Not a pretty experience for Vulcan, poor little guy.

He was neutered in May 2012, by an Auckland vet who is not normally used by GAP.

He came to live with us in November. He had several episodes of suddenly developing weeping fistulas and sores on his scrotum, for no apparent reason (the first occurrence was Christmas Eve 2012, necessitating an expensive trip to the emergency vet), with subsequent problems some months apart. He responded well to antibiotics or even in some instances just an antiseptic wash, but there seemed to be an underlying problem.

Things came to a head a few weeks ago, when he developed 2 really nasty sores and it seemed that exploratory surgery would be necessary, and best performed while the problem was readily apparent.

We’re always apprehensive about anesthetic and greyhounds, so don’t approach this kind of thing lightly. Under anesthetic his vet was able to ascertain that the two fistulas were connected, by passing a probe through one to the other (ouch!); upon opening the path between them, he found a non-dissolvable suture surrounded by infection and muck.

Vulcan made a rapid recovery and is clearly a far happier dog than he has been for quite some time. He’s had to put up with this internal infection for around 18 months, and of course, we’ve spent around $800 dealing with this unnecessary situation.

The question has to be asked, though, why was non-dissolvable suture (or any suture) used for the neutering? There may have been some complications that required it, but the risk of the material being left behind seems quite high.

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