Yesterday, we finally brought our dog Sonic to the vet to have him sterilized. After four years, we finally made the decision to go ahead and do it.
I know all the vets and pretty much animal welfare groups will always support sterilization and encourage you to do it when they’re 5 months or so, but we had a few reservations about it.
- Wifey was really afraid that Sonic would resent us and hate us for snipping him, and that it would result in some change in his behavior.
- Her previous dog wasn’t sterilized, and he lived quite a long life.
- Those little shiny things are so damn cute.
We actually have a little running joke where we refer to his little balls as his squeaky brake pads. After all, he probably has NO IDEA what they do, and the only practical use they have in his opinion is that they slow his butt down when he lies down on the floor, and then they make that cute squeaky sound.
They’re also so shiny from being used as brake pads that they have what VFX folks refer to as “specular lighting“.
But with Beanie on the way, and the way Sonic exhibits aggression and jealousy when other dogs and little things are perceived to muscle in on his turf (especially Knuckles… Sonic HATES it when his brother Knuckles plays with wifey and will aggressively chase him away), we figured it’s probably time we really thought about this. I did more research into the matter, and it does appear that the health benefits significantly outweigh any cons that might come with sterilizing a pet.
In fact, there appear to be only two basic reasons why a pet-owner shouldn’t sterilize their dogs:
- You’re planning to breed them.
- You intend to enter them into shows (sterilized dogs are disqualified… which I find really prejudicial).
We don’t intend to do either, so these were never good reasons for us. It was really just us projecting our own protectiveness onto our fur-kid.
So I made an appointment with our vet, and we brought him in yesterday morning. Wifey was mulling over whether we should cancel the appointment right up to the moment we walked into the vet.
The process took a while, and we were told to head off and come back after almost 5 hours while they perform the surgery and keep him under observation. We did that and headed out to buy some fresh snacks for him from the pet bakery, but we couldn’t really rest easy while we waited for the vet to call.
But when we finally went to pick him up, we felt a huge sense of relief because he was so happy to see us with his tail twinkling at 7 wps (wags per second). Looks like our fears of resentment were unfounded!
He got home and was a bit disoriented though, but I think that’s more from the anesthetic rather than any change in his behavior due to his missing brake pads. He’s pretty exhausted, so he’s been sleeping quite a bit. But we’re really just quite glad that he’s okay and all is well.
Sadly, as much as we want to reward him and make him feel like a champ we were also told to put the Cone of Shame on him so that he won’t lick his wound and cause an infection or something.
Whether his jealousy and temperament has been lowered remains to be seen though – I heard that it’ll take a few weeks or so before the residual testosterone in his system wears off.