Complications of a Neuter, What is a Crypt?

crypt neuter

Most of the time when you bring your dog into your Albuquerque veterinarian clinic for a neuter it will be by the book. Your puppy will be in and out of surgery very quickly, and once they come out of the anesthesia life goes back to normal. Most neuters do not have complications during the procedure or during the healing afterwords. But sometimes there is an abnormality known as a crypt.

A crypt neuter, or a cryptorchid neuter, is when the testicle of a dog does not descend from the abdomen into the scrotum properly. It typically only happens to one testicle but it can happen to both. Often this can be detected before the dog goes into surgery, but not always. This is mostly a pain free condition unless complications have developed. It is considered a safeguard to remove the undescended testicle and the removal can be done during the standard neuter.

The reason you want to remove a crypt testicle is because it greatly reduces your dogs risk of cancer, cord torsion, and any other complications from the testicle being in the abdomen. Even if you leave the undescended testicle, or your vet descends the testicle into the scrotum, it is highly unlikely that the testicle is fertile. If your dog only has one undescended testicle, though the one may be un-fertile, the other testicle can still be fertile.

This is typically a genetic condition. Purebred dogs are more likely to have a cryptorchid neuter than mixed breeds. Toy size breeds such as miniature poodles, chihuahuas, yorkies, etc are more likely to have a crypt neuter.

Most dogs that have a crypt neuter will be completely fine. The unfortunate part is that it costs a bit more. This is because the surgery is more complicated. If your vet detects a crypt before the surgery you will be advised of the condition and the increase costs. If it is discovered during the surgery, your vet will likely remove the undescended testicle and your vet bill will be higher. Because of the potential for a surprise, as unlikely as that is, it is a good idea to ask your vet to check for a crypt and if it is unclear ask what the cost will be if they discover a crypt.

At Albuquerque Vetco we offer low cost spay and neuters. We believe that everyone should have access to high quality low cost veterinary care. Call to make your appointment for your dog’s neuter.

What You Always Wanted to Know About Service Dogs

With Labor Day coming up, this is a great time to celebrate some of our unseen laborers, the service dog. Service dogs use to meant seeing eye dogs. The role of the service dog has greatly expanded and they have become more more common members of our society.

A service dog is a dog that helps someone with a disability. That dog has been trained to perform tasks specifically for the person with the disability. and has had specialized training for the disability. The disability can be mental or physical.

Kinds of Service Dogs

There are many different kinds of service dogs, and we don’t mean breeds, though there are many different breeds of service dogs as well.

  • Guide dogs that help people with vision problems from impairment to full blindness.
  • Hearing dogs to help deaf and hard of hearing people.
  • Mobility dogs that assist people in wheel chairs or with moving imparements.
  • Medical alert dogs that detect the onset of medical issues such as low blood sugar (diabetes), anaphylaxis, seizure.
  • Mental health dogs to help with OCD, PTSD, schizophrenia, anxiety.

These dogs are working dogs, they are not pets. This can be confusing because we are use to dogs being pets. When these dogs are with their humans they are working. This means they are taking care of their human. Never pet a service dog without asking their human first. Many people do not want their dog to be distracted when they are working. Are they always working? No. They are given time off from work. Their “down time” is usually defined by the type of training they have.

The Bigger the Dog the Bigger the Service?

There are many different breeds of dogs that become service dogs. The size of the dog is important to the kind of service they are providing. You would not want to have a chihuahua pull a wheel chair but they could be good for PTSD or hearing services.

German Shepherds, Labs, and Golden Retrievers are the most common guide dogs.

The breed of the dog is less important than the training. These dogs are extensively trained to be desensitized to distraction, to be reliable, and perform very specific tasks. They are trained to only respond to their owners while they are working and to always be paying attention to their human in case the human becomes in need. Trying to distract a service dog is not like trying to get the Queen’s guard to smile. They are helping and protecting their human. Getting distracted could be dangerous to the health and safety of their human.

The Service Uniform

There is no required uniform for a service dog. If someone tells you their dog is a service dog and the dog is not wearing anything that does not mean that they are not a certified service dog. On the other side, a dog wearing a special harness or vest does not mean that dog is an actual service dog. A good example of this are emotional support animals. These are animals that are meant to provide comfort to their human and help with many mental/emotional conditions such as anxiety, but these dogs are not trained as service dogs. For the dog to qualify as a service dog they have to be trained in specific tasks related to the disability. Being a comforting presence is highly valuable but does not qualify as a true service dog. Therapy dogs are the same as emotional service dogs. They provide happiness and comfort and provide incredibly valuable services but they are not official service dogs.

Training a Service Dog

A service dog is not required to be professionally trained. Anyone can train a service dog. There are also training classes you can take to train your service dog.

If you are considering training your own service dog you want to look for certain qualities in the dog:

  • Calm in unfamiliar settings
  • Alert or paying attention without being reactive
  • Smart
  • Good in a variety of different situations and enviornments
  • Reliable and consistent
  • An interest in pleasing their human

If you are interested in getting a service dog, there are a lot of trainers/breeders out there that can match you with your perfect service dog to fit your specific disability.

On this labor day as we recognize the hard working people of this country, especially our essential workers who have been showing up to work in the face of Covid-19, lets remember that our service dogs are essential workers too.

What Causes Pressure Sores on Dogs?

pressure sores, old dog
Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

What are pressure sores? They are small bald spots that are typically hard with callous on your dog. You will often see them on their elbows or hips. Pressure sores are caused by your dog laying in place for too long or from highly repeated movements such as getting up and down in the same way.

Pressure sores are more typical with older dogs or overweight dogs. They are similar to bed sores in people . As your dog gets older they tend to move around less. They also will have more difficulty with getting up and down. Often they will kind of collapse down onto their elbows instead of lowering themselves down. The regular trauma to the area of dropping down onto their elbows and prolonged periods of time of laying in one place causes these pressure sores to develop in the more boney parts of their body, mainly elbows and hips.

These pressure sores are also called decubital ulcers.

Symptoms of Pressure Sores

  • Stained hair where the ulcer or pressure sore is located
  • Hair loss
  • Reddish patches of skin
  • Hardening or thickening of the skin to form a callous
  • Fluid filled areas on the bony parts
  • Ulcers, open wounds, or abscesses
  • Licking and worrying of the sore

What do you do about pressure sores?

Unfortunately there is not much you can do about them once they have developed. Prevention is the best option. You can help prevent pressure sores by helping your dog get up from laying down, provide them with a soft bed to lay on, keeping the bedding clean, keeping their fur clean so it doesn’t mat in those areas, helping to keep them mobile through exercise.

If your dog has pressure sores you want to make sure they stay clean. If they are getting really hard you should put moisturizer on it. If they crack and bleed you may need to put antibiotic ointment to help prevent any infection. If you do notice an infection or oozing of any kind you need to take him into your Albuquerque veterinarian to have the sores looked at. If there is an abscess it may need to be drained. If your dog is overweight, putting them on a diet and exercise plan to help them shed some of the weight will help take the pressure off the sores. If your dog is really old and is mostly immobile, you should rotate how they are laying and change their position so they are not always laying in the same way and on the same spots.

Most of the time if you keep an eye on the pressure sores they will be fine. If you are concerned you should speak with your vet. These are a big sign that your dog is getting older and may need more assistance from you in general.