…sometimes you don’t. Advance apologies to the guys who read this blog.
We took Harley to the vet today. Not only to introduce him to our vet, but to get him neutered. I’m not sure why he hadn’t been altered by the previous owners, although it may have something to do with the fact that he was a purebred and registered with the AKC.
The fact that he’s a papered German Shepherd is all fine and dandy with me, but since we don’t intend on breeding him, we feel it is best that he be altered. I’m a big advocate of spay / neutering programs so it took me the whole of twelve hours before I gave our vet a call and scheduled the appointment. And the only reason it took that long was because Paul brought him home in the evening and I couldn’t call the office until the next morning.
Since we were relieving one of our animal family of his manhood, I figured today was just as good a day as any to band Ishtar’s little male kid.
For years I went back & forth about how we would deal with castrating the non-breeding male goats on the farm. Basically, you have three options; Cutting, Banding or using a Burdizzo.
Cutting is just what it sounds like. Restrain, pull, cut, yank, apply iodine (simplified a bit).
Banding is done with a really thick rubber ring that is stretched over the scrotum using a tool called an elastrator. It cuts off the blood supply to the testicles and after a few weeks, the dried up dead scrotum sack falls off (hopefully someplace where the dog won’t gulp it down).
Elastrator and castrating bands
Then there’s a contraption called a Burdizzo. Basically it’s a clamp-plyers-looking-type-of-thing that is made to crush the veins and sperm cord that supplies blood / sperm to the scrotum and testicles, basically “killing” them.
There are pros and cons for each method. Cutting causes an open wound. Banding seems inhumane to most folks. Using the Burdizzo is a bit (but not much) more complicated, some are not made as well as others and may not always guarantee a castration the first time around.
I really, really thought we were going to use the Burdizzo. But after much reading, much deliberation and actually finding out what is customary for this area, we decided on using the elastrator and bands. I may eventually buy the Burdizzo though.
We did our first castration using the elastrator three years ago and after seeing how well it went, we continued that method. Does it hurt? Although I can’t speak from personal experience, I’m sure it does. But the goats that have it done don’t seem to be uncomfortable for too long. They kind’a kick their back legs around a bit, walk a little funny for maybe half a day, but other than that, they seem to go back to having goat-kid-fun in no time. We only had one kid that really verbally complained about it. He was pretty pathetic sounding, but I’m sure if we gave him the option of keeping his boys and ending up in the freezer, or losing his buck-hood and going to a home to be a glorified lawn mower, he’d pick the testosterone-less grass muncher.
Now I’m just waiting for the call from the vet so we can pick Harley back up. Hopefully he doesn’t totally hate me now for dragging him (literally) into the vet’s office this morning.
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