Saturdays, I usually consult from 8.30 am to 11 am and then Dr Jason Teo will
take over. On this early fine morning, a bubbly Malay lady from Woodlands came
with her blue-eyed cat and a little boy. She was a new client.
you come all the way from Woodlands?" I asked as most Singaporean pet owners
prefer proximity. "There are clinics nearer to your home."
"I want to
come here to neuter my cat," she replied. After the usual examination, I said
she could come back in one hour to take the cat home as I would operate
"One hour?" the little boy with bright big eyes said aloud.
He was most attentive unlike other small boys. I thought he would be 4 years old
based on his height.
"Yes," I said. "Do you know what is the meaning of
'one hour'?" I asked him. He did not reply. Mum laughed and both of them
left. Two hours later, the mum came with him for the cat. "There is some
bleeding from the operation site," the mum observed blood stains on the towel,
originating from the horizontal scrotal wound. In cats, the scrotal wound is not
stitched up, unlike in dogs.
"Disgusting," the little boy added. I was
surprised that he uttered this word and wondered whether he knew what it meant.
"How old is he?" I asked the mother.
"He is 6 years old," his mother said.
"He is bright and would do well in life if he studies hard." His
attentiveness to adult conversations, his power of observations and his English
vocabulary is unusual for little boys of his age and that is why I assess this
little boy as intelligent. Most little boys tend to be playful and not
communicative at the veterinary surgery, in my observations.
was left in the surgery till 5 pm when another adult came with 3 more
children. Lots of joy and laughter with these young cousins around.
am the 5th sister," the mum said to me. "This is my 3rd sister." The third
sister was slimmer and more serious when compared to the 5th sister. She drove a
blue Toyota Alixo car similarly to the one I had rented as my own car had broken
down, with the radiator and the piping ruptured. It cost me $85/day to rent this
model and my car was in the workshop for 3 days. The blue car reminded me of the
blue eyes of this handsome male cat.
The cat was no longer bleeding now.
Could the bleeding be due to the possibility that I did not ligate the spermatic
cord and the blood vessels properly? No, as I usually knot 5 times. The reason
was that I made a horizontal cut transversing and incising the two testicles.
Blood would have accumulated inside the scrotal sac. Sometimes, I make a
vertical incision and incise one testicle at a time and there would possibly be
less bleeding as one testicle is incised and ligated at one time.
family took the cat home and in the past 14 days, I had not heard from the owner
and this meant that the cat had recovered fully. .
As to why this
2-year-old cat was sent for neutering, it was because he was caterwauling.
"A stray pregnant female cat waits for him outside the door," 5th sister
said. "He is on heat and wants to go out. That is why I want you to neuter
him" "Male cats do not stop meowing noisily immediately after neutering," I
said. "It takes time for his male hormones to disappear. "This male cat
sprayed his urine and (anal sac) oil onto the neighbour's walls and they are so
angry! That is why I want to neuter him!".
"In any case, why don't you
get the pregnant female cat spayed?" "She is my neighbour's cat," 5th sister
replied. "When she heard it cost me $195," she did not want to do it.
"The cost of neuter is much less," I said to her. "You wanted the
e-collar, the vaccination and the de-fleaing spot-on. This added up. The actual
cost is around $125 with antibiotics and painkillers and surgery and
anaesthesia." The least cost for neuter is the basic surgery, anaesthesia and an
injection of pain-killers and antibiotics. This would cost $125.
earlier years of practice which has now spanned nearly 40 years, I did not give
pain-killers and antibiotics as this would be possible with aseptic surgery. I
believe in less antibiotics to reduce the incidence of bacterial resistance to
antibiotics. The cost would be $75 and there were no post-op infections or
However, Singapore cat owners are more caring. One owner was
most unhappy and she complained as to why I did not prescribe post-op
antibiotics unlike other vets. So, nowadays, to give owners peace of mind,
medication post-operation is routinely given. So the cost is higher.