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spay planning

We've been thinking about spaying Skye (see earlier post) and starting talking to our dog trainer, vet, and vet behaviorist about it. The two main challenges are bringing her to the vet and the post-op care.

As you know, Skye doesn't wear a collar/harness/leash yet so the only way to bring her to the vet is in a crate. But she doesn't like the crate. The last time we used it was to go get her rabies shot, and we tricked her in it. We need to start working on getting her comfortable with it, but everything takes time with Skye... so we will need to get her sedated enough. The vet wants a metal crate (so they can give an injection through the wires) and not the plastic crate we have (the one she came with from the farm). And she also wants Skye to be muzzled! I understand why and we agreed on a basket muzzle, but how the earth are we going to get her to wear one?! That means more sedation as we really can't train her to wear one willingly in any reasonable timeframe. The only thing we can do is to desensitize her to the object itself. We actually put one in her toy basket last month so she slowly gets used to it. Next, we will start putting treats around it, in it...

So muzzled in a crate... how do we do that? What kind of drugs to we use? Our vet would like to use Domitor to knock her out, but it comes in the form of a gel that you need to apply to the gums without having the dog to swallow it! I laughed when she first mentioned that. I can barely touch Skye's mouth, even less go inside to massage her gums!! We are talking about other sedatives with her and our VB, but the only other good option would be an injection... Unfortunately oral pills are not the most effective sedatives for what we want to do. Although we are going to do a sedation trial using different combinations and dosage of Trazodone, Gabapentin and Acepromazine in oral forms. To be continued...

Let's assume, we managed to bring Skye to the vet and the spay surgery went fine. They put her back in her crate while still a big groggy. We drive home, open the door of the crate, and then what?... I see how we can make the yard smaller so she doesn't overexert herself by chasing critters. But what about treating her wound? and above all, preventing her from over licking it and opening it! (see previous post) Elizabethan or soft collar aren't really an option. A vest that the vet would have put on before waking her up? How would she handle it? and how to remove it?... Or should we just keep her sedating until the scar is completely closed? :(

Do we really need to spay Skye?

The good thing is that there is no urgency, we can plan ahead and do so desensitization work, but gosh, do we really want to put Skye and us through this??


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