Ambers Spay Day: A Case Story

Amber is a beautiful young yellow Labrador; a true family pet whose name her family were just a touch indecisive about; she spent some time as “Ginger” (the grandchildren’s favourite) and then as “Tess”. With her name now firmly secured as Amber, two of her favourite pastimes are playing with her owners’ grandchildren (probably owing to her “lively personality”), and of course, treats! In fact this girl is a true, food oriented Labrador whose paws have even been known to frequent the kitchen worktops! Despite this, her owners feel that she “…is no real trouble, a very loving character with great recall”.

Amber was always going to be spayed in her owners’ minds and since she has no fear of the vets, pulling her people inside whenever she visits us (her owners think she remembers all the treats she gets!), they were not unduly concerned about the procedure.

 

On the day of Amber’s spay, she was as delighted to see us as ever. Our vet Dean describes her as:

 

“…such a lovely happy dog from start to finish! Happy to see us on admit in the morning and wagging her tail lots. This didn’t stop until she was asleep on the table!”

 

After a thorough check over by Dean, she received pre-medications designed to keep her relaxed and to provide pain relief for her surgery.

 

She was very gentle and exceedingly well behaved for all of her injections and didn’t flinch once!

 

Settled into a comfortable kennel with cosy Vetbed bedding, the sedation was allowed to take effect. Next she had an intravenous catheter placed into the vein of her front leg, an important feature for both the delivery of anaesthetic drugs and for safety. Having easy access to an anaesthetised patient’s circulatory system allows supportive medications and fluid therapy (a drip) to be used should they be required. As Dean mentioned, Amber was her chilled-out self right up until she gently went ‘to sleep’ with the anaesthetic induction agent. Her vital signs were monitored closely and recorded by a qualified and knowledgeable vet nurse, benefiting from some of our specialist equipment including a pulse oximeter (giving us the ability to read oxygen levels in the blood). Amber’s abdomen was clipped to remove hair from the surgical site and her skin was prepped with disinfectants. From now on, this area would be considered ‘the sterile field’ and would only be touched by Dean whose hands would be scrubbed and also clad in sterile gloves.

 

Describing the procedure, Dean says:

 

“The surgery itself was straightforward, she was nice and slim therefore the ovarian pedicles were easy to identify and ligate. No significant bleeding was seen and her wound closed up nicely”

He refers to the ovarian pedicles which are blood vessels supplying the ovaries. During a spay or ovariohysterectomy, both ovaries and the uterus are removed. Being the young, fit thing that Amber is, all of these structures were easy to locate. The surgery being very routine and a success, Amber was taken into recovery were she could return to consciousness in a quiet, warm environment whilst our team of nurses kept a close eye on her. She recovered beautifully and soon enough that tail was heard bouncing off the side of her kennel. Amber was offered food and taken for a short walk outside. Once the nurses were happy that she had recovered sufficiently to go home, her owners were called.

 

Her owners opted for a pet T-shirt instead of a plastic ‘Buster collar’. These shirts cover the surgical site so a patient can’t interfere with the wound. Doing so might cause breakdown or infection of a wound and delay healing. The shirts are comfortable and Amber even seemed proud to be wearing hers when her owners collected her later that day. Her owners certainly thought she looked “Cute!” and report that it never bothered her saying “She seemed to like it”.

Amber’s owners say that it only took a day for her to get back to her usual bouncy self, and now ‘work-top watch’ begins again. Her surgical wound looked to be healing well at post-op checks (see photo) and we are pleased that this lovely girl recovered so well from the procedure. Amber really made an impact on our team says Dean:

 

“… the nurses all loved her and she was a star patient to have in for the day. She definitely received a lot of kisses and cuddles from everyone (mostly from me…).”

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