“Ahhh what a beautiful day” I think to myself as I clamber out of my basket, have a doggie stretch and then ask my mum for breakfast … and that’s when she starts to explain.
I hear her say the words ‘car’, ‘vet’ and ‘big day’ and then I do remember that mum was on the phone the other day talking about being somewhere between 8 and 8:30am, that I wasn’t allowed to have breakfast that morning, and that there hadn’t been any bleeding for the last month … so into the car and off to the vets we go.
While we wait for the nice nurse I notice an older, wiser dog sitting opposite me. I wag at her and tell her I am here for a big day. She wags back, looks at me knowingly and tells me to listen up.
“First the nurse is going to have a special chat with your mum and they will take you through to a nice warm kennel to settle in before your mum leaves you. Your nurse and vet will come through to meet you properly and they’ll bring a thermometer and a stethoscope to examine you fully. You’ll then get a little bee-sting injection in your neck which might make you feel a bit nauseous for a few minutes but then you’ll be feeling all nice and sleepy and will have some excellent pain relief in your system!
Now don’t worry if the nurse doesn’t stay with you the whole time, they’ll be in and out to check you in between getting everything ready for your operation – there’s lots to prepare … the surgery room, a nice warm and padded bed, the special machines to keep you asleep, the instruments and drapes for your operation and not to mention the special drugs they give you to make you go to sleep, and the breathing tube to protect your airway. It’s all very technical you know!
Some of us can wobble out of our cages but some of us get extra sleepy and need to be carried to the preparation area before the surgery. Your nurse will give you a special cuddle while your vet gives you your anaesthetic – most of us girls don’t even realise this is happening and will be sleeping soundly in no time. It’s at this time that they put the breathing tube into your airway, connect you up to all the fancy machines like you see on TV and shave some hair off your tummy.
You’ll get taken through to the surgery room, get connected to a drip and have your tummy prepped to make it nice and clean. The instruments and drapes will be prepared and the equipment to monitor your anaesthetic will be hooked up.
They will incise into your tummy, by your belly button, and remove your uterus and ovaries. Once the surgeon has checked that everything looks good and that there is no bleeding, they will close you up with some stitches.
You might feel a bit disorientated and sore when you wake up but usually for the next ½-3 hours you will just stay curled up under your blankets. You nurse will check on you often, making sure that you are recovering well and when you are ready they will take you outside for a toilet-stop if you need it. They will also give you some food and water as you’ll probably be pretty hungry.
The nurse will ring your mum to let her know how you are doing, and what time she can pick you up to go home. They will also give you two more bee-sting injections of pain relief before you go. When your mum arrives, the nurse will have another long chat with her, giving her all the after-care instructions and letting her know how to look after you.”
I look at the older wiser dog with very big eyes, feeling a little nervous now. She gives me a nudge and tells me that yes it will be a big day, but in a pawful of days or so I’d be feeling like it never happened!