Adventures in the Peace Corps

Cache Gets Neutered – Panamanian Style

I decided that it was about time to have my dog’s balls cut off so I figured I’d ask around in the nearest town and see what could be done. I went to an agriculture store and inquired about any vets who could perform spays and neuters and they laughed and said people usually just do it themselves (this is mostly a farming town). I decided to pay a visit to the local farm animal vet, Martin, and see if he was in. His sister invited me in and chatted my ear off about the Comarca Ngabe-Bugle and the people and her job (teacher), gave me spaghetti and juice, and called up her brother to make an appointment the following morning. 

I showed up at 10 the next day and the vet’s mother took me out back and called to him across the street. When he eventually came over, he led me to a wooden operating table in his backyard. After brushing the sawdust and animal feces off the table, he lay down some newspaper and started gathering his equipment. The me that is accustomed to shiny, spotless, aluminum tables at the vet offices in America was a little worried at first so I asked him a few times if he’s done this procedure on dogs before. He said yes, horses, dogs, pigs, whatever and he proceeded to inject Cache with an anesthetic. He seemed to know what he was doing and also seemed to have all the equipment he needed so that was pretty reassuring. He told me to sit next to Cache and hold his head in case he wasn’t fully knocked out (which we learned he wasn’t after he tried to bite the vet for shaving his balls). I had the pleasure of sitting in on the surgery and watching him cut my dog’s testicles off and gently place them next to me on the newspaper. I had witnessed a couple of spays and neuters when I was volunteering at the Humane Society in Atlanta but this was very different. At one point 4 of his buddies came over to hang out and they all talked and joked while Martin was holding Cache’s ballsack together (Testicles still sitting on the table).

The whole experience was really quite interesting and although I’m sure there’s a reason that vet’s in the States allow zero germs in their office, I’m not sure if it’s totally necessary for the health of the animals. I started thinking that maybe it has more to do with giving the pet’s owner peace of mind and assuring them that it is a clean establishment.

Now Cache and I are taking a few days to let him recover and heal up before the hike back into site where I will baby him as much as possible and continue to be an overprotective parent.

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