View Full Version : Neutering and Inguinal Hernias ...

4th October 2006, 10:51 PM
I know we had a posting on the Inguinal Hernias but I figured I'd start a new post because I didn't want to overtake the thread ... I have a true story to tell you that will probably have most of you shaking your heads ...

As some of you might remember I posted that Lucky had undescended testicles when I got him.

Well, we’ve been really really puzzled because when we took him to the vet on Saturday, the vet, noting no testicles on a 15 week old dog, questioned whether he’d already been neutered. I emailed the breeder yesterday, and she said she’s struggling to remember, she remembered she did have one done but her dad was having heart bypass surgery at the time and maybe it was Lucky and maybe Lucky was neutered ... she just could not not remember and had to ask her vet. I told her to please do that because I needed to know for sure because at some point, I want to get him neutered if he hasn’t been, and I don’t want to put him through an unnecessary and invasive surgery to do that if he has actually already been neutered.

To cut to the chase – it appears that Lucky had an Inguinal hernia and the vet fixed that and did the neuter at the same time. I can’t imagine when this was done because there were no signs of a surgery when he came to me at 10 weeks, so this must have been done very young.

Anyway, other than the shock of just finding out I am fine that he is neutered. I planned to get him neutered anyway, I just would have waited a while longer. And of course there is a neuter clause in the contract I signed when I got Lucky. I am just a bit puzzled that even if this were not disclosed before I got him because she was preoccupied with her father's heart surgery, that it didn’t come up when I sent the contract back to her with the notation from the examining vet that his testicles were descended …. icon_nwunsure

Like I said, just venting. I love Lucky. I don’t really mind that he’s been neutered … Yes, he is getting a bit leggy, but I am not planning to show him anyway and I think it is rather cute. He’s healthy otherwise, has a super little personality and both parents were heart cleared. The breeder did treat the hernia before releasing him to me … but … well, I guess her mind was really on her very sick father during that time …

Okay, enough of that. I guess there is a lesson for me - next time, ask if the puppy has any past health issues or surgeries that I ought to be aware of ... I did not ask that. And if I did, maybe I'd have known my little boy was already neutered. Instead I've been wonderering when they're going to drop ....


5th October 2006, 12:30 AM
Wow, what a tale! I am glad you found that out before he went in as the vet might have been digging around for the testes!! :yikes: They can be almost anywhere in the abdominal cavity in a real problem case. Lucky is indeed Lucky!

I'd be pretty frustrated too that something this major wasn't recorded.

I wonder why the vet decided to do the neuter at such a young age? I know some will neuter at 8 weeks and while I competely understand the arguments for doing this from a rescue perspective, it is very young and as there were no rescue issues, why let the vet neuter so young? Curious.

Cathy T
5th October 2006, 03:56 AM
Well that is really interesting! I've never heard of such a thing. Good thing she checked...can you imagine the vet going in to neuter and not finding anything to neuter?! :yikes

5th October 2006, 04:05 AM
Well...on the bright side...you saved some money, right? Now you can buy more goodies for Lucky! :lol:

5th October 2006, 04:49 AM
I am just so grateful that that vet questioned if he'd already been neutered. He's the third vet Lucky has seen since I've had him and he's my new vet now ... period. The other vets actually were feeling around and said they thought they felt them :roll:

Thank goodness this vet asked the question outright!!! Can you imagine if he didn't ... I don't even want to think about it. I'd have probably never questioned the breeder ... who'd have expected a 10 week old Cavalier had already been neutered? After seeing all the sad puppy faces post neuter on last weeks' "Sad Eyes" theme ... well, I'm sure happy I did not have do that (and worse!) to Lucky unnecessarily. :yikes

Karlin, I will ask why they did it so young (and how old he was at the time). I plan to also have them fax or send me copies of his vet records because my current vet should have this info and I am also supposed to supply the insurance company with a copy of all his medical records. That said, I'm really guessing that they just did it so as to not have to put him under a second time. I guess I can understand that ... kinda ...

And Mic ... you're right ... on the bright side, now I don't have to take off work a day to get him neutered and I save the money too. So more goodies for Lucky ... cl*p

5th October 2006, 05:24 AM
when i got zack i was provided with his medical records. Do breeders customarily provide a puppy's medical records?

On Zack's Pet Health Record, it has the dates of each of his shots and his age, what he was vaccinated for, his deworming schedule, the dates and medication used, ear mite treatment, dates and medication, and there are three little stickers that apparently came with the vaccines, including the brand name, the lot number and the expiration date.

There's also a notation that has the date of 11/30 and it says "belly hernia repair." Zack was born on 10/7. I wonder why they did a hernia repair at 8 weeks. I first met Zack when he was about 14 weeks old and i noticed a little healing scar on his abdomin. I asked about it and was told it was a routine hernia repair, a minor normal thing. i didn't think anything of it at the time, But now, after reading these threads, i wonder why they would repair it so young. within a couple of weeks, i couldn't see it anymore, but that was a couple of months after the repair.

It seems possible that Lucky's wound from neutering could've healed by the time you brought him home, if it had been done at 6 to 8 weeks. Zack's neutering wound healed very fast, it's such a tiny incision. the vet may not have even needed to shave a puppy that young.

No wonder you feel weird about it. I would too. The breeder's explanation is innocent enough, i can understand how that could happen. It would just feel weird to find it out the way you did.

If it were me, i'd probably ask the breeder for the name of the vet and contact the vet and ask for them to send me all the medical records, not because of the thing with the undisclosed neutering, but just because i want to have records of everything.

When i took Zack for his first vet check up, i brought the health records that came with him and my vet copied them and they're in his chart. and when i've gone to new vets, i've provided his records to the new vets--blood test results, medical history, illnesses, shots, etc. In my zack file, i have copies of all the chart notes and lab tests, etc. I can't necessarily read the writing from the chart but i like having it.

Having the notes did come in really handy when i was having a conflict with the insurance company about something, i had his records and could see that my position was clearly supported in the records. It helped me to write a strong appeal letter.

5th October 2006, 05:33 AM
Lani--i just was writing the above while you were posting your previous note. I see you're getting the records. Experiences like what happened to you are why i am compulsive about obtaining health records. There are all those horror stories of bad things that happen in medicine resulting from lapses in communication and gaps in information. Thank goodness this turned out good. It's great to find a vet who asks all the questions and doesn't always assume the obvious.

I wonder how common it is for breeders to routinely provide health history records to new puppy owners.

5th October 2006, 05:41 AM
Hi Judy - I did get a folder with the vaccinations and wormings noted along with their dates. It also had the vaccine stickers like you said ... but those were the only things noted. I guess they just forgot to include the little guys neuter and hernia surgery. :sl*p: I suppose that folder typically would just include the shots/wormings. It seems like that is what it is printed up and designed to record. I am just having trouble comprehending how something so major could have been left out, but I suppose if she had it done at 6 weeks and I got him at 10 it really might have slipped her mind by that time, especially since she was dealing with such a major family trauma.

Well ... lesson learned and as Karlin said, Lucky really was lucky!!! :flwr:

5th October 2006, 11:28 AM
Oh poor you and lucky - seems so young to have it done, but as long as your vets are okay with him, then it is okay..... is it worth contacting her vets to ask why he did it.... just to set you mind at rest?

6th October 2006, 03:49 AM
Wow, and to think that the other vets actually thought they they felt Lucky's testicles....unreal! Sounds like you have a very good vet now. I would've thought that the breeder would have told you about that and had it all documented, but, perhaps if she was stressed out due to her father having major surgery.....still, I would have wanted the breeder to have everything all written down. Glad it all worked out OK, Lucky is such a beautiful dog!

11th October 2006, 05:55 AM
Just a quick update - I asked my breeder to have her vet fax the records of Lucky's neutering to both me and my insurance company (they require his complete records on file within 30 days and I don't want to risk any technicalities should I later need to file a big claim ...).

I am going to give a copy of the records to my vet. I took Lucky for his Rabies vaccine on Monday and told the vet that he had been neutered and about his hernia operation. She examined him pretty closely, and could not identify his scar or feel any scar tissue. She also did not feel any testicles. So she believes Lucky was probably neutered and his wound just healed really well, but she definitely wants to see some proof of the neuter (as do I).

I'm still waiting to get my fax but will follow up with the breeder tomorrow and find out when I should expect it. I'll let everyone know when I receive it. I'm curious to know how old he was when he was neutered because he came to me at 10 weeks, and there were no signs of any surgery.