Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Case of the Missing Testicle

That sounds like a really bad Nancy Drew novel, but I assure you - the story I am about to tell you is true. As I mentioned before, only one of Calvin's testicles descended, earning him the darling nickname "Uniball." Our vet told us this wasn't uncommon, and that when he went in to get neutered she would have to "find" the missing testes. This meant the surgery would be tougher on Calvin - he would end up with two or three incisions instead of one, and his recovery would take an extra week. While I was not crazy about this - my puppy! in pain! - it had to be done. If left to it's own devices, the missing testicle could develop into a tumor later in life. Since tumor = bad, I made an appointment and dropped Calvin off at the vet bright and early Monday morning for his surgery. The vet said she would call when it was over and he was awake to let me know how it had gone. She figured that would be around noon.

Noon came. Noon went. Soon, it was 12:30. Still no phone call. I was a basket of nerves and when the phone finally rang at 1:00pm I answered it, my stomach in knots.

 The vet had to shave his belly!

Calvin was fine. In pain, and on meds, but fine. He had been under anesthesia for over two hours while the vet searched - in vain! - for the missing testicle. She finally decided to give up, as he needed to wake up and she didn't think she would ever find it. She didn't know if it was just so small she couldn't see it, or if it existed at all. After he reaches a year old, we're going to do a test to see if he has testosterone in his blood. If not, there is no missing testicle. If so, he'll have to have a second surgery. Either way, my poor pup is going to be very unhappy for the next ten to fourteen days, but at least he's at home where I can spoil him properly.

And then there's Seamus.

Who, me?

Seamus came to the vet when we dropped Calvin off for his bi-yearly heartworm preventative shot. When the vet weighed him, she told me that he had gained ten pounds since his last visit two months ago. Ten pounds! In two months! She thought it might be a thyroid problem, but I'm pretty sure he's just been eating too much. With Calvin around, he cleans his bowl no matter what and he's been getting a lot of extra treats and rawhide bones while we train his little brother. I also discovered the brand of dog food I buy - Purina One - is one of the most calorie dense foods on the market! Oops. What this all means is that Seamus is officially on a diet. I'm going to take the dogs on longer walks, decrease his food by 15-20%, and break the treats in half. Hopefully by his next visit he will be a svelte 102 pounds, instead of 112.

Reader Response! Do you have pets? How do you handle their health issues? Sometimes I think we should get insurance for the dogs or set aside money in case of emergencies, but so far we've been lucky living by the seat of our pants.