October 18, 2013

Being a vet has its ups and downs (continued)

Some of my most memorable moments have been spent on the job. Over the years, I have spayed and castrated thousands dogs and cats. Initially, it took me about 45 minutes to do a spay (ovariohistorectomy). Now, I can easily do one within 20 minutes. That’s why it is called a veterinary practice; the more you practise the better you get.{{more}}

I distinctively remember the time when I attempted to spay a cat a few years ago and it took me nearly 45 minutes; I was lost for words.

This client, brought in Jasmine, a pretty eight- month old cat to be spayed. She was an adorable animal and loved to be petted, unlike some semi-feral cats that we see from time to time.

As usual, the surgery pack was prepared, the animal anesthetized, and the operation site shaved and prepped.

Generally, I make a minute incision in the abdomen, just about one inch long and use a snook or spay hook to fish out the uterus, then ligate and remove the uterus and ovaries. This is a blind process, where one has to be knowledgeable about the anatomy of the animal to know exactly where the organ is located.

This process of fishing out the uterus generally takes between 30 seconds and one to two minutes.

It was not to be in this case; I was fishing around in the belly of Jasmine for close to 1/2 an hour with absolutely no luck. On a few occasions, I have encountered similar cases, where somebody may have acquired a dog or cat as an adult, without knowing that the animal was spayed before and brought them in to be spayed. In these cases, of course the uterus and ovaries had already been removed. It could be frustrating to eventually realize that there is no uterus after a prolonged search.

Now, back to Jasmine. At just eight months of age, the likelihood of her being already spayed was minimal. It was then that realization dawned on me. A small voice inside of me said “Doc, have a look at the external genitalia.”

Lo and behold, smack in front of me were two oversized testicles. Jasmine was a male. That was a lesson learnt the hard way. After that case, I meticulously make the determination of sex of my patients myself and do not rely on what I am told, be it Jasmine or Rover or Whitey.

Dr Collin Boyle Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.Tel: 456 4981

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