Friday, February 24, 2012


MAXMOM here...

Hello there everyone,

Some of you will be aware that my sweet hooligan has been had a serious post-op side-effect after his recent surgery.  I know that people are concerned and I thought I'd take a moment to explain it publically...  

After much research, talking and advice from various sources, I elected to have Toby neutered.  My decision has been conscientiously considered. He's recently become very difficult to handle in public places and I am scared that his behaviour may morphe into dominant/aggressive behaviour which I cannot control.  He has become very unfocussed when he is out in public and is seriously distracted by other dogs, whilst refusing to obey me (despite being very firm with him)

Whilst I know that neutering  is no guarantee of a change in behaviour, I feel that much of Toby's is indeed testosterone related.  My gut feel told me that in his case, it would be the best for both him (and me) to get the 'op' done.  I am petrified of dog-fights (as you will all know from my book MAXDOG) and wanted to ensure the best outcome for his maturation and for our long-term relationship.  I also wanted to feel comfortable about taking him to run freely in the dog park.  So the decision was made.

Toby was castrated on Tuesday morning but unfortunately has been one of those patients that has suffered all the dreaded side-effects.  Within 24 hours he developed a large scrotal odema.  (I could paste up pictures, but I am not going to - they aren't for sensitive viewers)  In addition,the incision became neucrotic (despite stringent efforts to protect him from infection - keeping him indoors, quiet, etc, etc) and he had to go into surgery again today for the surgeon to try and fix it up.

They cut quite a bit of 'dead' tissue away and the swelling is likely to remain hectic for a few days.  He's been on anti-inflammatories, anti-biotics and pain-killers for the past 4 days.  He's back home now, but very sleepy.  Hopefully he'll heel up soon. 

Trust Toby to be the one dog, in how many "hundreds", to have the side-effects to what should generally be a fairly simple procedure. My heart aches for him though.

I know that the jury is out there with regard to neutering and that the public is divided.  I hope that everyone is not too cross with me about my decision for Toby in particular - effectively withdrawing him from dog shows.  But, to me, it is was the most responsible decision I could make.

I am sure that he'll be back to his old self in a few days.
Get better my 'Sweet Hooligan'!

Sending lotsaluv to you all


Scout and Freyja said...

Caryl, you know how I feel about spay and neuter - I'm all for it. Poor baby boy to have such a bad time with his operation. It is very commonplace here in the US to spay/neuter companion animals so I can't imagine anyone in the US not agreeing with your decision. If they do, ask them to go into an animal shelter and look into the faces of all the dogs and cats looking for a home.

Sending many healing thoughts to your sweet, sweet boy.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Caryl, I had no idea of what was going on with Toby--I'm so sorry that he's had some complications from his surgery!!!! I'm sending healing thoughts and prayers that he mends just fine and his hooligan antics return!!

I end by saying that while I am of course a very strong advocate of spaying or neutering, once again I admire you again for making the best decision for your boy and for you. Don't allow ANYONE to make you feel like it wasn't!!

Amber DaWeenie said...

Sending Toby good vibes and lots of crossed paws. Feel better soon, Toby. Know you're not very happy right now, but you'll be a lot better off in your later years!

Nanük said...

All our prayers and pawsitive siber vibes for dear Toby!

RA, Isis & Nanuk

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Hi Maxmom

We are sending healing wishes to Toby that he recoops fast. We are also sending healing magic bubbles.

The decision you made was the best one you could have made. We are behind you 100 percent in this decision for Toby.

Jake of Florida said...


I just saw your comments on FB and now have read the whole story here. Knowing how you operate, I know you explored all the pros and cons before deciding to neuter your "sweet hooligan." As Scout and Freyja said, here in the US, spaying an neutering is very common and accepted, so no issue with jyour decision.

So the only remaining thought in my mind is keeping your boy quiet and calm until the swelling and any infectiongo down and he can be hs happpy self again!

Wirey woofs from the Boyz,


Jake of Florida said...

Oops, sorry for the typos above!!!

Pippen said...

Our paws are crossed for Toby! We think you did make the right decision too.

Sam and Pippen

bbes tribe said...

So sorry to hear Toby had ill effects from his surgery. BUT we are all for the decision to have him neutered. Good thoughts and paws crossed for his quick recovery. I am with a dog rescue here in the States and I see the other side on not having pets neutered or spayed. Know it must have been a hard decision for you. We are also behind you 100%
Ernie,Sasha,Chica,Lucas,& Dixie and Mom Barb
PeeEss: all us pups are rescues who would have been euthanized.

Kathleen Coy said...

Aw, poor Toby. Sorry it's been so difficult for him.

When my Brittany Benny became 'of age', he started losing weight because he was so full of testosterone he didn't care about food anymore - all he could think of was finding a girlfriend. He seemed a lot more content after he was neutered.

Sending lots of love to you both!!


Mrs. JP said...

Firstly, we are sorry for Toby's troubles and hope he heals well and quickly. I think it is absolutely the best thing because it might can keep him from getting prostate cancer one day. Besides the testosterone issues which I've experienced in Charlie and the surgery didn't change him but kinda mellowed him.
Those cones can be a nightmare for all involved. Because Charlie is essentially my shadow, when he wore his I constantly had bruises on the backs of my legs when he'd run into me.
Poor you and Toby,,,prayers from the holler...

Beth said...

Caryl, I am so sorry for Toby's complications. You made the right decision. If you are not going to breed, spay/neuter is the responsible choice. Hope and pray Toby is soon well.

The Heartbeats said...

We are all for spay & neuter. There are just too many unwanted dogs & cats. Of course, we are not against "responsible" breeding. Nonetheless, it is awful what Toby is going through. Bless his...ahem... heart!

Love & Hugs,

Mamma Heartbeat

Bouncing Bertie said...

Oh dear, poor old Toby (and you). But thanks for the explanation. I do hope the infection and swelling subside soon and I am sure he will be on tip tip form again, and perhaps a little calmer. I think in your position I would have made the same decision regarding neutering.

Here in Scotland, I would guess that most, but by no means all, male dogs are neutered. As you may have inferred, Bertie is still intact. When I adopted Hamish aged nearly 4, he too was intact and I asked the vet if I should have him neutered. The vet said that if there were no behavioural problems then he felt it was unnecessary and I went along with his advice. (I was, I confess, rather ignorant about dogs at this point). When I acquired Bertie as a puppy, I truly intended to have hime 'done', but when the time came, I had this really strong gut feeling that I liked him as he is, and was loth to do anything which might slow down my delightfully feisty, bouncy pup. He's great with other dogs, and comes when called, more or less, so that is not a big concern. Neither does he seem frustrated or go round attempting to 'hump' other dogs (unlike his friend the otherwise lovely flat coated retriever Jake....) I am aware of the dangers of testicular cancer etc. and with my head I cannot entirely justify my decision. Perhaps you will be pleased to learn that even I am not always governed by logic!
Cheers, Gail.

Dexter said...

I think neutering is a private decision that should be made by informed owners (Mango is intact, Dexter is neutered). You seem to have made a good decisions for your situation. No reason to look back. I'm sorry that Toby is "one of the few" but I also know that he is getting the best care possible and I am sure he will recover and be back to his old self soon.

Mango Momma

rottrover said...

Sending healing vibes to our favorite hooligan! Feel better soon, Mr. Toby. BTW, Gizmo and I got neutered like the minute it was medically OK. Something about having two male rottweilers...I don't know. I've had a very happy life!

-Bart (and Ruby, a rescue who was spayed when we got her)

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

I know you well enough to know you made the choice based on careful thought ~ and in Toby's best interests. It's very sad he's had such a rare reaction but he will get better and you'll be able to put it all behind you. Sending you and Toby much love and purrs.

Jan xx

Sheila and Bob said...

You did the right thing, no question about it. We never had plans to breed any of our dogs and they have all been neutered.
We have found it makes for a much calmer dog.
As you said unfortunately Toby was the one guy out of thousands who has had problems.
We pray for a speedy recovery and we know that in the long run you did what is best.

Sheila & Bob

NanaNor's said...

Hi there, I'm sorry that Toby is still suffering the side effects of the surgery and will pray for a speedy recovery. I feel that he is your love and you know what is best for him and you; but I had no idea that a dog couldn't be in a dog show if it was neutered. May he be back to his romping self soon. Sending lots of love your way.
Hugs, Noreen & Reggie

The Life of Riley said...

Get well soon Toby.

Love and woofs,
Riley and Enzo

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Caryl, we all know you are a responsible and loving dog owner so obviously you have done what's best for Toby. We're sorry he's been unwell, but hopefully back on track real soon. I am a great believer in neutering only because of the vast number of strays here in Oz. We all do what's best for our pets, its a personal decision. Have a great weekend and hugs to Toby. No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

Molly the Airedale said...

I hope you feel better soon, Toby! I'm sending lots of AireZen your way!

Love ya lots,

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

I am so sorry Toby. I will cross JUST MY FRONT Paws fur you buddy.

Every situation and the decisions made are different. No judgements HERE.

Sherri / 2Rescues said...

I'm sorry Toby is having all these problems. All of my male dogs have been neutered. I have them for pets, not showing, so I've never had to consider it from a show perspective. I got two of them from rescue groups, and they were neutered when I got them. They are healthy, but I think one was neutered at too young an age, because he is 5 years old and mistaken for a female. He has a very delicate look, like he never went through dog puberty. There's not judgment here on's a personal choice - just like such choices for people.

24 Paws of Love said...

I don't have any opinion, but that I hope Toby is able to heal quickly and safely. We will keep our 24 Paws crossed for you and him.

My Dog Sam - Ruptured Disk said...

Hi Maxmom, neutering is pretty much standard practice up here. My brother Owen and I were up and around in no time. Our vet did it with a laser and we healed up in no time. No cones or anything. We're hopeful that Toby will be up and over this soon and be back to his normal, happy self.

How Sam Sees It said...

That is partly the reason our own sweet Monty came to us - his neuter surgery went awry and he became very sick with similar issues. The first picture we ever saw of him the swelling was so bad his whole abdomen was grossly distended. It does get better!


MySpecialDoggies said...

Sending healing thoughts to Toby & paws crossed for a speedy recovery. It's possible that he had these bad reactions since he's older than the recommended 6 month old age for neutering.

Extra licks from Neeli,
Nadine & golden Neeli