When I was considering Dixie (and other dogs) for adoption, I’d read as much as I could about them on the shelter’s website (Chicago Canine Rescue), PetFinder, and Petango. One thing I found a bit surprising is it listed Dixie as not spayed. The subject obviously came up during the adoption process. Dixie was originally relinquished to the city “pound” (Chicago Animal Care and Control). Chicago Canine Rescue transferred her to their shelter when her time was coming to an end, on February 14. Dixie had I adopted her on March 14.
It seems the veterinarian did not observe a spay scar when Dixie was transferred (or admitted). However, symptoms of kennel cough were evident, so her spay surgery was postponed. Therefore, she had not yet had surgery when I adopted her. I was still able to take her home by making a spay/neuter deposit, refundable upon proof I’d had her spayed.
I joked with my friends that Dixie was saying “Why do you keep saying you’re having me fixed? I’m not broken!”
A week after I adopted Dixie, I took her to my vet for a check-up and to schedule spay surgery as well as a dental. I could have had her spayed through the shelter, at no cost, but Dixie’s teeth needed cleaning and I wanted to have everything done at my veterinarian’s practice.
My vet also did not observe a spay scar. However, upon incision, she could locate no ovaries or uterus. She enlarged the incision – but still located no reproductive organs. She called in the owner of the practice for a second opinion – nothing. Dixie had already been spayed. She may have been spayed at an early age, and therefore did not present with a scar. In fact, this is why so many clinics (especially those working with animal welfare organizations) tattoo a scar on an animal once it’s spayed.
While I regret Dixie had unnecessary surgery, I am glad she had the dental cleaning. Her teeth were much worse than we initially believed. X-rays revealed she needed more than a cleaning. A back molar had fragmented and the tooth as well as the broken fragment needed extraction. A front canine was also in poor shape. The vet was able to perform root planing and save the tooth – for now.
So while Dixie had an unnecessary abdominal exploration (and a resulting unnecessary cone), she also had nice clean shiny teeth.