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.
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.
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.
See that blur Mummy is
It took about 100 million shots to get a proper picture of the fidgety little girl!
This tiny little girl is my namesake Ginger. She is just 72 days old and was very, very sick with Leptospirosis.
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!