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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. Well Peanut is almost 6 mos old and I just made her spay appt during a long weekend so I could be home helping her recover. Now I must lay sideways on the shrink's couch and get out some fears:

My family dog, an 11 yr old Westie, had to go in 2 weeks ago to have a small non-healing wound removed. Well, he died the minute they gave him the anesthesia. So now I am TERRIFIED to have Peanut spayed! I know it's best for her (even tho she'll NEVER be out of the house or come in contact with a tom)...but I'll be a wreck. :oops: :cry:

Any advice?
 

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I don't blame you, it's tough to think about your baby having surgery. I know I was a wreck when Velvet was spayed. I worried the whole time until the vet called and said the surgery was over and she was fine.
I am sure you know that she will be much happier and content as an altered female as opposed to going into heat all the time. She will also live longer. But it doesn't make it easy.
Good luck. :)
 

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I think it would help to go out and do something for her to keep you busy while she is having the surgery. Take some time to pick up a special food or toy for her, and then spend time around the house maybe setting up a blanket for her to recover on...whatever you can do to help her be more comfortable will not only keep you busy but will make you feel better knowing you're doing something good for her, also.

My baby came home very very groggy and sore, so it's good that you took the time off to be with her. She'll want and need a lot of loving!
 

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I know it is very hard to think about your kitty having surgery, because mine just did, but think of all of the cats that get euthanized in the run of a year because they have been abandoned or just unwanted.
I let my female cat ( patches) have one litter and only 3 kittens came out and two were still. The one kitten that came out alive is named ( spencer), i kept him :) anyways 10 days ago he was neutered and again i was very worried but he was fine.

Nikita
 

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scared to spay

It's very rare for a cat to have problems with anesthesia. Prevention includes making sure your vet gives her a thorough exam, including a careful listen to her heart and lungs. Also check that they use isoflurane or sevoflurane (gas) anesthesia or IV propofol (injectables such as ketamine alone, or any other gas, are not acceptable for surgery under any circumstances). Ask if they have adequate monitoring equipment such as pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, EKG, or--at the very least--a tech whose job it is to stand there throughout the whole procedure to watch her vital signs. There is no substitute for proper care by the vet! If the clinic you're using does not meet these criteria, go somewhere else! Your cat will be much safer!

I know it's scary, especially after a bad experience, but getting her spayed now while she is young and able to quickly recover is *far* safer than not spaying and having her develop a life-threatening uterine infection (which would require an emergency spay--obviously much more dangerous), or breast cancer (very malignant in cats), or other problems of unspayed females. Not to mention the problem of putting up with heat behavior such as urine spraying, howling, and the tendency to slip out when you least expect it. Cats are very clever and fast when those hormones are screaming!

You might want to have some Rescue Remedy on hand for when she comes home, to ease her discomfort and help her recover from the anesthesia. You can get it at any health food store or online at about a gazillion places!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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I was really worried getting both of my cats neutered/spayed but especially with Twinkie b/c he seems to have a slight heart murmur. Just make sure your vet takes precautionary measures to make sure your cat is ok to go under surgery. Hope everything goes well and make sure you have plenty of low comfy spots for your cat b/c you don't want them jumping around after surgery. Good Luck!

DR.JEAN- Just wondering if you had any insight on heart murmurs. Twinkie seems to have a slight murmur and he seems so healthy otherwise that I dont want to get him surgery for it. Thanks for any input on it! :wink:
 

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Peanuts Mom, We'll be thinking of you. I feel confident that all will be well. I'm so sorry about your dog. That must have been a terrible shock. Of course you're upset. That's normal. But I have never had a problem when my cats were spayed or neutered. I'll be looking for good news Monday. Keep us posted, please.
 

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heart murmurs

Hi Kitkat, yes I have had quite a bit of experience with heart murmurs.

I picked up a lot of heart murmurs in cats when I was in a full-time feline practice. I have a really good stethoscope, so I heard a lot more than most other vets, based on guardians saying "no, nobody ever said she had a murmur before" when I would find one.

In young kittens, most murmurs will go away over time as the heart develops and matures. However, they should be rechecked after 6 months of age to be sure.

Quite a few murmurs are stress-related; when the cat is relaxed, they disappear. I remember one cat, a very tense tabby about 4-5 years old, who not only had a murmur but also really awful arrhythmia (irregular heart rate). It was so bad, I thought she might drop dead even if I sent her directly to the cardiologist. The guardian happened to mention that the cat just *loved* riding in the car...so on a hunch, I told her to go drive the cat around the block. When she came back, I climbed into the car and listened to the cat's heart again. It was absolutely normal. Big lesson learned for me! Since then I noticed that a lot of cats who had a murmur on exam, didn't have one under anesthesia.

Some murmurs are "innocent," a result of a slight functional abnormality that does not affect the cat and will not progress or become problematic.

However, other murmurs are pathological, either the result of underlying heart disease, or causing increasing dysfunction.

My policy has always been to recommend a cardiac workup to distinguish which type of murmur it is. These are not cheap, but the knowledge gained is very worthwhile, IMHO at least.

In the case of pathologic murmurs, if they are caught early, they can be successfully treated. Once a cat shows symptoms of heart failure, the disease is usually very advanced and their prognosis is very poor--they survive less than 6 months at best, but often only a matter of weeks.

If the murmur is innocent, you've spent a bundle, but you've also bought yourself considerable peace of mind. If the cat ever needed surgery, especially in an emergency, you would feel a lot better knowing that the heart is really fine.

I'd estimate that, of cats who were taken in for a cardiac workup, about half had innocent murmurs, and half were associated with heart disease.

So that's my story on heart murmurs, and I'm sticking to it!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Peanut's Mum, I can certainly sympathize with the loss of your dog. I lost a dilute Calico kitten the same way last Sept. Now, the vet gives the pets a more thorough exam to check if they will stand an anesthesia and now he uses another type, one that is not fatal to cats. In a way I feel like a betrayer of my Callie, because of my trusting in the vet, who inadvertantly killed her. But I know that what happened to her was an accident, and I didn't berate the vet for my loss, because I'm sure he felt the same way that I did about losing Callie.
 

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I know how scary it is to. Vienna who was my first kitten (my bf had pebbles when i moved in with him but she wasnt a kitten or lovey!) well when i dropped her off to the vets to get spayed i nearly had tears in my eyes!
When screech, smeag and butch got done screech was pretty rough, walked really stifly and had a pee in the corner (had her since she was a baby and that was her first ever accident!)
Like dr jean said, think in the long run, unspayed females when they are older can contract problems such as cancers etc. At least now she is in 100% health later when it is an emergincy it will be so much more risky.
And also like dr jean said when she is in season you never know when she might manage to make a run for it when you open the door, esp if there is a tom hanging around.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for your kind and supportive words. I know she'll be fine and its the best thing for her, but coming off our most recent tragedy it's hard. I'm going to go in the day before the surgery and speak to the Vet, tell him my concerns, etc, I think that will make me feel better. I guess with my dog (who lived in a different city) they did all those blood tests, etc to see if he'd make it thru the anesthesia. But I will mention all this to our vet and make sure I feel comfortable with him (he doesn't have the best bedside manner but he has gotten many good recommendations and he's less than 2 mins away which is good for a kitty who HATES being in the car!)

I've scheduled it during the next school break (I'm a teacher) which is right around Valentine's Day. I'm sure I"ll be able to report then that everything went fine. Thanks again everybody!
 

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Hi, I know how concerned you are as I was the same way last Thursday when Cheetah was spayed. She came through just fine. Before they actually gave her any isoflurane they recommended lab work to make sure everything internally was fuctioning properly. Maybe that could help ease your mind. Cheetah is just now starting to pounce again, Thursday evening my husband laughed and said it looked like Cheetah had lost the spring in her step :wink: Best Wishes for your baby.
 

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Peanut's Mom- don't forget that dogs' life span is shorter than cats'. The Westies' lifespan lies between 9 to 15 years. So the family dog was already a senior - who, we all know, have lesser chances to survive under such circumstances. (I am so sorry for your loss -)
I feared as well when Frosty had to be neutered - I payed quiete a little money to run all the tests necessary + he stayed at the vet's overnight. His little brother was born and died of malformations. Frosty seems to be quiete the little fighter and healthy at fisrt sight. But after having experienced the sorrow of losing Little Mo, his brother - I didn't want to risk anything.
I believe that if your kittie's tests come out perfect there shouldn't be but 1% to worry ..out of the 100..I know we always worry more.
All the best from us to you and your kitty :D
 

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Re: heart murmurs

drjean said:
I'd estimate that, of cats who were taken in for a cardiac workup, about half had innocent murmurs, and half were associated with heart disease.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
Thanks for the advice. I'm thinking Twinkie is fine for now, I'll definitely get him checked out thoroughly if they insist it is serious. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi again everyone. Just wanted to let you know her spay went great :D She's spending the night at the Vet's but we'll get her back home tomorrow afternoon.

By the way, how WEIRD is it to be in the house without the little kitty?!?
 

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she's home, all shaved and microchipped, but she's home! I was expecting her to be groggy but she's not at all. A little more vocal than before but in high spirits and VERY hungry!

Which reminds me...she's exactly 6mos old today; is it time to take her off kitten food?
 

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Sure, I recommend moving them to adult food at about 6 months, or as soon as they are spayed/neutered because their caloric requirements drop drastically after surgery. This is a time when a lot of cats begin their journey to obesity! It's a good idea at this point to back off a little on how much you feed, and start gradually switching her over.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 
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