Theriogenology is the study of animal reproduction, a discipline that mostly focuses on livestock and equine breeding management, because of its importance for large animal-based businesses. However, a subset of theriogenologists choose to focus on small animals—typically dogs—to improve access to reproductive health care for breeders and genetic health for dog breeds. Healthier pets benefit the veterinary profession and pet owners worldwide.

Many general veterinarians who offer reproductive services, see emergency cases, and have breeder clientele can benefit from consulting with our VESPECON small animal theriogenologist when they need assistance. We share how reproductive health consultations can improve patient care in any veterinary clinic.

#1: Expand reproductive service offerings

If you have a special interest in reproductive medicine, you may already offer your clients some services. However, if you want to add services, but need a specialist to interpret lab results, offer tips for procedure techniques, or guide you through specific case management—a specialist consultation can help. 

If you are unfamiliar with reproductive services or breeder needs and your practice area has limited access to these veterinary services (e.g., a rural practice), you can offer basic breeding pet care to meet your clients’ needs. But, when you want to offer more than basic care, a specialist consultation can not only make you more confident about the additional services but also provide a new revenue stream.

#2: Handle birthing and postpartum emergencies with ease

Most veterinarians will encounter birth-related emergencies at some point in their general practice career. If you are the closest practice when a breeding animal or shelter pet experiences labor complications, you could find yourself performing a C-section, monitoring labor, or managing postpartum complications. A theriogenologist can help you treat these pets by guiding you with their up-to-date knowledge and recommendations.

#3: Offer genetic counseling to breeders

Many veterinarians overlook one aspect of theriogenology—genetic health and counseling—that can not only significantly impact community pets, but also provide a new revenue stream. Understanding breed-specific diseases, knowing which tests to order from which laboratories, and being able to make recommendations to breeders can broaden the reproductive services you offer.

#4: Elevate neonatal and pediatric care

Reproductive health specialists not only practice specialized procedures, such as fertilization, estrus cycle testing and manipulation, or fertility testing—they also care for the overall health of adult breeding pets and their offspring throughout their neonatal and pediatric periods. You can consult with a theriogenologist when a puppy or kitten litter is born under your care, or orphaned neonates that you are unsure about managing are brought to your practice. Theriogenologists are also skilled and knowledgeable about evaluating puppy and kitten genetic health with specialized testing, such as PennHIP, which responsible breeding clients may request.

#5: Attract a broader client base

With your newfound reproductive knowledge, you can offer select breeding or reproductive services or expand your clinic’s current services. Many breeders will travel long distances to see veterinarians who have the knowledge and experience to handle intact and breeding pet health concerns, and they especially appreciate veterinarians who do not judge their decision to be a breeder. You may also attract more rescue and shelter facilities who need help managing pregnant pets or young puppies and kittens.

The VESPECON process

Consulting with our theriogenologist—or any of our other veterinary specialty experts—is easy. We use a virtual platform, so you can avoid tracking down a specialist by phone and playing subsequent phone tag. We connect you to your consultant for a face-to-face live video chat so you can build a strong rapport and gain the most benefit from your session. After your patient’s initial consultation, you can follow up as needed until your case is completely resolved. Our team can also connect your clients and patients to in-person specialty services when advanced equipment, diagnostics, or procedures are required.

Clients may have difficulty finding reproductive medicine services, but you can meet their needs and build a broader client base by consulting with our VESPECON small animal theriogenologist. We also offer consultation in various disciplines, including imaging and cardiology testing evaluations. Contact us to learn more about our services, or to sign up and get started.