Friday, July 15, 2011

The Case of the Missing Testicle: SOLVED!

Yes, this is a post entirely about my dog's balls. A fitting subject for a Friday, don't you think?

As you may or may not recall, a few months ago Calvin went in to be neutered but the vet was only able to locate one of his testicles during the surgery. You can read the back story here. Basically, we had to wait until he was a year old and then test his blood for the presence of testosterone, which would let us know if a second ball was hiding somewhere inside him. Since Calvin is a year and change, and since we're moving in just two weeks (!), we decided it was high time to get this missing testicle found.

By now, I have come to expect that nothing is easy when Calvin is concerned. Three weeks ago I took him in for the initial test and we waited five to seven days for the results. And what did we discover? Nothing - the results were inconclusive. All animals, regardless of sex, have some testosterone in their blood, and Calvin's levels were too borderline to be sure. We would have to try a second test.

This time, the vet took a sample of Calvin's blood and then injected him with some hormones. If there was a testicle in there, the hormones would cause it to produce extra testosterone. (I am sure it was more scientific than this, but alas - I an not a vet, just the concerned companion of two dogs.) After the injection we headed home and ninety minutes later I brought him back, where the vet took a second sample of blood. By this point, Calvin had had enough of the needles and the poking and all the treats in the world couldn't earn back his trust. Such a shame, because he used to love going to the vet.

Another five to seven days went by and this time, the results came back positive - Calvin was definitely hiding something from us. Once a month, a specialist from A&M comes to Nacogdoches and performs all kinds of tricky surgeries for our vet office and it just so happened that he would be in town the day after we got Calvin's results back. They were able to make Calvin an appointment with this Super Vet yesterday, and so I dropped my boy off in the morning and crossed my fingers that the surgery would be quick and painless.

I don't know about painless, having never been neutered myself, but I do know it was quick! Just two hours after giving him a goodbye cuddle my vet called - Calvin was out of surgery. Super Vet had been able to find the missing testicle and easily removed it! When I picked Calvin up, my vet showed me some diagrams and explained where the ball had been hiding, and it turns out that it was not in Calvin's brain as Nathan had hoped suspected. You see, testicles start out near the kidneys and descend down a chute to the scrotum. Calvin's second ball had basically gotten stuck in the chute. (Again, not a doctor. This is merely my interpretation of what occurred.) While Super Vet had to do some digging around in Calvin's insides, it was not nearly as intensive as we had expected. Which means that while Calvin will be in some pain, it won't be nearly as bad as his first surgery.

We were able to bring him home last night and while it's sad to see my pup in pain, he's also kind of adorable. He steps gingerly on to the couch instead of barreling into the cushions and he whines quietly while he's sleeping. Calvin is pretty vocal and whines a lot anyway, but now he actually has a reason to cry. Luckily, we have some pain meds and have been giving them to him twice a day, with his food. He should be fully recovered and back to his crazy self in less than two weeks. I can't wait to have my kooky puppy back.

That concludes the case of the missing testicle. I promise not to post about Calvin's balls ever again. Happy Friday!