Wednesday, November 24, 2010

THE MATTER OF MY HEART

Thank you so much, dear friends. Now that we know you haven’t forgotten us, we can relax a bit!
 
Last few days have been very hard for us.
Mummy has been making multiple vet visits and we accompanied her on a few.
No, none of us are sick. But there are other life changing decisions to be taken which are very hard for us all here.
You see, I am in my estrus cycle right now and the boys have started to behave funnily.
Yes. I, Ginger, haven’t yet been spayed.
 
Long back, when I was a puppy , I was diagnosed with Cardiac Arrhythmia which means an irregularly beating heart. There is a thing called regularly irregular (which is slightly better) and irregularly irregular (which is when the heart beats without any pattern). My heart beats with an irregularly irregular rhythm.
Surgery wasn’t a safe option and being an only fur-child, I didn’t have to worry about the consequences of my estrus cycles.
Things are different now.
 
It would be easy to get the boys neutered but we have been told that this ups the chances of bone cancers and thyroid problems in boy-doggies. The chances are pretty high, so it is not really advisable unless absolutely necessary. Especially before complete maturity is attained as this will hamper bone growth. That absolutely rules out getting Shadow neutered right now.
Buddy is very prone to allergies- skin, nasal, you name it. He develops itchy fur and a dripping nose at the slightest provocation. Nothing very serious, but it puts him at a risk to develop allergic reaction to anaesthetic medication, a common enough condition to make us worry.
I, on the other paw, would benefit from the surgery. Unlike in boys, girls have the very high risk of mammary cancers if unsprayed.
Getting my surgery done would have solved a lot of problems.
That is the reason Mummy has been researching the options we have. We have been burning the 3 AM oil poring over scientific studies, publications and anything we can get our paws on.
Mummy has been visiting vets to talk about the availability of safe anaesthetic options for me. Sadly, the conventional injectable medication Ketamine, which is used rampantly here is absolutely contraindicated for my heart as it causes ventricular tachycardia.
And we haven’t been able to find a reliable anaesthesiologist who can provide gas anaesthesia which is the safest option for me.
Mummy is rather frustrated at the state of affairs here in Hyderabad. Many senior, well-established and renowned vets with fancy clinics have scoffed at her for worrying about the anaesthesia.
‘We have been doing it this way, it is far less time consuming and easier’ is what they told her.
 
Well, thank you very much.
But we are NOT looking for an easier route here. Besides, ‘we have always been doing it’ is a totally unacceptable statement when it comes to our health and safety.
How can people be so casual about something that endangers life? Do they think we are dispensable and replaceable?
Till Buddy came to live with us we didn’t need to be bothered about my surgery if it meant taking a huge risk.
I am, by now, well adjusted to my estrus cycles and consider it a part of my life.
I usually go about my daily activities without a care, am absolutely comfortable with wearing sanitary nappies, enjoy all the extra attention I get and generally concentrate on being the doll that I am.
 
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So, we had planned to research all my options once we are in Delhi (Yes, we are planning to move back to Daddy’s home-city Delhi early next year. Paws crossed).
Mummy knows of plenty of vets there who would never say she worries too much. And there are better and well equipped hospitals too.
Besides, with age my heart will have grown strong enough, we thought, to withstand the surgery.
Things have suddenly changed now.
One vet here has given us the option of Delvosteron- an injectable progesterone analogue which can suppress the cycles. It is supposedly safer than most other non-surgical options available.
But the scariest and most worrisome problem associated with its use is the increased chance of mammary cancers.
The other side-effects are lethargy, weight gain, pain, depression, nausea and vomiting and loss of appetite, akin to a true pregnancy state.
Well, Mummy is in no mood to subject me to something I don’t need and which will definitely cause so many side-effects. I am happy and healthy and she sees no reason to upset my life, even if it is for a few days.
The problem of Buddy and Shadow going insane for about 5 days in the middle of my cycle remains.
I feel very, very sad because they will go through a lot of stress. Right now they are only sniffing me hard and trying to lick me.
But being the absolute SUPER DUPER GOOD dog that Buddy is, he stops immediately when Mummy says NO.
Shadow-boy is learning too and isn’t being too much of a trouble. We are still playing, eating and sleeping together and going on regular walkies without any problem.
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But it won’t be like this when the middle of my cycle approaches.
 
The influence of the pheromones is too great and my dear, dear big brother Buddy who is such a gentle-doggy will no longer be himself.
Shadow, of course will be new to this experience and we don’t know how he will take it, poor little boy!
We are planning to somehow manage this time, segregation and some anti-anxiety medication should help. And then, we plan to go for some detailed tests to find out how bad my heart problem is.
And Mummy says I will need to go for surgery ONLY IF she is more than sure.
So you know now how taxing all these has been for us.
 
We will really appreciate if any of you can offer any suggestions, help or information about our problem.
How risky is it to neuter boy-doggies? Of course the incidence of cancer varies from region to region, but we would still like to know.
Have any of you had any experience with Delvosteron or any such oral or injectable drug that suppresses cycles?
Could you please ask your vets if possible and get an opinion?
 
Mummy, in the meanwhile plans to go on few more vet visits and find someone who can assure us of safe anaesthesia and stuff.
Even if Buddy and Shadow are put under the knife, she would like to investigate them thoroughly to be sure they do not have any problem like mine.
This should have been so routine, the concern for safe anaesthesia and a thorough pre-surgical check-up, that is.
But most pawple are satisfied to take the easier and faster injectable anaesthetic route rather than go in for the longer but safer gas anaesthesia.
It is JUST RIDICULOUS.
Pawple around here need to get more aware, we think, so they will demand this and vets and hospitals will be bound to take up the safer route.
Money is not really the concern here. Most pawple are paying fancy bucks in fancy clinics without qualms but do not bother to take the trouble to learn a little more about our safety.
More than half the pawple are just too busy to go with their canine friends and have a care-taker to take them to the clinic.
We Dogs certainly do not deserve this.
Where are the questions pawple never fail to ask when a human family member undergoes surgery?
Trust us, Mummy takes hours and days to convince most pawple about safe surgery, being a surgeon herself. A human patient needs to be cleared by the anaesthesiologist even if it means a minor procedure.
Forget surgery, most pawple would take hours to question about the safety of oral medicines while getting their children treated.
She just wishes she could see the same concern, fear, inquisitiveness when it comes to subjecting us canines and felines to any sort of treatment, medical or surgical.
She thinks we deserve it more than humans do, because no human on earth can claim to trust and love and be loyal like we are - ever.
 
Well, here are a few pictures from one of my vet visits.
This vet is one lady we really liked. She truly is a caring and well-read lady and she took the time to answer all of Mummy’s questions.
But unfortunately, she has only just started her clinic and hasn’t yet readied her surgery. It is on the way, but will take some time. We know she will do really well. We don’t have her picture because Mummy was so busy asking questions, she forgot to take one!
But yes, we got a few other pictures.
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See that blur Mummy is TRYING TO HOLD holding? She is Rimjhim, which means a drizzle. She is the vet’s fur-girl- a six month old Cocker spaniel-Dachshund mix.
It took about 100 million shots to get a proper picture of the fidgety little girl!
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This tiny little girl is my namesake Ginger. She is just 72 days old and was very, very sick with Leptospirosis.
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The blue in her eyes is clouding due to liver problems.
Didn’t we tell you how irresponsible pawple here are? Well, believe it or not, Ginger has never been vaccinated, poor girl.
We hope she recovers. She was even smaller than Buddy’s head and looked just like a stuffy!
I guess it has been raining puppies recently! Glad we got one of them!
 
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11 comments:

YD, sometimes with ♥Samantha and ♥June said...

We think we have been here once before but we couldn't remember. But anyways, you had visited us a while ago but we just didn't get a chance to come and visit you.
Well, we hope your mommy will find a solution soon.

Sam & June

Mariodacat said...

Well, your mommy certainly has done her reseearch and being a doctor herself, I'm sure she will make the right decision for you. It's though cuz she loves you so mcuh.

scotsmad said...

Lots of decisions. good luck. We've all been spayed. It's pretty much standard for all dogs here. So we can't advise you.

XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

Mr. Pip said...

I was neutered at age three when my mom adopted me. I am 13 now and have had no problems. Shelters typically neuter and spay dogs and cats under a year here in the states. I have to admit, I am not familiar with the gas versus shot question. Sorry ...I will try to ask some vets and see what they think.

These are big questions and only you can answer them. Good luck! We will be here to support you!

Your pal, Pip

snoopydog said...

Hello there you guys! This is a most welcome return to see you all. What a dilemma your mum and dad have. Here in the UK , most vets seem to recommend the neutering of male dogs, although we have decided not to have Oscar neutered, unless his hormone-fuelled behaviour becomes a problem at any time. Surely, it is best to let our fur-boys and girls live a 'natural' life. I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion, that our canine and feline friends are so much more worthy of our utmost care and attention, because they offer unfailing love and devotion. It's so good to visit like-minded humans.
I will try to find out more information for you from our vets, when we next visit. Oscar is seen by his ortopaedic surgeon again in a couple of weeks. Lots of love to you all. Ros and Oscar

Lola said...

I can only talk about the neutering of male doggies because we don't know anything really about the complications involved in getting Ginger spayed. We haven't had as many boy doggies as girls over the years, but they've all been neutered. They've lived assorted lifespans, but I don't think that's had much to do with it. Jake, who died too young (we think. we really didn't know how old he was.) most likely had a very, very deprived and unhealthy life before Alpha Mom rescued him. At that point he'd been abandoned in backwoods Tennessee when his family moved, trailer and all, and left him behind. Our last boy dog was just before me and he was neutered at a fairly early age. He was with Alpha Mom from puppyhood and lived to be 15 with no real health complications until old age. Franklin was neutered at the shelter before we got him but of course it's way to soon to say how that's going to play out since he's young and only been with us for a few months. Pretty much everyone hear spays or neuters unless they plan on breeding their doggies. I haven't been aware of any problems connected with it.

lotsa licks, Lola

Maggie and Mitch said...

Your mommy has certainly done her homework, Ginger, and we know that she will do the absolute right thing!
We are both neutered pups.

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Lorenza said...

I am sure your mom will find the best solution!
It is not easy to deal with not so nice Vets, right?
Take care
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

houndstooth said...

Neuter surgery is MUCH easier to got through than a spay surgery. It's a small incision with a small part removed, versus major stomach cutting open and organs removed. Mom and Dad have fostered many dogs over the years, and that means they dealt with them right after the surgery. They all bounced back just fine. Not being neutered leads to health problems for dogs, too. Things like prostate cancer can occur for them. The male dogs that Mom and Dad have lived with lead normal and pretty long lives.

Mom said that if it were her, she'd have all three of you have the surgeries as soon as possible. If your heart is that week, being pregnant and having a litter of puppies could be very tough on you. Getting pregnant can happen pretty quickly, even when the people are watching you like a hawk.

We hope that you find a vet that you can feel comfortable with soon!

Bunny

Priscilla said...

Dear Ginger, I am sure your mom would come out with the best solution for you. Eva is going to have her spaying sometime next year in February. I have a feeling that she is having her 'phantom pregnancy' time as she behaves quite differently lately. She looks dull and gloomy and asks for attention most of the time and she is cuddly too. The vet suggested us to have her spayed as we are not going to breed her. Eva has hip dyplasia and her mom had heart enlarged problem so we don't know whether she has the same problem like her mom or not. Due to all the health considerations, we think spaying might be the best way for her. Mika is neutred when we got him from the local shelter.
Hope your mom finds a good vet for you too!

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