FVRCP vaccines for healthy eyes; a spay saves a life
June 1, 2010

Over the last several weeks, the Methuen vet team has treated animals with some unusual needs.  Most days are spent performing spay and neuters on the cats, dogs, and rabbits placed for adoption – so it’s really exciting when the vet team, with their varied fields of expertise, are able to help animals with unique medical conditions.

 

On May 6th, Dr. Wilmot spayed a young cat that came to us with a ruptured eye.  The likely culprit is herpes virus, related to both calici and rhinotracheitis viruses.  When cats are vaccinated with their yearly FVRCP vaccine, which we refer to as their “distemper” vaccine, they are protected from a multitude of diseases – including those that result in herpes.  The cat’s eye couldn’t be saved, so it was removed at the same time she was spayed.  Fortunately, she is doing well!  But had she been properly vaccinated, this cat would likely never have suffered the eye rupture.

 

 
Chadwick, recovering in foster care after eye enucleation surgery and a casted broken leg

The following day, a young kitten presented with the same eye condition.  His eye was removed during his neuter the same day.  Both cases are examples of the power of routine vaccines.  The cost of treating an eye rupture is substantially more expensive than the cost of the vaccine.

 

On the 14th, Dr. Wilmot performed an emergency spay on a four-year-old dog with pyometra, an infection of the uterus.  When the dog was originally surrendered, her family and the MSPCA staff felt she might be a clear decision for euthanasia, due to her failing health over the previous two weeks.  Fortunately, though she was quite sick, this young dog was saved with a simple spay surgery.

 

Pyometra occurs in animals that have given birth to at least one litter, though the condition can result at any time later in their lives.  One treatment option is antibiotics, though the infection is guaranteed to return with the animal’s next “heat” cycle.  So what’s the best way to prevent pyometra?  Easy – spay your pet.  Not only does this prevent unwanted litters, which add to the animal overpopulation problem, but it also prevents a multitude of health problems.

 

This sweet dog was adopted less than two weeks after her life-saving surgery.