Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Slight Hiccup...

Recently, I received the inevitable phone call from Jeff.

         "Heidi, I just picked Milton up from daycare, and they say he needs to be neutered by the end of the month or else he cannot return."

        <Radio Silence> on my end.    

I don't think my husband realized it, but I had been dreading that day for quite sometime.  I suppose my main opposition to neutering comes from the fact that we never neutered our chocolate Lab, Brutus, when I was growing up.  Of course, he mounted many a leg and humped quite a few small children into submission (my friends can attest to that), but this just seemed normal.

As a dog mom, I feel like I am giving our doodle an "unnecessary" operation that results in mutilation and the need for painkillers.  Recently, I voiced this opinion on my doodle connection website, Doodle Kisses, and the post received 1,348 page views total along with 88 comments on how it is "irresponsible" not to neuter your dog.  I did not realize this was such a hot button issue.  The multitude of reasons for the practice, include to control the pet population, prevent unwanted cancers, and to quell dog lust to procreate which can often lead to aggressive behavior.  Jeff and I decided neutering was a necessity and a worthy cause at that.

So yesterday I sent Milton and Jeff bright and early to a 7:30A.M. appointment at the SPCA.  We chose to have the operation at their clinic because they perform a day procedure, rather than an overnight, it is significantly cheaper ($82 including anesthesia, surgery, and painkillers) than visiting a vet's office, and as we all know, the SPCA performs an interminable number of these operations every year, so they must have expertise in their practice.  At about noon, we received a phone call that since one of Milton's testicles had still not yet descended, the surgery could not be performed.  The vet suggested that we wait until the Milt was 8 or 9 months old to see if the remaining testicle would descend naturally.  Now Milt is almost 7 and a half months old, and Jeff and I have read a few articles on the topic as well as spoken to multiple vets, and they have convinced us that any natural resolution is not likely.

Note the lone ball.  It wasn't this clear before Milt was shaved.

Almost all male testicles have dropped by 6 - 8 weeks of age but not our boy's.  This condition is known as cryptorchidism - "hidden flower."  In normal development, the testicles form in the abdomen and then travel down a canal to their final resting place in the scrotum.  Our boys' pair did not follow that routine path.  Instead, Milton's other testicle could be floating around anywhere along that route.  Who knows?  The main worry is a condition like this can easily develop into testicular cancer or torsion, so the testicle must certainly be found and removed.

For Jeff and me, it makes us nervous (seriously distressed really) that Milton will need the one normal incision plus another incision in the stomach which will require an elevated bout of anesthesia and an elongated recovery period.  

Today we plan to try again with the Milt at a different SPCA that is more comfortable with performing this procedure.  Hopefully it will be quick, almost painless, and we can put all this behind us for the Thanksgiving holiday and the rest of Milt's life.  It is not the most pleasant condition to be stuck with.

On an up note, Queen Goob, one of my very best fans, is the winner of the Lotsa Doodles Calendar Contest!  Yay, Goob!  I will drop that little gem in the mail for you very, very soon.  


  1. Interesting... hope all goes well with whatever you decide. I have been a part of DK for 4 years now and although I have gotten lots of good advice, I also get frustrated at times with people forcing their opinions on me and making me feel like a bad dog parent. Milt is your doodle... and you are a good parent... so what YOU decide (whatever it is) is the right thing for Milt.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Oh….I saw that thread and thought it best if I kept my mouth shut. Last time I said something they came down on me like acid rain.

    This is a big decision for both you and Jeff. I kinda feel like it falls in the same realm as politics and religion; this is a huge deal that will affect everyone included and just because you may not have the same thought process or thinking as others, it doesn’t make your decision wrong, it just makes it different. (Insert angry face here.) I have my personal thoughts and beliefs but it doesn’t mean I will cram them down your throat.

    Many, many moons ago I was a vet tech here in the Florida panhandle. My recommendation would be solely based on Milton’s condition and nothing else. Neutering your dog is YOUR choice but, when you throw in the fact that Milton has an undescended testicle other factors come into play. Were it my dog with the same condition, I would most definitely neuter with the hope this would mitigate any future health issues.

    I also think you may want to consider contacting the breeder with this information. I don’t know if the sire was a first time “daddy” but this may be a factor the breeder takes into consideration when planning future litters as this is a hereditary condition.

    I am a big time advocate of spaying and neutering pets BUT my beliefs have an entirely different foundation,– one that I won’t go into here but knowing I’ve been a vet tech I’m sure you get my drift. Make the decision that’s best for you and your family, not what everyone else is preaching that you should do. You’re a great mom; don’t let others make you feel bad, those people aren’t worth your time.


    P.S. I've become a fan of The Rhoton Family....nice comment!

    1. Well, you are my biggest fan, Goob! I actually think you have surpassed my mom and mom-in-law. I will contact you privately for your mailing address. I have my calendar hanging up at school, and I absolutely love it. It's just good fun!

      Jeff emailed the breeder yesterday, and she responded that she will pay the extra fee for the surgery, which we are very happy about. It actually did not occur today; I will blog more about that tomorrow... The SPCA has not won me over at all.

      Yes, do read The Rhoton Family. I like seeing what that dood is up to as well. Have you ever considered your own blog...?

    2. I didn't say anything previously as it really isn't my business where you have Milton neutered BUT I always discourage friends and family from using what we term "spay and neuter clinics." Yes, they specialize in the procedure BUT I don't trust anyone other than my regular vet. Too many horror stories come out of the clinics as the animals are treated (sometimes - don't hate this messanger) more like cattle and livestock than family members.

      I was thrilled to hear the breeder is behind you guys and supporting this surgery - VERY cool!

      I used to blog a few years ago (it's still up there somewhere) but it really does take a lot of time and effort to post regularly. I'm actually not much into the internet and rarely get on my computer but I do have a couple of webpages I frequent (as you well know!) I am SO excited about the calendar! And my sister is so very jealous. YES! It will hang prominently in my kitchen were the vast majority of action takes place so The Milt will be where the family hangs out.

      Don't worry, everything will turn out well and The Milt will be no worse for the wear. However, I'm still questioning why the SPCA tranq'd the pup for an exam.....that is just weird.

      Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your time off!

      p.s. What are you guys going to do to keep the puppy from taking all the ornaments off of your Christmas tree? We're thinking we may have to actually fence our tree off. LOL

  3. Poor little boy. He's a late bloomer. I hope everything goes smoothly for milt. I remember how stressful it was when my two got spade. The hardest part was making sure they kept their cones on to prevent them from licking their stitches. Luckily they should remain lowkey for the first few days from the sedatives and painkillers. But my dogs kept wanting to play and jump on things so we had to really keep an eye on them. We never spade our first dog, but the most compelling reason why we chose to spay our girls was prevention of cancers and longer lifespan. There was a moment where I thought what if we ever wanted to breed Sesi, but realistically I know I would have had a hard time giving her puppies away. Thinking of you and Milton!

    1. Thanks for the empathy, Jenny. It has been a rough couple of days. Today was a no go because the other SPCA branch that we tried, informed us that the other branch put Milton to sleep yesterday for his examination, so we need to wait a few more weeks. When I picked the Milt up, they never mentioned to me that he went under. I have a lot of grievances with them right now!

    2. Careful throwing around the term "put him to sleep"!

    3. Agreed. Good catch, Jenny! haahah

  4. When we had Remington's anal glands removed I had so many people on DK telling me it wasn't the right thing to do... I should change his food, I should do this and that, etc. Little did they know we had tried ALL suggested and no one knew what we were living through... the pain, the money, the mess, etc. That is when I decided... you know what... I'm Remington's parent... I'm his number one advocate... and I am going to do what I think is best for MY dog. That's why I don't usually post stuff on DK unless I'm in need for help badly. Too many opinions and too many people making me feel like I'm not a good dog mom... and I know I am :)

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with me, Kendra! I received a lot of lash back from DK, but I think it was all well meaning. It was just a bit overwhelming and at times forceful. I know we are both absolutely crazy about our dogs (we blog about them!), so criticism should really not enter into the mix.

  5. aww.. poor milt. hope it goes smoothly and he'll be on the mend soon.