Sunday, August 22, 2010

The one in which Panda gets spayed

Momma has a strict rule at our house: "No babies." So last week, she told me it was time to "fix me," so I did not have babies. I did not think I needed to be fixed. I thought I was perfect, just the way I was. But after all, I am the baby of this house, and I do not want any other babies to come along and be more specialer than me, so I agreed to this "fixing" thing.
First, they put me in a cage at The Work. I am not usually in these metal cages. I usually have my own room at The Work, with my toys and bowls and things. This cage is different. I thought maybe I should worry, but somehow, I was so tired, I could not keep my eyes open, let alone worry about anything.
"Katie, I feel really funny. Please hold me close - this room is spinning."
They put a little stick in my arm and then I went from a little bit sleepy to all the way asleep, and after that, I do not remember much, but Momma and Katie took lots of pictures, and this is what they said was next.
They opened up my mouth. I have a really big mouth, and I am proud of it. Look how big my mouth is!
They put this tube in my mouth and all the way into my breathing tube. I did not feel the tube, and I do not remember it, but Momma says it is real, real important to have this tube in when you are asleep, especially if you have a smooshie face like me.
I do not think this is a very nice picture of me, and I do not like it that Momma put it in the blog.They scrubbed my tummy, to make it all clean. I have a bath every week, and I wash my hands and face every day myself, so I did not think I was very dirty, but they told me I had to be extra-special clean for the fixing.

They took me into the room with the bright lights and the table that moves up and down. I see this room every day, and I know that they take sleepy dogs and cats in here all the time and they are all OK, so I knew I would be, too.

They put me on my back on the special table, and underneath me was a blanket with warm water running through it that helped keep me warm. This is very important when you are very little, because being cold makes it harder to wake up later.

They put a thing around my ankle to give me Blood Pressure and tied my arms down so I would not roll around. Then Momma put on some really ugly clothes and covered me all up with a blue thing. You cannot even see me, but I am there, under the blue thing. Kate is checking to make sure I am still there.
Please do not laugh at Momma in her ugly clothes that do not match. She does not have any "fashion sense."OK, now we are all ready to go.
The next pictures might make some of you feel icky, but I think it is pretty neat to see what my insides look like. If some of you have girl dogs, you might like to see my insides, too, so you know what happened to your dogs during the fixing. It is OK - you can look.

Besides, I really like Momma's hands. Her hands are the best part of her. She can do lots of special things with her hands, like the fixing, so you should watch. (I will let Momma 'splain what she is doing.)

first incision, through the skin
second incision, abdominal wall
using a spay hook to find the uterus
exteriorizing uterus
tugging on uterus to exteriorize ovary
pointing out ovary
triple clamp technique
cut between clamps
ligating ovarian pedicle
double ligatures for safety
both ovaries ligated
pointing out cervix
ligating uterine body
complete ovariohysterectomy
(removal of ovaries and uterus)

closing abdominal layer
closing skin layer
surgery finished

Kate thought she would be funny with me while I was asleep. Momma says she hopes the doctors and nurses who do the fixing to people do not make fun of them when they are asleep.
The black clip on my tongue is to see that I have enough oxygen in my blood. It does not pinch or hurt. I am not sure what oxygen is, but I am glad that I had enough.
This picture is when I was starting to wake up, but I could not swallow yet. Momma says it is important to leave the breathing tube in smooshie faced dogs until they are able to swallow, so that they do not choke. I think I remember this part, but maybe I just dreamed it.
It is good to have a friend with you when you wake up from the fixing. I am glad that Momma thought to bring my pink pig that day, and that they gave it to me. It made waking up nicer.
But, it is even better to be held and carried around when you are so sleepy, like Amanda did for me. It felt so good, I went back to sleep on her shoulder.
And so, now I am home and everything is all right, really. Momma gives me a little pill in my dinner every night, which is supposed to help with the belly pain, even though I do not have any belly pain. I tell her I am a big dog, and strong and brave, but she just smiles and gives me the belly pain pill anyway.
The only bad part is Momma says "Cage rest and leash walk only" for at least a week, and I want to run and jump on things and play with Holly and torture the cats and she says "No." Do you know how long a week is? Because I do not and I think it must be a really long time.


Susan Gets Native said...

Okay....inexplicably, I'm crying. WHY am I CRYING????

This was your best post EVER, Kathi.

Mary said...

I cried, too, and wrote a comment that disappeared. Dammit.

Heron said...

Bravo ! This so interesting and informative, the post had my full attention from first word to last. Kudos for doing the surgery yourself and hugs for Panda.


retriever farm said...

Feeling a bit jealous I missed you spay Panda. I would have put socks on your feet to help keep you warm. Tell those techs to get with it. Special little Panda needs socks. BTW your mom is very brave to take that photo of your mouth before the tube. I would not have wasted a second getting that tube in you. I am very proud of you Panda and glad you didn't wake up like Daisy.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Add me to the bawly snifflers. And please accept my deep bows and salaams for
1. having the courage to make an incision in that little piece of pied perfection
2. having the wherewithal to photograph the process
3. being brave enough to watch her go under (I fainted when baby Liam was given gas while I held him in my arms--when he went limp, I did too!)
4. even being able to spay her--I had a terrible time working up to Chet's neutering
5. sharing it all with us.

You are the bomb.

Anonymous said...

Dear Panda,
You are so cute and much loved by your human. I also have been "spayed". You'll be just fine in no time. Hugs and kisses.
It was very interesting to see the process.
Lynda in Michigan.

Cindie U. said...

Thanks for that educational post!!

Cicero Sings said...

Just over from Chet Baker's site. Mither and Papa got to watch my neutering behind a glass window. Then they got to hold me when I came to. They had a hard time holding me back the next week. I didn't rally need that stupid collar for I knew better than to worry my incision too much!

Lisa H. said...

I'm always impressed when I get to see you actually doctoring. I mean, I've known you since your booger-eating* days, so sometimes it's hard to imagine they let you run around inside another living creature with sharp instruments like this.

And that wasn't hardly oogy at all. Thank heavens for discreet draping.

(*Note to anyone who isn't related to us: It's not that I actually remember any such behavior, just an example of something she might *possibly* have done as a raggedy little kid. Honest.)

Kathi said...

Thanks, all, for the nice comments.

Lisa K: Yep, in the rush to take photos and so on, we forgot the socks. I knew you would pick up on that. I was sorry not to have you with me, but everybody did a great job.
Julie: This was the hardest spay I've ever done, not because I get upset over working on my own pets, but because I really didn't want to spay her. I kept thinking how fun it would be to have baby BT's some day. But, as Lisa K told me, I would never be able to sell them. Instead, I would end up as a hoarder. Once I was committed to doing the surgery, I knew I had to get a blog post out of it!
Lisa H: As I recall, you were the one that ate boogers! And yes, I *am* a "real" doc.

rebecca said...

this is so sweet! i love panda! and it is so important to keep calm for that week of healing. our little puppy burst a stitch jumping around the house and had to have another surgery.

digitalzen said...


LauraHinNJ said...

Gosh! Her girl parts are so tiny! I mean... what you took out seems so inconsequential!

I don't know where you get the courage to do this to your own pet... but I guess you trust yourself more than any other vet?