer vet professionals in small animal practice insight into the latest research on neutering, including potential longer-term impacts on a dog’s health and behaviour, and views on what that might mean for how vets discuss neutering options with clients.
“The panellists will also share useful tips on how to deal with clients’ questions about surgical and non-surgical options for their pets.”
The panel is due to include Neil Mottram, technical manager for the session’s sponsor, Virbac; veterinary behavioural medicine specialist Sarah Heath; IVC Evidensia nutrition manager Nicola Lakeman; and Michelle Kutzler, from Oregon State University.
Credit to: Vets and nurses invited to join neutering debate at London Vet Show (Vet Times)
Vet Times. (2023). Vets and nurses invited to join neutering debate at London Vet Show [online]