No More Puppies For Leela .... Operation Time

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

No More Puppies For Leela .... Operation Time

I'm writing this post this evening with a very groggy Leela by my side in her little baby-grow post her spaying surgery this afternoon.  It's been quite a day of mixed emotions and brought up some past painful memories too.  And although Leela is restless and quite clearly uncomfortable it's nice to have her home with us safely out of surgery this evening.  The team at Animalfisio in Almeria were really reassuring and made everything as smooth as it could possibly be.  She needs to rest up the next few days and Dan and I plan to take it in turns - one staying with her and encouraging her to rest, the other training or keeping the puppies entertained when they're awake (most of the time!).

From the moment we considered adopting Leela, before we knew she was pregnant, we always knew we would have her spayed.  As Dan has written on other topics, when it comes to dogs and their medical care the internet abounds with conflicting opinions; when to do it? how to do it? remove the ovaries and the uterus or just the uterus? Wait until after another season?.....Again, this isn't an article on the merits of sterilisation for dogs, only to say that after many such decisions over the past 3 months we opted to take the local vets advice and let them guide us on the how and when. It felt like the right thing to do. We made some comparisons with other vets we're in contact with from the past plus the advice Animalfisio have provided since Leela came to live with us has been really good. Most importantly though, doing the maths, Leela will be coming back into season very soon and we definitely don't want to be worrying about the risk of another litter of puppies knowing that there are loose, uncastrated dogs wandering around San Jose (as in many parts of Spain).

Still, there were some mixed emotions and fears as we arrived at the vets. In part they arose as we have lost an animal under anaesthetic during a 'routine' operation, attributed to a rare anaesthetic reaction. Also, at that moment of signing the consent form outlining the risks of any surgery, I couldn't help bringing to mind the 'simple' surgery that lead to Dan's own life threatening infection back in 2014. Finally, during my parents stay over Christmas and New Year I had also visited this same consultation room on an emergency visit with my parents dog Sam. Having just returned from a family visit to Holland, seeing Sam now under close supervision for an advanced malignant tumour on his leg that may mean a difficult decision very soon, I found my heart going out to how difficult a time that is for mum and dad and also how quickly animals get into your heart.

However, as I said above Animalfisio really made the entire process calm and straightforward for us and Leela. It was especially nice that we could stay with Leela while she had a canula inserted in her fore leg and administered with a pre-anaesthetic sedative (it was amazing how quickly she went from standing to flat out). It really helped to remove that 'behind closed doors' feeling we always got at previous vets in the UK. So many times in the past when we had house rabbits we'd arrive early in the morning and our pet would vanish into the unseen parts of the building to be collected hours later or even the next day. Yet here at Animalfisio I got great reassurance that the team were happy for us to be there while they got the process started, that they weren't doing anything that they weren't willing to do in front of us. We even got a glimpse into the surgery room as Leela pushed her way briefly in there while sniffing around (pre-sedative of course). Plus, I think it was far better for Leela that by the time we left she was already on her way to the land of nod, without having to spend time in a strange, lonely cage waiting for her turn. We could even pick her up just 90 minutes later as soon as she came round to recover with us in familiar surroundings, plus her after care and stitch removal can be done right here in San Jose in the week ahead.

And so, several hours later, we are sat here in our bedroom with Leela looking sleepy and also a little grumpy due to finding herself wearing a (price-reduced), scissor adapted for her tail and paws, Disney Cars baby-grow.  She is a "Winner - like Lighting McQueen" according to the slogan on her chest! It's nice to have a funny moment at the end of a emotional day.  And for Leela one good thing about today is that we treated her to a new, much more comfortable bed to help with her recovery and also give her a place of her own which the pups haven't invaded (yet).

We're trusting she'll continue to recover well and will post updates as we go along. Thank you again to Animalfisio for your care of Leela, your time and reassurance to us.


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