4 Bizarre Things Nobody Tells You About Neutering A Pet
My son has a Yorkie puppy, and he and I hit it off immediately. So, on a recent master-dog bonding session, we partook in the time-honored tradition of getting his manhood snipped. Now, I fully support spaying and neutering pets, though you should probably only pick one. I certainly support it more than poor Drew Carey does -- he always sounds like he'd rather say anything else at the end of The Price Is Right but knows if he dared try, angry old ladies and sick college kids would string him up by his soul patch and fling Plinko chips at his nuts until he tearfully pledged allegiance to the United States Of Rover And Rovina Fucking Junior-Free.
But boy, there's a lot about telling your dog's DNA "this is as far as you go" that you only learn if you do it yourself. Or rather, pay some vet to do it while you thank the stars that, though it means you have to work and pay bills and worry about your family and their future, you are not a dog.
It Will Look Like Your Dog Has Humongous Balls
Yes, I'm aware this part doesn't apply to anyone who owns a girl dog, a lover, a child, and/or a mother. But it involves scary-large doggie nuts, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, so why wouldn't you read on? Besides, dogs don't last forever and you have only two choices of gender -- chances are, you'll be snipping off balls sooner or later, so best to study ahead of time.
When I picked my dog up from the vet, I noticed two things:
A) He was not happy with me. Understandable, since I gave the thumbs-up to his castration and all. He didn't snap at me or bite me, but he refused to look me in the eye or kiss me at all. You'd think the silent treatment from something that can't talk wouldn't tug on my withered soul so, but it did.
"A hundred Beggin' Strips now, and I might let you die quickly."
B) I honestly wondered if the vet did anything at all, because he still had balls. And, if every giggling 10-year-old in the world taught me anything, it's that neutered dogs have no balls. So what gives? Did the vet hornswoggle me, taking my money and laughing behind my back for hours while my dog sadly nibbled on a Milk-Bone and wondered why his master hath forsaken him? Would I have to go to small claims court and argue about whether my dog still had live bullets in his chambers or not? And how would I prove it either way?
Is "my dog made babies and I saw one of the babies and the baby looked at me" proper legalese?
I decided to wait and see if, like, they'd fall off naturally, after he dragged them across the floor while scampering for a treat or something. Then, a couple days later, I scooped the little guy up to continue my lifelong apology tour and noticed that his testicles, once perfectly proportionate to his little dog body, had swollen to goddamn double-size. No, I will not provide pictures. Use your imagination. And then surrender to police for using your imagination that way, you nauseating freak.
So now, not only did this supposedly fixed pup still have balls, he had the biggest balls of them all. I was very proud, yet very concerned, just as I'd be if my own son had Violet Beauregarded his future babymakers. But just as I got ready to book a session with Judge Judy, I made like a doctor and Googled for information. And, as it turns out, my dog was perfectly fine. Not if you ask him, though.
"Y'know what? Make it a thousand Beggin' Strips. I'm no longer in a good mood."
The vet actually did his job perfectly, meaning the dog did not have testicles. What he did have, however, was his scrotal sac, which still looked very much like balls. What's more, this sac had swollen due to post-operation internal bleeding, along with a possible clot squatting inside the scrotum. All of this, perfectly normal. So, if this happens with your dog, just remember that as recovery progresses, the swelling should ebb away, leaving naught but an empty, wrinkled old shopping bag where once there were life-giving groceries.
Before that, though? Feel free to revel in your dog being the biggest stud on the block, even though he can't do anything with his power. I did.
That Cone They Give You Is Totally Worthless
A small (though not small enough) portion of what I paid for making my dog more sterile than a Witcher went toward an Elizabethan collar, more popularly known as the Cone Of Shame. Theoretically, it's designed to stop the animal from biting, licking, scratching, or otherwise screwing with whatever part just got surgeried. Realistically, it couldn't be more useless. You'd do better to stuff your best friend's face into an actual traffic cone.
This barely even qualifies as a minor punishment in Doggie Hell.
After the anesthetic wore off, my puppy was as happy, active, and playful as ever. That was good. He was also as stubborn as ever. That was bad, because a big part of his stubbornness was, "I itch down there, and by God, I'm gonna do something about it!" So yeah, a big sheet of plastic blocking the path from his tongue to his scrotum meant absolutely nothing. If he had flexed and stretched and contorted himself any more than he did, I would've called the Yoga Dogs people and negotiated a contract.
"Yep. Still doesn't work. Awesome."
After giving him more nos than there are coins in Scrooge McDuck's vault, I finally ended up at PetSmart to shop for a Plan B. After the workers there confirmed my thoughts that, yes, cones are useless (his was oversized and he STILL managed to outsmart it), they gave me something called an inflatable recovery collar -- a life-preserver-looking thing you blow up and then strap to the dog's neck. It was supposed to be firmer than a cone, thus making it harder for the dog to reach around it.
In hindsight, the dog being able to see the collar that he's wearing
should've been my first red flag.
My dog hacked that thing in like a minute. And like before, not a single one of my nos permeated his skull. He was biting the itchies away and loving every hot second of it. It wouldn't have annoyed me nearly as much if both I and the PetSmart worker hadn't spent forever trying to blow the goddamn thing up, because, no matter where we put our lips or how hard we bit down, no air would enter the thing. Several tries with several collars proved it wasn't a one-time fluke -- no, this inflatable collar was designed to make inflating a bigger challenge than becoming fluent in Dothraki.
Luckily, we have since found a solution. Turns out, in this case at least, two wrongs do make a right. He now has both the inflatable collar and the cone on at the same time, and that's done the trick. At least, for now it has. Puny human technology is ultimately no match for cunning wolf ingenuity.
Maybe we'll add a nice fall-colored bike helmet to really make the outfit dance.
Oh, and on a related note: When you're at the vet, don't call it the Cone Of Shame. They hate that. They've heard that joke a million-billion-katrillion times and are more sick of it than a cashier is of "Won't scan? Guess it's free!" I dared call it the Cone Of Shame once, and the vet's resigned, depressive, barely laugh made me want to run right to church and confess. Not for adultery or perversion but for being a professional comedian and still making the laziest, hackiest joke imaginable. Forgive me, Father Guido Sarducci, for I have sinned.
So's Whatever Pet Insurance You Bought
Unless you spent $15,000 on an exotic, perfectly coiffed show-dog with blood pure enough to get them sorted into Slytherin, the big fix will likely be the most expensive bill you face in your doggy parenting career. Expect to drop several hundred dollars on the most harrowing experience of your young buddy's life, more if you don't do your homework and find one of the many, many discount programs good Samaritans have blessed us with. And thank Foley for them, because the pet insurance I purchased (and whichever one you run with) will not cover one single goddamn penny of this incredibly important procedure. Because fuck you for caring about your friend.
"Next time, sir, I recommend doing it yourself. You can find scissors for like a buck these days."
First of all, pet insurance works much differently than other insurances, and by that I mean it barely works at all. With health, life, car, flood, fire, home, apartment, and mob insurance, you pay X amount every month (or in the mob's case, whenever they want it), which will cover you in case something happens. With pet insurance, you pay X amount every month, and then pay the vet whatever bill that furry fucker who hogs your bed and expects belly rubs on demand racks up. Only after you pay can you send the bill to your insurance and get anywhere from 60 percent to 90 percent reimbursement, depending on how much you pay per month regardless of whether or not you see the vet's office more than you do your own bathroom.
Even after learning all that, I signed my pup up for insurance, because knowing my luck he'd immediately turn into an invalid if I didn't. Besides, if all I get out of this insurance is neutering reimbursement, it would more than pay for itself, right? Right, which is why they don't do that. Seriously, they'll cover a bunch of other shit -- usually emergency-related -- but not this one thing that everyone but the most capitalistic dog breeders agree should absolutely be done.
Happiness is a warm puppy and a cool million.
And no, it's not a case of me being a moron and picking shitty insurance. I chose one with great reviews and glowing recommendations from everyone at the vet. (Prices are mostly the same across the board, so that wasn't an issue.) And, when I found out they wouldn't cut me a ball-cutting check, I re-shopped around and discovered precisely zero companies offer it (and the ones that say they do lie through their fine-printed teeth).
Can you pay extra for snip coverage? Sure, though by that point you might as well just forget the insurance, pay the vet, and be done with it. You'd probably save money that way, actually. As for me, the deed is done, the bill is paid, and eating nothing but Cup Noodles and canned pasta until Super Bowl 2017 never hurt anyone. I would just cancel the insurance and save myself an extra $40 a month, but the last thing I want is to do that and then deal with doggie Ebola on my lonesome, so thank goodness for Chef Boyardee.
You May Wake Up To Blood Everywhere (And Not For The Reason You Expect)
The cone, the balloon, and the constant nos every time your dog so much as reaches for their shut-down daycare center are all for one reason: so they don't bite open their stitches and subject whoever's holding them to a Gangrel bloodbath. Sadly, animal instinct remains more powerful than the human desire for it to not fuck up their busy day, so if the wound's gonna blow, the wound's gonna blow. And it's not necessarily going to be how, or where, you anticipated it would be.
Take our dog (actually, don't. We wub him, fuck you, get your own). After a week, things seemed totally copacetic. He was happy, not in pain, his balls were still large enough to kill a man, and we planned to take that crap off his neck the very next day. Then, like a movie cop one day away from retirement, came the blood. Overnight, he had slipped off his cone, opened his wound, and covered the kitchen floor with more blood than the Manson family kitchen. Without hesitation, I scooped the still-bleeding -- and now very depressed -- doggie back to the vet for yet another visit. Being an emergency, I think my insurance would've covered this visit (or at least been extra hilarious with their bullshit reasons not to) but, luckily, the vet didn't charge me. Even among people who see animals every day, never underestimate the power of a grown man carrying a very small dog.
If guys still used little black books, his would weigh more than that dog.
Post-appointment, I met with the doctor and expected to hear one of two things: The dog had bitten open his stitches or run over a stick while playing and opened them up that way. Basically, open stitches was the expected diagnosis. To my surprise, the stitches were perfectly fine. He had not screwed with his surgery in a misguided attempt to stick his balls back where they belong. And yet, unless I unknowingly possess the Shining, the blood I saw was definitely real. So what gives?
Turns out, it's not just the immediate surgeried area you have to watch out for -- it's the whole area. The sides around the stitches, above them, below them -- there's a large blast zone around the scrotum, and it's all raw and vulnerable. My dog had managed to chew a hole in the side of his sac, damn near at his thigh. A HOLE. Poor guy had basically eaten himself alive over itchies.
After a quick go with the surgical glue gun, the doctor recommended I try an inflatable collar instead of the cone, and we know how well that turned out. Even after the double-team of cone and life-preserver, he was scooting around on his butt, desperate to scratch despite risking yet another Carrie shower. So I went back to the vet, paid my rent for the month, and bought an anti-itch spray that meant stinging chemicals on a very raw scrotum. His yelping could've drowned out the blast at Hiroshima. If he could've reported me to doggie DSS, he absolutely would have.
"He keeps saying I'm a good boy, but ... I no longer believe him."
Luckily, this story's got a happy ending. The glue kept, he's no longer itching, he's learned to live with his double-collar situation, and he will likely return to a normal, naked-neck life very soon. Also, since he bled out like he did, his swollen sac has since dwindled to nothing, which is what it's supposed to be. Dammit, I should've signed him up for a dog show when I had the chance. He might not have won, but footage of stuffy old judges checking out his Yorkie Porkies would've gone viral for decades.
Want an even more disgusting visual than Jason's dog's engorged scrotal sack? Then read about how Jessica Simpson rarely brushes her teeth in The 5 Worst Celebrity Hygiene Habits Of All Time and learn how buying gourmet food for your dog is nothing more than a self aggrandizing waste of money in 5 Mistakes Every Dog Owner Makes.
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