I firmly believe in spaying and neutering my dogs as I had seen what happens to those that have not been spayed or neutered. My previous batch was a male and female. I wanted them to have a litter as I was moving shortly into a house with a big garden and I love dogs. So they gave me four beautiful baby girls. But then that meant that I now had five possible mothers-to-be in a very short period if I did not do something about it. As it is much easier to neuter a male than it is to spay a female, I had the head of the clan neutered at the age of one year. But did not spay any of the females except the mother after she ran away and came back pregnant.
My experience was that after she was spayed she became much calmer and was infinitely healthier. Although she was the second one to die of the whole lot, yet it was through an infected liver and nothing to do with the reproductive organs.
Two of the girls died of complications to their reproductive organs. One underwent emergency surgery to remove a highly infected uterus and lived for a year afterwards but was never the same. The second one had the same operation but died the same day. And now the one female left has a growth in one of her breasts that needs it be removed.
Of course all this might be pure chance, but when I compare the health of the male who was neutered at a young age and that of the females who were not, it stand out in glaring contrast that the neutered male is definitely much healthier than the rest.
This, more than anything else convinced me to have my new brood taken care of. So yesterday I took both Helen and Petra to be spayed. The hospital is at a horse farm around an hour’s drive away and it was spotless.
A large very clean room, very clean implements and the doctors were waiting. I thought to start with Helen as she is less hyper than Petra and if Petra were done last she would be groggy all the way home and won’t give us trouble in the car.
Each operation took around 45 minutes and by the time Petra’s operation was over, Helen was fully awake and standing up, taking a few hesitant steps. So we stayed till Petra came out of the anesthesia then bundled her into the car along with Helen and off we went.
Just as I was taking the turn off the main road into the compound Petra started getting agitated and frisking about. I asked the gardener I had with me to make sure she does not get to the stitches, but by the time he could turn around and get a hold of her she was already bleeding. I asked him if it was in drops or a stream and he said a stream. My house is two kilometers inside the compound; I drove like the devil to get there and once within the gates stopped the car and without even turning off the ignition went to the back seat. It was drenched with blood. I took some medical gauze the doctor had given me before leaving and tried to hold it to the incision. The gardeners tried to put her on one of their beds to carry her upstairs, but she was in a very agitated state.
It took us a few minutes to carry her up and I told them to take her into the breakfast room because there was no carpet there and it was the warmest. By the time she calmed down next to the fridge her blood had smeared the floor, the cupboard, the tiles in the bathroom and splattered the wall.
I was frantic. I immediately called her vet and told him what was going on. He was very calm and wanted to know if I was just a panicking parent or was there real cause for concern. When I told him the back seat of the car was soaked, he told me he was coming right away.
The half hour it took for him to reach me seemed like decades. I was not sure if she was critical, dying or what. Blood was everywhere. I kept holding a big wad of medical cotton to the bleeding and twice it soaked through. He finally arrived saw the blood on the floor of the room, knelt down and examined her. He was very calm, and kept trying to calm me while he took out several syringes and several vials of medication and gave her something like four or six shots. Then he tried to give her one intravenous but could not find the vein so gave it to her intramuscular.
He then put up a drip and started giving her a solution subcutaneous. It took something like twenty minutes then he stopped the drip and gave her another shot, this time he was able to locate the vein. He ordered some more medication, which was sent immediately, and her gave her that as well. After a bit she started getting agitated again so he gave her a very mild sedative and she calmed down.
It took something like four hours to get her stabilized and he would not leave before he was sure she wall all right. The bleeding had stopped. The stitches were in place. It seemed that usually after an operation of this kind there are certain blood vessels that continue to bleed internally, but not much, then heal with the rest of the healing and the body absorbers that blood. But in Petra’s case, because of the agitation and the frisking about she managed to get that bleeding going externally, probably moved a stitch to have that blood pour out. Anyway, he did not leave till everything was all right and she was calm and stable.
She totally refused to wear the collar and I thought that it is more beneficial to keep her calm than for her to wear it. Helen on the other hand did wear it, but was not happy about it.
After the doctor left, having categorically refused any compensation, I started to clean the room and mopped up the blood. I then started cleaning Petra, as her legs and tail were soaked with blood. I used their wipes to clean as much as I could of the blood soaked hair. Then I pulled out the sofa bed in the breakfast room, made it up and decided to spend the night there with them both.
I turned in early, as I was quite exhausted. But I could not sleep. I am used to a medicated mattress and that one was too soft. It did not take the girls long to jump up on the bed with me as it is pretty low. So I stayed till midnight by which time they were both fast asleep, then I slipped out of bed and went to spend the rest of the night in my own.
The next morning they were fine. Thank God. They both got up and started wondering around the house. There was no bleeding. They even followed me down the stairs and into the front garden. I then gave them their breakfast of dry food, took them up again and gave each her medication. Each one two shots. A few minutes later they both threw up their breakfast. So I waited till lunchtime then gave them half the amount of their usual food and they gobbled it down, and it stayed.
So it looks like we are on the road to being well again. Despite the horrible scare I got with this complication Petra went through, I still think that I made the right decision to have them spayed. This is supposed to give them a better chance at a much healthier life than if I had not had them spayed.
30 Oct. 2014