Friday, March 4, 2011
WHAT? N-o-o-o UTERUS?!
Stranger things have happened ...but ...how can that be?
Actually, I asked that very question ...after exclaiming, "WHAT? No UTERUS?!"
You'd think this would've been obvious to a doctor. I just assumed they would certainly know ahead of time ...or I would've pushed for them to be certain ...before opening the abdomen up.
All that needless suffering ...for NOTHING! ???
I will come back to this.
As some of you already know, we adopted Faith on Veteran's Day weekend, this past fall. The staff at the animal pound thought she might be around 9 months old and they didn't think she was spayed. A couple of vets in the area participate in the state program, that enables people to spay or neuter their new pets at a seriously cheap rate when they adopt their pets from the local pound. Twenty dollars vs 260 - 289 dollars. It wasn't that cheap back in the 70's! needless to say ...I'll take the 20.00 spaying please ...thank you very much. :) Plus they get a free distemper shot.
We have always been responsible with spaying and neutering our pets ..both cats and dogs. Well ...there was one exception ...our third dog, Sparkle. We were going to have him neutered, but didn't rush on it because we weren't concerned about him becoming pregnant. And we didn't know that a male dog will take off if they know a female is in heat. I'll save that story for my dog series in the future. We didn't take any chances with Bob (our 2nd male dog) and had him neutered when he was 5 months old. Anyway, I was delighted to hear that we could do it so cheaply this time around. The only drawback was that we had to wait until January, so that we could go on the list for the new year.
The woman in charge of scheduling, graciously saw to it that Faith could go in as early as possible. I was greatly concerned that she might go into heat (not the woman - our dog ;), before January. I was also concerned that since she was found roaming in a state park, that she could already be pregnant. (Not the woman - our dog ;) The woman informed me that if Faith did go into heat, we would then have to wait several weeks after her heat before the vet could spay her. Needless to say ...I was quite the hawk ...ever on the look out for any male dogs that might come near her when she was outside. And I didn't share my secret concerns about the possibility of her already being pregnant with Mr SeaSpray, because I was already treading on thin ice for having brought her home in the first place, when he specifically told me not to bring any dogs home. Although to my defense ...his request was but a vague memory after I met Faith. And ...why exactly did he think I was going to the animal shelter? Of course I'd probably bring a dog home.
He LOVES her though. I knew he would. That was my justification. I knew she'd warm our hearts and help us heal from the loss of Bob. And I'm not saying it was the right thing to do ...just that I really did know it would work out. Well...it worked out if ...working out means it was okay for the 3 times she chewed the foot rest on the love seat, Chewed the foot of the rocking chair, chewed/destroyed my prescription glasses, 4 pairs of slippers chewed to pieces, my mildly chewed shoe and son's mildly chewed running shoe, chewed baby toy, chewed building blocks, chewed coffee table in 4 places at the base(small - thankfully), chewed couch pillow, chewed Christmas ornaments, got a scratched cornea after chasing the cat, and a few holes dug down to China in our back yard.
Anyway suffice it to know ...if she had puppies too ...I'd really be in the dog house. That happened to us once with a dog we rescued. Puppies. Oh ..gosh! Except ...back then ...Mr SeaSpray also agreed to get the stray dog. If Faith had puppies now ...after sort of ignoring his admonition NOT to bring a dog home ...need I say more? Well,I might as well go to Home Depot, buy enough building supplies to construct a dog house large enough to accommodate Faith, the puppies AND me ...and start building ASAP ...and move out there before he got home from work!
Finally ..the big day came. It was time to have Faith's surgery done.
On the way over, I noticed the morning sun highlighting one of her molars and there was a little brown tarter. I wondered about that. I thought I saw new molars still coming in and tarter would be indicative of an older dog.
We dropped her off. They asked us if we wanted to pay 40.00 for her to have blood work for the anesthesia. We said, "Yes."
A little while later, one of the veterinarians was leaving a message on our answering machine. I froze for a split second, because in my experience ...the only time a vet calls you is when there is a problem with your pet. My mind immediately raced back to last January, 2010 ...the day we had to put Bob, our beautiful German Shepherd down. But, I jumped up to grab the phone.
The vet proceeded to tell me that she opened Faith up, but couldn't find her uterus.
"What, NO uterus?! How could THAT be?!"
She said she checked around (how big is Faith's body cavity?) and even called her partner in to check and he couldn't find it either. She said it's rare, but there is a condition in which female dogs are born without a uterus and there was some test she could do with her ovaries, but I said I didn't want that since she can't get pregnant anyway. She also said, she could've been spayed already.
"But, couldn't you see a scar?"
I said the lady at the pound didn't see a scar and thought she wasn't spayed and I thought I saw something very faint, but wasn't sure.
I didn't say it, but I figured a vet would know for sure after giving her her pre-op checkup.
She went on to say, that Faith had a small amount of tarter on her molars. I told her I had JUST noticed that on the way over to the appointment. So ...the vet said she is probably older than we think ..definitely over a year old.
I said, "But she chews everything she can get her mouth on and she's SOOO ENERGETIC! She acts like a puppy, but maybe this is her personality.???" and the vet agreed.
Then she informed me that the lab test showed she had Lyme disease and they were sending her home with Doxycline to treat the Lyme disease, pain meds and a dog collar around her neck.
So ... $157.00 later, Mr SeaSpray and son picked her up.
She looked awful... so out of it and moved slowly. I felt so bad that she went through all that for nothing. I really would think that a doctor could detect a scar. ??? Unless the first surgeon was just that good at suturing? Or do dogs heal with less scarring than humans?
Anyway, she's just about done with her Lyme med and then she has to go back in for the Lyme vaccine. Oh, the other thing is that she did not seem the least bit ill. Not feverish, lethargic or sore. Our German Shepherd, Bob was diagnosed with Lyme disease in February, when he was 9 months old. He had suddenly begun to limp, favoring one leg and also had a fever. Medication cleared him up and he never had it again.
I do wonder about them asking us if we wanted her to have the blood tests done for the surgery because isn't that a prerequisite for surgery? Anyway ..of course we wouldn't have said no, and I'm glad we caught the Lyme. I had put her on the Advantix flea/tic medication, but I know that is only for prevention.
I plan on going back to our regular vet with her after this shot. They were very nice in this other office. I did want her to have all her shots with them initially because I did get a break by getting her surgery at such a discount and just thought it was the right thing to do.
But, I have used our veterinary office since October,1977. So. we have a history with them. I can't wait to show Faith to them when she is due for her shots again.
Faith actually seemed to heal quickly as evidenced by her boinging all over the place not long after the surgery. Really ..she leaps in the air mid run and has all kinds of crazy antics. She is the funniest dog we have ever had. And do you remember the YouTube I put up a couple of weeks ago with Mishka the talking dog? Well, I called Faith over to watch Mishka and not only did she watch ...but she howled every time Mishka spoke ..um howled. Ha! maybe we'll have Faith have her own YouTube debut sometime. :)
*** About the chewing ...we provide her with plenty of dog toys and chew bones, pigs ears, etc. Also, we usually keep her gated in the same rooms that we are in so that we can keep an eye on her. She is an affectionate dog and she gets a lot of love and attention from us. I hoped she would grow out of this chewing behavior. And I am still hopeful with warmer weather coming, that her chewing energy will be used up with increased outdoor exercise.