Saturday, March 16, 2013

I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies

The question of desexing isn't a question for me. It's incredibly hard to breed pugs and the mothers often have complications with birth that result in c-sections. It's scary and I'd rather leave it to someone who knows what their doing.
Surgery of any kind is scary. That said, I'm glad (now) that I got a male dog first. I was a nervous ball of energy when I scheduled Ares' neuter and took him in last June. He had to go to the vet between 7-9am and I could call after 2pm the same day to find out what time to pick him up. If I recall correctly, we picked him up around 4pm. Mike drove so I was able to cuddle Ares in the passenger seat on the way home while he whimpered to let me know that he hurt. We gave him pain medicine as soon as we were able to and he bounced back quickly. You couldn't have paid me to keep him calm - it was impossible. Within days, he was jumping on and off my bed and running up and down the stairs no matter how hard I tried to stop him. The only thing we could think to do was to watch the area very closely (he had the laser surgery so it healed more quickly and he had no stitches that needed to be removed) and stop the pain medication. As mean as that sounds, we had to know when he over exerted himself and was in pain. Luckily, he was fine. He healed quickly and never messed with his wound (we only made him wear the cone of shame when we were sleeping or weren't home).

I regularly pet sit for one of Mike's old roommate's dog, Ginger. They happened to have to go out of town for work the day before Ginger was scheduled for her spay. Since it took so long for him to schedule her appointment, he did the paperwork for her ahead of time and I took her in for the surgery. Unfortunately for the girlies, spays require a sleepover at the vet. She was a trooper though, especially since she must have been missing her daddy. I set up Ares' old puppy play pen so that she had an area to go in and play while staying relatively calm. (Ares and his super model legs can jump in and out of the pen easily!) It worked out well and I did the same thing for her that I did for Ares - she only wore the collar while sleeping or when I wasn't home. She also had the laser surgery but had stitches that had to be removed after two weeks. I was worried for her during surgery and took extra special care of her while she recovered, but because she wasn't my dog, I didn't have the same nervous energy that I did with Ares and even welcomed the night away so Ares and I could have one-on-one cuddle times (this was shortly before bringing Luna home. I was still pet sitting Ginger when Luna joined us). Ginger healed wonderfully and had absolutely no problems even though I also had a really hard time keeping her calm when all she wanted to do was play with Ares!

Now it's Luna's turn. Last month, when she went in for her final shots, I made sure to request a consult with her regular vet rather than a vet tech who just takes her back for her shot. The vet I met with is amazing and I first met her the very first time I brought in Ares. When I brought in Ares, she mentioned that she had two pugs of her own so I knew that she would be the perfect person to discuss my concerns about Luna with.

The actual spay, while worrying because that's just what I do, was not my major concern. I was mostly concerned about her nose. When I first got her, I noticed that she wheezed while breathing quite a bit and snored A LOT (much more than Ares ever has). During her wellness check, I brought it up to the vet who said that it's something to keep an eye on because it's common for pugs to suffer from stenotic nares (teeny tiny nostrils) but that most grow out of it as they get older (usually a combination of their nostrils getting bigger and them learning how to compensate with breathing through the mouth). It's almost always corrected during the desexing surgery so I wanted to meet with a vet to find out what she thought we should do.

Luna had a slightly unique case though (which you can see in the above picture). While her nostrils are really tiny, at the base, she has what can only be described as "notches". The vet told me that these notches are helping her breathe and because of them, she wasn't sure if Luna really did need the procedure. She asked me if I could wait a month to bring Luna in for the spay. This would allow her and her nostrils more time to grow so they could see what would happen. They would wait and determine at the time of surgery what they wanted to do. This was fine by me because I'm not trying to push unnecessary procedures on my baby girl - the less pain for her the better.
I honestly didn't think that they would do the procedure. When I dropped her off the morning of March 14th, I talked to the vet tech who said it was up to me whether or not I wanted to push for the procedure. Most times, pugs with this problem get better as they get older. Sometimes though, it backfires and they get much worse, causing them to have the procedure done later in life. I'm not an expert on this though. I wasn't even going to try to say I knew more than the vet about what was best for her. I told the tech that Luna runs and plays really hard outside and while she pants more than Ares, she doesn't wheeze anymore and doesn't snore nearly as much at night. I told the tech that I would let them decide what they wanted to do.
I was able to call the afternoon of the surgery to see how she was doing. I talked to a vet who told me that Luna is happily snoozing in the back and did really well. They ended up deciding that the widening procedure would be best for her. It breaks my heart to know that she's in more pain because of this but I know it's for the best so I'm trying to make peace with it.
When I called the vet on Friday morning to see when I could get her, they told me that she was absolutely crazy and more than ready to go home. I was thrilled! She's been a monster since coming home (the spay and nose procedure hasn't slowed her down a bit)! Thankfully, she doesn't have stitches or anything in her nose to worry about.
This is her nose now.

And her in her cone (before switching to a much more comfortable inflatable collar).

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