Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Vet School Success
A quick diary entry today as it is a very big milestone in my journey to becoming a veterinary surgeon, I know I need to catch up on my diary however have exams both tommorow and Friday to study for as well.
So today I performed my first castration surgery on a living breathing animal!!! Whoooop!
Ok, now thats over with here are the details! I’m taking a class on small mammals which is a elective class (aka non-compulsory) as I believe these smaller creatures to be just as important as the larger ones. Today we were given the task of castrating some pet rats, now I know that its a common assumption that these are too small to operate on. However if you have ever had the pleasure of meeting a (uncastrated) male rat, I am sure that you will agree in terms of their body size they have relatively large balls.
So now talking in terms of castration it is a relatively simple and common procedure which is why I believe it is one of the first we learn. From a surgical perspective it is similar to that in cats. So diving off topic for a minute here something I feel important to highlight is that the surgical procedure between dogs and cats (and rats) is different. This is because of the position of the testicles in relation to the penis. In dogs there is space in front of the testicles to make an incision, whilst in cats (and rats) there is not.
The procedure in cats and rats therefore is different in that the incision is made directly into the scrotum over the testicle. Now anatomically there is a septum (or divider) within the scrotum mean each testicle sits in its own compartment which requires a seperate incision for each testicle. Once this cavity is opened and the testicle is exposed the vessels leading to it are ligated and then the vessels are cut. This is basically the ultimate test of the entire surgical procedure as if this is not done correctly then the vessels which are like elastic are pulled up into the abdomen and will bleed inside causing the death of the animal. Now once this is done, as rats are close to the ground the surgical site is closed with sutures to help prevent infection.
Now my procedure went fine, I did not have any additional bleeding and the closure was neat, with that I now need to study anatomy for tommorows test.