Weekend round up

Last weekend was pretty packed and I’ve resisted posting about our adventures at the vet because I wanted to spare you the pictures (read on and you’ll know what I mean). But here it is nonetheless, sans gory pictures. It’s been a busy week catching up on my MOOCS (another post on that) ergo the delayed post.

International Coastal Clean Up Day.

If you don’t live on the coast then you probably would not have heard of International coastal clean up day on 15th Sept. The Navy officers, sailors and their families got together along with the public to clean up Vizag’s beaches and coastlines. So at 7 am we headed off to our designated clean up spot in the dockyard near the main shipping channel and what I surmised was that if this country banned pan/gutka packets and Parle G biscuits, we’d have a much cleaner coastline. As the sun beat down on us (after 3 weeks of rain and cloud) I was so glad we weren’t on the beach but in the sheltered dockyard area instead. Our efforts were rewarded with a hearty breakfast of idlis, vadas, samosas, sambar, chutneys, a Frooti and a hot cup of tea. Smashing way to start the day….which put us straight to bed for the rest of the day!

Little boy at the window

As we headed in to town for our monthly visit to stock up on provisions, we vowed never to come to town again for at least another couple of months till the roads recover from the devastating rains that have ripped up the poor quality roads in this chaotic cess pool of mediocrity that the authorities dare to call “The City of Destiny” – that’s my Vizag rant for the week.

We shopped for birthday presents for the DH’s sister’s kids at Mighty Brain Toys on Waltair Road, filled with great toys for kids (and adults, as the DH was tugging at my hip to buy him an RC Helicopter). They always have interesting wind up toys at the cash counter and we always ended up playing with them or racing them, then realising that little children and adults are staring at us. As we left the store we saw a street kid, fairly well dressed but without any shoes with his face mashed up against the glass wall of the shop. In a heartbeat we were back in the shop and came out with one of those wind up toys. As the DH gave it to him and showed him how it worked I saw the kid’s jaw literally drop and his mouth stay open till after we were in the car. Finally we saw him skipping and running down the street, new toy in hand, beaming from ear to ear. That scene of the kid peering in to the shop reminded us of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where all the Golden Tickets went to spoiled rich bratty children and Charlie had money to only buy two chocolate bars while the other kids had money to buy many many more and increase their odds of finding a hidden Golden Ticket. The DH will more willingly buy a gift for a poor kid who he does not know and who he’ll never see again than for a family member – tough love I guess.

HQ orders Surgical Strike on nether regions

Sunday saw us bright and early at the vet’s office. Abroozi was “getting fixed”, “losing his marbles”, retiring the cannons”, “dropping a load”. The operation that all males dread. He was due to be “stripped of his manhood”. Every mating season it’s been getting terribly difficult to control him. He doesn’t eat for 4 weeks, loses a ridiculous amount of weight, whines and pulls on the walk,  his brain is totally scrambled, does not respond to us at all and both the DH and I have pulled shoulders and spines trying to take him on a walk. It’s not his fault – it’s just nature doing its thing. Like most Indian households, we live in an area where stray dogs roam so one cannot control which female dogs decide to camp near your house when in heat. I’ve been pushing to get him neutered for over a year but both my father ( a Urologist who has had to operate on many a human testicle) and the DH have been reluctant. In humans removing the testes can lead to cancers but from what vets say, it’s the opposite in dogs – it can reduce the risks of prostate and testicular cancer and a lot of other medical issues. I think the DH also realised this season just how bad it was and gave in. But he assured me that no man can ever fully give his consent to taking another man’s jewels. As soon as approval from HQ was authorised, I scheduled the procedure.

Abroozi was weighed (a perfect 35 kgs) and then given a pre-anesthetic to sedate him. It is odd to see ones pet sedated – wobbly, breathing slowly, their tongue and gums go from pink to blue and then they fall in to a very very deep sleep. But before they fall asleep, in the pre-anesthetic stage the area in question is shaved, the vein in the leg located for the IV injection of the main anesthetic. There’s a lot of propping them up on tables, taking the dog off the table then pushing him towards the surgery table, then lifting him on to the table. You need a good back and two people for this.

I sat in on the surgery, stroking his head throughout but the DH felt too queesy to stay. Perhaps my father’s surgical genes reside (dormant) in me and I have quite a strong stomach for this sort of stuff. The vet was trying to explain and show me what he was doing at each step of the way, ligating the tubes etc but to me it all looked like blood and guts. I couldn’t make out a thing and I have a renewed respect for surgeons like my father who perform complex 9hr (and longer) transplants and reconstructions.

The vet didn’t want to sedate Abroozi more than was necessary so he was given a light dose of Ketamin (I think) through an IV injection. Essentially the sedative immobilises the limbs. In true Indian style, there was no electricity, we were running on an inverter and we had to keep the door of the theatre open to let some cool air in. Midway through the operation, a puppy came in for his consultation at the clinic. On hearing the puppy whining Abroozi slowly started waking up. The vet quickly gave him another dose of the sedative to knock him out again. Apparently they respond to sound, even though they can’t move their limbs. It’s not the “come in to the light” they see but the sound they hear. So you should never call your pets name or talk to him during the surgery while he’s sedated. He was never in any pain but the sound of another dog dragged him out of his deep slumber.

The surgery took about 20 to 25 minutes and the vet had kept the two testicles in a petri-dish 9which looked like two large human eyeballs to me, in case you were curious). The DH came back in to the theatre after the surgery as Abroozi was waking up. The vet reaches round and just happens to show the DH the petri dish, saying“These are the testicles.” The DH nearly dropped to the floor. The one thing he’d been trying to avoid and the vet just showed it to him! As the blood drained from this mighty macho Commander he managed to squeak out, “I didn’t need to see that, Doctor.” I could tell that the vet was really enjoying himself.

Abroozi was pretty much out of it for the whole of Sunday but back to his normal self on Monday. He’d been given pain killers, (Melonix) an antiseptic spray (HealoKind) and a week of antibiotics (Cephalexin) to stave off any infection. Pet owners in India I urge you to ask your vet for a spray called Healokind and keep it on hand. It’s a natural antiseptic spray and all types of wounds heal incredibly quickly and it prevents the animal from licking the wound which can  lead to an infection.
What the vet didn’t tell us was that there is a chance that the scrotal sac (which they leave behind) can get swollen and filled with fluid. This is normal but when I noticed this on Monday evening it came as a shock. I quickly looked it up online and was relieved to see a number of forums with equally worried pet owners whose vets had not told them of this potential problem. Abroozi’s scrotal sac swelled to the size of a fist and a half. It was red and turgid and looked disgusting – sans the pictures. He wasn’t in any pain because he was keen to run around and was even sitting on it. It grew in size for 2 days . The vet reassured me this was normal but prescribed an anti-inflammatory just in case (Serax Forte 10mg). So after 2 to 3 days, the fluid has finally left the sac (gone back in to the body) and the sac is shrivelling and drying up. The sac eventually gets reabsorbed in to the body. I have spared you the pictures because they are not for the faint-hearted.
I’m now happy to report that Abroozi is recovering just fine. We have to keep an eye on his weight because dogs who are neutered tend to have a reduced metabolic rate. Owners tend to keep feeding their dogs the same amount as before the neutering which can cause them to put on weight. But here he is back to his old tricks, sporting the latest in Kiffiyeh canine fashion.

Abroozi supports a free Palestine

That’s the Korula family (last) weekend round up.


About nonsense girl

Galley slave, qualitative researcher working in development, married my best friend, writing about my life, my family, my dog, TV, Indian culture, astronomy and my garden. www.nonsensegirl.wordpress.com
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15 Responses to Weekend round up

  1. Ganesh Gopalakrishnan says:

    just a medical correction before it is too late- prostate cancer is actually prevented if we remove the testicles of men before they attain puberty. that is NOT POSSIBLE . In fact the only urologist to have got the Nobel prize was for his seminal work on the treatment of proatate cancer with female hormones or removing the testicles.Thankfully this disease happens in older men.

  2. Alka Ganesh says:

    My sympathies for DH feeling queasy. Will it make it any better if I admit that I swooned when I saw my first surgical operation as a medical student? I somehow dislike the thought of interfering with nature, but on balance I have to agree that domesticating a dog in itself, is not what nature intended; so adaptations have to be made, like immunizations. Glad that all is well. I hear that regulations on pets makes it mandatory for every pet to have a computer chip embedded on it’s torso.

    • gkorula says:

      Neutering male dogs and spaying females prevents unwanted pregnancies. And i’m sure you’ll agree that we could do with fewer stray dogs in India. So it is the duty, I believe, of every dog owner who is not a breeder to control the dog population. According to Wikipedia, wolves/dogs have been domesticated by humans for over 10s of 1000s of years! So we interfered a long time ago! Yes, chips are common these days but scanners are required to read the data. Apart from vaccination details they contain lineage details for pure breeds (which of course we do not have)

  3. Vikram Karve says:

    I hope he gets well soon. Poor Guy. I feel so sad for him.
    Do you observe any changes in him – is he less ferocious and less active?

    • gkorula says:

      No changes just yet, it takes a few months for the existing hormones before the surgery to subside. For now, he’s just as active and playful as before. Apparently they put on weight/become less active because the metabolic rate reduces. SO if you feed them less and exercise them the same as before you shouldn’t see much change. He was never “ferocious”, it’s just that he couldn’t handle it during mating season. So only next mating season we’ll know if he’s feeling less frantic with the smell of females in heat.

  4. Vikram Karve says:

    Felt very sad for Abroozi loosing his marbles. Poor Guy.

  5. Sue Norman says:

    i always find your posts so entertaining, but also informative. We also have a yellow lab in Vizag, and I have learned an awful lot from you. Thanks!

    • gkorula says:

      Oooh, how wonderful – did not know you had a lab too! I did want to put up the actual pics of the swelling for educational purposes/other dog owners but hesitated. Are you back in India yet?

      • Sue Norman says:

        We leave for India next Thursday, the 4th. Will be in Hyderabad for a few days, and then back to Vizag on the 8th. I hope we can meet up one day! Once again, thanks for your great posts! Sue

  6. nandini korula says:

    Couldnt stop giggling at the thought of the MMM(mighty macho man) ‘s reaction at the vet’s! Cant imagine whose genes those were? Duchi’s?? Very likely. I remember my father refused to teach her driving because each time a chicken or any such with wings to fly, not to speak of those that didnt and couldnt , happened on the road, there would be hysterical shrieks from her and all round panic caused, whereupon my poor father would drive to the side and wait for her to recover. He finally stopped driving altogether !!

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