June 3, 2015.
"Most dog owners do not turn up for neuter after perineal hernia repair," I said as the parents and their young adult daughter brought in a Maltese that has a small golf-ball-sized right perineal hernia. "The reason for neutering is that male hormones favour development of perineal hernias as this condition is uncommon in neutered male dogs and female dogs."
I reviewed my medical records.
"The hernia was orange-sized last time and you were advised to have your dog neutered after the hernia repair, " I said. "We did the two separately to shorten the anaesthetic time and reduce the risks of death on the op table. Some vets do both at the same time, but if the old dog dies, so be it. Deaths on the op table affects the vet too but it is the owners who are devastated."
"It is bad for the dog to have anaesthesia," the young lady presumed that brain cells must have been destroyed after any anaesthesia but did not elaborate. So no surgery to neuter and the hernia came back. .
"They don't get any side effects if they are healthy," I said.
"When should the dog be neutered after the hernia repair?" the father asked.
"Around 2-4 weeks."
Some vets may have a different opinion from me as he said he was advised 3 months later. However, he did not turn up for neuter and now, 4 months after the repair, the hernia recurs. I advised neutering first and hernia repair 2-4 weeks later. A special gauze is needed in such cases as the muscles to stitch up have degenerated in this old thin 2.3kg dog. Hence it would be difficult to prevent recurrence without the gauze.