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A veterinarian’s main job is to answer questions from dog owners. Some make perfect sense, particularly for new dog owners. And yet others…well, they can get pretty weird, if you ask us. No judgement, of course!
1. “Can you neuter my dog instead of spay her? It’s much cheaper.”
Vets answer this question more often than you think. You might expect the average adult to understand the differences in male and female anatomy, but surprisingly often that’s not the case. It’s always fun to hear a vet tactfully explain why she can’t remove testicles from a female dog.
2. “Why does my male dog have nipples?”
This one is usually asked by a male client. Informing owners that all mammals have nipples can be uncomfortable. It gets even worse when they have to elaborate further and remind them that they themselves also have nipples.
3. “After my dog gets neutered, will he be a girl?”
Oh man, this one is rough. A shocking amount of people seem to think that veterinarians remove their dog’s penis during a neuter. The doctor gets the privilege of explaining the real definition of castration and assuring the client their dog will maintain his masculinity.
4. “My dog’s nipples are still swollen after her puppies have weaned. Should we milk her?”
Please, no! Just like with humans, milk doesn’t always dry up right after babies have moved on to solid food. This can lead to a painful condition called mastitis, where the breast tissue becomes infected and swollen. These dogs need veterinary care, not the Greg Focker treatment.
5. “My dogs are stuck together in the backyard! What’s going on?!”
These frantic phone calls always result in a conversation about the doggy version of the birds and the bees. Explaining what it means for two dogs to be “tied” together is uncomfortable for the vet and the client. And this is why spay/neuter is so important!
6. “Can you recommend a female (insert breed here) for my dog before we neuter him?”
Another question primarily asked by men. Although their hearts are obviously in the right place, informing clients that we are not in the canine escort business can make any vet squirm.
7. “Are there prosthetic testicles you could insert so my dog won’t know he’s been neutered?”
Dog owners seem to think their pets are going to resent them for making the choice to have them fixed. Spaying and neutering is the healthy, responsible choice for pups. But if the idea of fake doggy berries really puts your mind at ease, they do exist. They’re called Neuticles.
8. “I was rubbing my dog’s belly and I noticed two growths by his thingy. What’s going on?”
Ummmm, he’s just happy to see you. Even long after a dog has been neutered, the Bulbus Glandis (tissue located at the base of the penis) can swell up when your dog is–ahem–excited. It’s perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about.
9. “Do dogs go through menopause?”
Clients asking this question are usually seeing some changes in their older female dog’s temperament. The moodiness and unpredictability can be hormonal, but they do not experience menopause in the human sense.
10. “Our dog has a hernia, what should we do?”
This is my all-time favorite. Not because of the question, but because of the answer. This particular couple was worried about a hernia on their adorable female lab puppy’s belly. The vet blushed and stammered as she explained that their little girl was actually a little boy. Luckily, they had given “her” a gender-neutral name!