Written by: Anne Marie Fogarty, RGN
Pets are so much more than just animals, they’re companions and members of the family and one of the most important things that we can do for our clients, aka pet owners, is to have their animals spayed/neutered.
As you know, spaying or neutering pets is designed to help reduce the number of homeless animals in the world, plus it is healthy as it can reduce the risk of certain illnesses and diseases, as well as any health complications which may be associated with pregnancy, while also improving their behaviour and temperaments.
Here in the UK we’ve seen a reduction in the number of animals, especially dogs, being spayed and neutered over the years because people see breeding as a way of making money. The reality is that this can have devastating effects on the animals and any offspring produced.
With World Spay/Neuter Month coming up in February and World Spay Day being on 22 February, here’s a look at what products we have available right now to support your practice and your clients with their pet’s care.
Our Spay/Neuter products have innovation and excellence at the heart of their design. Take a look at our many models for precision in training, our K-9 Canine Orchiectomy (Neuter) Model is ideal for training veterinary professionals in dog neutering skills. This canine castration training model features realistic testes and testicular epididymis, as well as the testicular blood vessels and spermatic ducts that would require removal during this procedure. The tunica vaginalis is also part of this neutering product.
Our Spay Model The K-9 Canine Ovariohysterectomy (Spay) Model will advance veterinary clinical skills training. It is a realistic model with unique features that allow the trainees to practice their neutering skills. Students will be enabled to practice their suturing skills on the abdominal wall and skin layers of the model following the completion of the ovariohysterectomy procedure. This realistic high-quality model Feline Ovariohysterectomy (Spay) Model for students to practice skills with the female reproductive organs in suturing for spaying is a most useful tool for any veterinary professional.
Canine Spay Simulator
This detailed and carefully designed Canine Spay Simulator is a state-of-the-art trainer for veterinary students and professionals to practice and perfect their ovariohysterectomy procedural skills.
Veterinary students will gain confidence and crucial experience ahead of the real deal of ovariohysterectomy surgery.
Explaining Spaying to Clients
It helps if your client fully understands the procedure; we have a really helpful, concise, and clear handout which we have created for you to give to your clients. This will help them understand the operation and post-operative care required and empower them to feel in control of their loved pet’s welfare.
We explain how spaying is a perfectly natural and straightforward procedure in which a female animal’s ovaries and uterus are removed. The procedure is known as an ovariohysterectomy, and while it sounds complex, vets here in the UK perform it regularly.
The latest CATS report states that 12% of cats in the UK aren’t neutered.
Advise the client that spaying can provide health benefits and improve their pet’s behaviour which her hormones may have influenced.
Spaying & Neutering – Advising your Clients
Most clients will know already that whereas spaying is performed on female animals, neutering is performed on male animals, and again, primarily on cats and dogs. However, we will assume they do not for the benefit of explanation.
Tell the client that neutering is a simple, common veterinary procedure in which the animal’s sex organs (testicles) are removed in order to prevent him from breeding and causing unwanted pregnancies. Not only that but neutering also helps to reduce the risk of illnesses such as testicular cancer and prostate cancer.
Sometimes pointing out the many benefits of neutering will help the pet owner feel they are, in fact, really helping their loved one. There are also behavioural benefits associated with neutering your pet, as neutered animals are generally much more placid and relaxed. Unneutered animals tend to be aggressive; they can suffer from extreme bouts of sexual arousal and aggression, their hormones can be unstable, they will become territorial, and much more.
The exact methods of helping the animal before, during, and after the procedure will, of course, depend on which procedure they are having and which species of animal they are.
In line with the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), BVA recommends that pet cats are neutered from 16 weeks old onwards.
Tips for Pet Owners
Support your clients with these tips when caring for your pet after their operation.
Typically, the advice for dogs and cats is very similar, so here are some tips for your clients in n helping their pet with spaying/neutering:
• Ensure your animals have an empty stomach before they go under anaesthetic.
• Ensure your animals have had water, though try not to give them water 2 hours before the procedure.
• Let your vet know if your pet has been unwell or acting differently before the procedure.
• Ensure your pet is as clean as possible before the procedure. This will help reduce the risk of infection after the operation.
• Keep an eye on your pet after they wake up from the operation, keep them warm, and keep them comfortable.
• Ensure your pets have access to food and water when they get home
• Keep an eye on the site of the operation. Look for any signs of bleeding, swelling, inflammation, discharge, odours, or infection. If you notice any of the above, get in touch with the vet.
• Reassure your pet and comfort them after the operation. Within a few days, they should be back to normal and happier than ever.