A young couple wanted to neuter a good looking solidly built miniature 2-year-old Bull Terrier and came at 9.30 am on Sunday July 24, 2011.
A hyperexcitable dog, resisting handling and turning upside down to examine his testicles.
"Listen to the whistling sounds," I asked the husband to listen to the stethoscope. I could hear the heart sounds separately but there was a continuous whistling sound, as if the dog has a condition similar to the racehorse - laryngeal hemiplegia.
"They are heart sounds," he said. Loud distinct whistles. "Well, they are lung sounds," I said. The heart sounds were muffled. Well, the dog had a history of fainting when over-exerted. When he played vigvigorously with the bigger standard Bull Terrier, he could just run out of breath and lie down for a while, as if to catch his breath.
A highly risky candidate for anaesthesia. I checked the gums. Excellent pink colour. However, the left inside lip had a yellow ulcer and several holes. "Bitten by the other bull terrier?" I asked. "Probably," the husband said.
Two undescended testicles. With the dog upside down, I could palpate the left one. The right one was barely felt as it slipped inside the body.
"My advice is to prepare for general anaesthesia rather than just take out one. When the dog is down, his right testicle may just disappear inside. Under anaesthesia, I can open up the abdomen and locate and get it out. (Undescended testicle can become cancerous years later). Neutering was to reduce his hyperexcitability.
The couple agreed to the complete blood test. Fortunately, this was done as the liver enzymes were high while the platelets were below normal. "Why?" the husband asked.
"Did you feed herbal or other supplements?"
"Yes," he said. "One iodine capsule per day since young."
"Is the dosage recommended for the dog?" I asked.
"One capsule is for adult people," he said.
I advised no surgery, no iodine or other supplements and wait one month for another blood test. The liver could have had been damaged by the iodine and its other ingredients. "It is not just iodine alone inside the capsule," I said to the husband. "The manufacturer will add other substances. Over the years, the liver could have been damaged.