The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is set to host a thought-provoking panel discussion at the London Vet Show ‘s BVA Congress, inviting veterinary professionals to delve into the risks and benefits of neutering dogs.

As new and emerging evidence challenges conventional wisdom surrounding this long-established preventative healthcare procedure, the session, titled ‘Is neutering dogs doing more harm than good?’, will explore the latest research and consider the impact of neutering on dog health and welfare, particularly focusing on behaviour.

Expert Panelists to Share Insights

Chaired by BVA President Dr. Anna Judson, the panel of experts includes Dr. Sarah Heath, Veterinary Specialist in Behavioural Medicine; Dr. Neil Mottram, Technical Manager at Virbac; Nicola Lakeman, Nutrition Manager at IVC Evidensia; and Dr. Michelle Kutzler, Full Professor at Oregon State University. The session aims to provide a comprehensive exploration of the science behind neutering and its potential implications.

BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey shed light on current trends in dog neutering. Among clients who opted for neutering last year, only 6% chose non-surgical options. The survey revealed low awareness of these alternatives, with just 9% of clients seeking information about non-surgical options when considering neutering. Notably, sustained-release implants which suppress testosterone production in male dogs emerged as a non-surgical alternative of interest. Cost, the need for repeat treatments, and individual variation in the effectiveness and duration of non-surgical alternatives were the main concerns.

BVA President’s Perspective

Dr. Anna Judson, BVA President, said: “Canine neutering is a firmly established part of preventive pet healthcare 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 BVA Congress 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 Programme

The discussion will take place at the BVA Congress Theatre on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at 10:30 am. All attendees of the London Vet Show are also welcome to participate in BVA Congress sessions and visit the BVA stand (M70) throughout the event.

For the complete BVA Congress programme and additional information on The London Vet Show, please visit London Vet Show.