Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Are They BOTH There??

When it's time for a male dog to be neutered (remember females get spayed - NOT spaded), as with any surgery, it's always best if the animal has an exam PRIOR to the date of surgery. I know places that don't do this and invariably, they run into the problem of not being able to get a hold of the owner (amazing consider the number of "emergency" numbers we are often given!) when a problem is found pre-op or during surgery.

What do we need to know BEFORE surgery (some of these are not specific to a male dog): the general health of the animal - we look at gum color, weight, are there any baby teeth that should be extracted while the dog is asleep?, how does the heart sound? the lungs? are there any rear dewclaws (these SHOULD be removed as they often get caught on things - one anesthesia is best!), hernias, etc? We try to anticipate anything that should be addressed all at once. 

Oh and yeah, does your dog have both his testicles down (or in the scrotum)? No, this does NOT always happen. When they don't have them both there we refer to them as cryptorchid (unilateral for one, bilateral for both). This changes how the procedure is planned for and performed. Sometimes, they are simply in the groin or inguinal area - at times, this means that we can move it over and simply have one incision or there may be a small one in the inguinal area. However, not uncommonly, one or both of them can be IN the abdomen. It is important that they ARE removed as they have a high likelihood of becoming tumors living in a high temperature environment (they are NOT meant for this!). This changes the procedure from a neuter to something more like a spay, as we now have to go into the abdomen. This simply means a little more rest than normal post-op. 

Many times owners have no idea if their male dog even has both of his "little friends" as I affectionately call them. THAT is exactly why we should examine him BEFORE surgery. Obviously there is a higher cost associated with this since the procedure takes longer and is a bit more involved. It's better if we can all communicate BEFORE the day of the procedure!

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