Sunday July 11, 2011
A young couple came on this bright sunny Sunday morning at 9.30 am with a one-year-old male Yorkshire Terrier to neuter. I was getting ready to neuter a 3-month-old dwarf hamster that Dr Jason Teo had passed to me to do.
"Why do you want to neuter him?" I asked the young couple. A Yorkshire Terrier puppy sells for $2,500 and it seems that it is a pity to neuter him. But most Singaporean pet owners don't breed.
The couple said: "He does urine-mark and we research the internet. It says that urine-marking can be stopped if the dog is neutered."
"Yes," I said. "In most cases, urine-marking will stop if the male dog is neutered at a young age."
"Has he eaten his breakfast?" I asked.
"Not really. He nibbled a bit of his dog food." No food and water ought to be given to the dog 12 hours before anaesthesia but in this case, the dog could or could not have eaten much. In such cases, I have to use my judgment as the couple may not be free during weekdays to bring the dog down for neuter. So, I decided to operate myself.
ANAESTHESIA & SURGERY
"Do you want IV?" my assistant Mr Min asked me as most of the time, my associate vets and I give IV.
"No," I said. "IM will do."
I gave the Yorkshire 0.1 ml xylazine IM. No vomiting seen. After 15 minutes, I gave him isoflurane gas by mask and then intubate. 2% isoflurane gas provided a perfect surgical anaesthesia in this case. I ligated twice/spermatic cord with 2/0 absorbable sutures. No problem of bleeding.
I complimented my assistant for good work. He is getting more proficient as he keeps working as he has not much experience in veterinary anaesthesia in his past work places. A good veterinary assistant during anaesthesia is worth his weight in gold as the vet can just focus on the surgery which is already a big responsibility.
The bleeding was more from the skin after I gave one horizontal mattress suture to close it.
"No need subcuticular sutures?" Mr Min asked me. My associate vets do subcuticular. "The less sutures the better for the dog," I gave this tip to Mr Min who is qualified as a Myanmar Vet but is working here as a Veterinary Technician. "From my 40 years of experience, I find that just one horizontal mattress suture and no subcuticular sutures method is the best. Less sutures means less irritation for the neutered dog and less licking."
Tolfedine 6mg at one tablet twice a day should be sufficient for this Yorkshire. Trimethoprim syrup post op. In all dog neuters, one packet of absorbable sutures will do. There is the fanciful wish to impress the owner with "hidden sutures" under the skin. In this case, another packet of finer sutures need to be used. What is best for the dog is the least number of sutures and least cost to the owner and the veterinary surgery. Not fanciful suturing patterns to impress the owner at the expense of the veterinary practice as some employee vets are prone to do so.
I gave an e-collar just in case he bites the surgical area. Also a plaster to cover and protect it. I expect no post-surgical complications of bleeding or infection. The young couple looked happy as the Yorkshire was as normal as can be when they came 3 hours later to pick him up to go home. As if he has a short nap.
That is the advantage of a very light sedation and isoflurane gas. Most owners just want to see their pet greet them as alive as can be when they come to pick him up. Not drugged, groggy and ataxic dogs sleepy for several hours after surgery due to intravenous anaesthesia.