Thursday, January 26, 2012

Castration - STAT!

I performed a STAT castration this week. A nice family had purchased two rabbits, and were told they were both the same gender. But—over the weekend a litter of baby bunnies mysteriously appeared in the cage. So I castrated Daddy, and hopefully we’ll be spaying Mommy soon.

It’s pretty common that we’ll see kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. that are supposed to be one gender but turn out to be the other. This leads to some embarrassing and amusing exam room moments. I have one patient, a 10-year-old neutered male cat named “Belle,” whose owners still refer to him as “her” because they were told that “she” was female as a kitten.

It’s rather harder to mistake a male dog for a female, but it happens. We recently saw a new puppy, a German shepherd named “Sarah.”
Vet: “Um, Sarah’s a boy.”
Client: “Really? The breeder said she was a girl.”
Vet: “Yes, that’s his penis right here.”
Client: “Oh, I wondered what that was.”

The moral of the story is: Gender should be verified by a professional.


  1. I take my rabbit to an exotics practice, and every single doctor there has trouble identifying his sex. Without fail, "Are you sure Teddy is a boy?" One new doctor spent about 5 minutes groping him and saying "Come on buddy, where's your junk? Ooookay, there it is. Yup, boy."

    It irritated me that when I had two (one passed away) people were always "Oh right, two boys because you don't tons of babies." or "How do you keep them from doing what rabbits do?" And I'm all "They're neutered! And if I had a female, she'd be spayed! Because that is what responsible people do with their pets! And because unspayed does mark their territory far worse than males and then get uterine cancer and die."

  2. I tried neutering a female rabbit today. Owner swore up and down she was a boy, was "100% sure" because she has 'seen things down there'. I now have your rabbits uterus to prove you wrong!

  3. My young bun Jemima became Jeremiah when he started humping my cat. Sometimes you can't tell until they "come of age"!

  4. hehehehe, awesome! I have a cousin who had two male cats and called them both she's. When asked, "you know they are male, right?" Their answer, "she doesn't mind."

  5. I follow Mark Abraham (@marcthevet) on Twitter and he recently posted this gem:
    'Client just now was convinced his female puppy was male. "Erm male dogs have a willy" I said. "It comes out when they're older" said client.'


  6. My favorite sex change was a kitten named Spiderman that belonged to a 4-year-old boy. After the exam and breaking the news that Spiderman was in fact a girl, we heard him crying and pleading in the lobby with his mom to not change the name. She was doing a great job keeping it together. I don't blame him though; Spiderman is an awesome name for a cat!

  7. I know I'm late to this party, but I actually had a vet tell me that the stray adult cat I brought in to have checked out since its tail had been bound by some troublemaker and was literally rotting off was a healthy adult tomcat (paid for the care myself, btw.) Wasn't until after the follow-up for the tail amputation surgery that a visiting vet at the practice pointed out that my healthy tomcat was, in fact, a spayed female. With a strange cat recovering from surgery I hadn't gotten all that close to check it out myself and it was a very fuzzy cat.

    That was the last time we saw that particular vet though. I figured I'd take my business to someone who didn't sex animals by pure conjecture and assumption.

    But we still called him a he and just told people he was our transgendered kitty.