It is almost totally healed but I have been meaning to write about this a couple of days ago.  I also noticed that the articles I wrote about this had seen a spike in hits – meaning that there are people researching the WP blogs for info they can get their hands on regarding the swollen testicles of their precious labrador pets.

Well, 2 weeks ago I noticed Beans’ testicles were red again.  Aaarrggghh I remembered what the vet said “next time it happens, let us cut them off…”

Well, I think my Beans will have to miss out on the mating experience and would just need to remain a virgin if I followed that advice right away.

I immediately gave him antibiotics ( the same one we humans consume) following the advice of the vet previously.  It helped a bit but the swelling was still going on… well any infection needs to run its course eventually but I started applying the antibacterial cream we had from the previous swollen-ness experience.

Beans would not like it at all.

Our neighbor has a guava tree – and here in the Philippines, young guava leaves are used to  help speed up the healing process of circumcision during the summer.  It is what was commonly used as antiseptic and its sap was said to expedite the healing process.    I got some young leaves and boil them for several minutes.  I added salt and let that simmer for awhile.

I would use that (when it is tolerably warm) to bathe his testicles. Make sure that it is not too hot – so maybe you would need to let it cool a bit after boiling.  I would splash his part of the body with that guava mixture and towel him dry.

Trust me… even Beans felt the comfort from that.  I would do that daily or even twice during the day.  After the treatment, he would go back to his house and sleep.

But I also took Beans back to the vet for his proper medical treatment. Once inside the clinic, Beans showed nervousness when he saw the doctor again by hiding his tail behind his legs.  He “remembered” who the doctor was.  That was the first time I saw him act like that.  He would usually be very expressive around other people by clamoring his attention.  But for the first time, he was nervous.

The doctor did not ask me to put the mouth cover on him anymore – but clearly he did not want to approach him either. “He will surely bite if I touch it because that is really painful…”

So I ordered Beans to climb on the chair and when he did, I picked him up and placed him on the vet’s table. Picked him up? You bet and boy, did I really feel those 30Kilos on my lower back!

He got injected twice ( antibiotics and vitamins) and told me to give him antibiotics tablets for 10 days (2x/daily) – I was already giving him cotrimoxazole and he said there is no need to have the antibiotic tablets changed.

I would smash the tablets and mix it in his food. Made sure that he finished his food everytime.

His balls are healed now.

And make sure that during the treatment process that he does not wet that area for a long time. So I stopped throwing balls for several days and just let him stay in his house and I would occasionally let him roam and bark at the stray cats outside the fence.

I asked 2 vets if that will always happen. The 1st one  basically said – “since their balls are exposed… they are most prone to infection caused by bacteria or mosquito bites…”  . The 2nd one (the one who treated the Beans) said that “that is why,  if he is not a stud, why don’t you have them removed?”

Well good thing I could not afford the procedure which would cost  Php 4,500.

Just one of those things that come with taking care of an adult male dog.

The other day, I told my wife how this blog generated a lot of hits.  I wondered if the phenomenon is quite common to all dogs.  This article would somehow end up as one of the TOP POSTS almost every week.

https://compassionateconsiderations.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/lessons-from-the-swollen-discomfort-of-sgt-beans/

The article though was not about the medical help – but the processing of thoughts after the whole experience.

I thought I would share some more helpful things now for the dog owners.

So if your dog (in my case, Sgt Beans, my black lab) is having swelling on its private parts – maybe you can consider what I have learned from my research and from what the vet had told me.

1. I did not take action right away because I thought it was just one of those things that will go away anyway.  SO WHEN YOU notice something that is not right, INSPECT. LOOK and ASK questions.

2. I did my research when the swelling was a lot greater. I could have saved Sgt Beans from more pain had I acted right away.

3. I researched through the internet – and GOT SCARED BECAUSE diagnosis is more important. I was inundated with WHAT IF questions.  One vet student mentioned a virus that could infect humans. I researched that and got afraid because it said, it is dangerous when it comes in contact with human skin.

4. Yes it is going to be costly.  But PETS like children are costly anyway.  I tell myself that is ok because “Sgt Beans won’t have to go to college anyways..”

5. If your vet is like a good friend, maybe you can work out a reasonable payment plan.

6. Sgt Beans was injected twice on that visit. Then I was told to give him antibiotics (the same antibiotics we take as people).

7. The antibiotic cream helped a lot too.

8. CARE FOR THE DOG:  Sgt Beans likes water a lot.  I just have a tub that we fill up for his needs esp when the temperature outside is really high.  MAKE SURE THAT THE WATER IS CLEAN. THROW the water after one using.  I thought I could save more by reusing it for BEANS. BUT NO.  The bacteria may have already infested that water – and do not allow your dog to lie down on the tub using the old and already dirtied water.

9.  SGT Beans would always mark certain areas (pee certain areas)… and sometimes these areas are places he considers his haven as well esp when the sun is OUT.  Under the bushes, next to a tree etc.  When the vet said that he may have been lying down on his urine, I vehemently said NO because Beans has a house and the house is somewhat elevated.  A couple of days later, I realized that there are at least 2 areas where Beans would mark most of the time. He would also lie down on those areas.  It had been raining and the mud, mixed with what used to have been dried urine, have stuck on his soft testicle skin covering. In time, the bacteria had eaten away the soft covering.

10. Maybe you could pour hot water on those areas where your dog marks the most. Lessen the bacteria from cultivating.

11. Every time Beans has his bath, or his play in the tub – I always make sure that his balls are wiped dry with a clean towel.  CLEAN TOWEL.  When it rains and he plays outside, I make sure I dry that part of his body before sending him back to his house.

12. Carefully apply the antibiotics that the vet will prescribe. Make it as pleasant as possible.

13. Give positive reinforcements before, during and after placing the medications.

14. It was easier to apply the medications when Beans are slightly pressed against the wall (on all fours)…

I hope these things are helpful.  It took less than a week for me to see major improvement on his privates.  Up to now, I still reinforce the command “raise leg…” and he would give me access to check, to wipe , inspect and to just make sure that he is okay down there.

This blog is from my thoughts after Sgt Beans, our black labrador went through some horrifying ordeal in his doggy life. I could have entitled this blog as it is, but I would rather have the real point come across better than the illustration covering the event.

Sgt Beans developed a swelling in his testicles. It started out just his testicles turning red – and in a couple of days, got really swollen. Alarmed, I sent sms to two of the vets in the area and asked them what could have possibly caused his testicles to swell like that. They only answered “please take him here so we could inspect.”

Undeterred, I asked a veterinary student about Sgt Beans’ condition. He said something about a virus which I checked online, and then got me really scared. The virus could spread even to humans. I sent another sms to our vet and asked if it was possible for my labrador to have contracted such virus, he just simply said, “please come and I will have a look.”

Gave Beans a gentle bath and really avoided bumping his swollen parts. And once dried up, took him to the vet (which was thankfully, less than 5 minutes away).

Dr. Hernandez just got done with an eye operation on a small fuzzy dog, I can’t recall the breed right now. He motioned for us to get inside the room and we did. Beans was his friendly amiable self until Dr. Hernandez asked me to put a muzzle on Beans. I did not even know how to use it. Beans struggled and when I gave him my stern command, he didn’t resist – but I could hear the muffled, resistant groan.

And this was where we heard the first judgment.

“This is the first time I have seen a labrador growl at his master”. Dr Hernandez said. “This has never happened before…” My wife and I didnt say anything at that time but hours after the vet visit, we were able to process how that statement also affected us.

We carried Beans to the metal table. He had stopped struggling ( I thought the muzzle was too small for him…) and Dr. Hernandez inspected Beans’ testicles.

There it was. The wound that got really infected. There was a clear line of broken scrotal sac and it was red and bluish and gory looking. He gave Beans 3 injections and gave us some clear instructions. We were supposed to get him an Elizabethan collar so that he will not be able to lick his wounds especially after the medication has been applied ( 2x a day). But the collar Beans need would be a size 25 and the biggest they had at the clinic was 15.

Off we went. We were just thankful that it was not that virus that was texted to me. Got him some ointment antibiotics, betadine and a regular antibiotics.

The first night, Wifey tried to make an Elizabethan collar that would fit Bean’s neck. I’ve got to hand it to Wifey. She talked with Beans. Gave him pellets as reward until the makeshift elizabethan collar was already around his neck. Perfect.

But we could not staple it together and the cardboard material would bend every time Beans would slump his body on the floor. It wasn’t just working. It was also difficult to put the Betadine on his scrotal wounds because he would just try to get away from me. I was feeling really flustered already but I knew it had to be done.

The following day was a great day. I could see right away that the redness of the swelling has dissipated a bit and his testicles has started to shrink. Not much but it was noticeably smaller than the previous day. And it got easier to apply the Betadine on his testicles and then the antibiotic ointment.

Now he does not even get afraid of the cotton balls and the betadine liquid. The tube of antibiotic is no longer a fearful thing for him. I have actually taught him to raise one of his legs when I would say “raise leg, raise leg” – he would lift his leg a bit to give me room or would allow me to lift his leg so I can put the medication.

Starting the other day, he would just playfully lie on his back and just would allow me to put medication on his testicles. And every time I would apply medication on Beans, I would always hear myself defending Beans from the comments of Dr. Hernandez.

Here are my insights from that comment and the life application that I could glean from.

1. He was in so much pain yet he could not properly communicate it to us.

In a lot of pain, muzzle over his face, pain in his testicles and my dog was being judged for indicating he did not like what was happening to him.

People who are in pain do not necessarily know how to communicate their pain. All they know is that many times, the discomfort is too much that it saps their energies to be engaged in small banter or meaningful discussions about things that do not concern them. And perhaps, many people around them have trivialized their pain – that is why many of them would rather be quiet.

2. He has never worn a muzzle in his whole life and just putting it on a dog would be enough for them to be threaten esp in an environment that they are not used to.

Sometimes unknowingly, we put muzzles over the people who are in pain because we do not know how to draw them out. Or maybe we are already tired and worn out from listening and have entered the compassion fatigue phase. We would rather put a muzzle on them because we could not endure another moment of hearing the same pain rehearsed before our ears. We just do not want to be affected anymore – thus their pain becomes theirs to bear alone, even when we are in their company.

3. If you have swollen body parts, the last thing you would want is to have someone closely inspect it and poke it. And yes, the medications? They may be good for him, but they do sting. Sometime people just wipe you with medications without really caring if it stings or not.

I remember during one of my Masteral classes in Counseling, our professor reminded us that ” you will know the counseling theories and you will know how to apply them. I hope that even you will not be so good as to just rip a person’s mask off without even hearing it rip.”

We can get to be too clinical when addressing their pain.

Or there are times when we become too spiritual that, as we address their wounds, they feel judged as well.

In helping people deal with their most private pain, we may know what is good for them or what medications to use. Please be gentle because even the most beneficial medicines do sting early on in the treatment process.

Sgt Beans is healing well. I had just applied Betadine and then the antibiotics on him. He was steady and still as I applied the medication, waiting for me to finish. Once done, I gave the command “House” and he walked straight to his house. Sgt. Beans was not a spoiled dog as my vet had judged him to be. He was simply in a lot of pain that was very difficult for a young, and playful male labrador to deal with.

Next time you are around a person who is in pain? Remember Sgt Beans and be very gentle when you deal with their private pains.