Tag Archives: pu

The Master of the PU

23 Sep

When I was a wee receptionist, I had to be taught what constituted an emergency and what didn’t. For instance, if a client calls and says their pet is having a seizure, and it’s an emergency. It IS an emergency. If a client calls and says their pet sneezed once this morning, that is NOT an emergency.

One of the weird things that is an emergency is a male cat straining in the litter box. Neutered male cats have narrow urethras, and if they get stones or blockages, it can lead to serious complications, even death, due to a ruptured bladder. The condition is painful and can be recurring.

There is a solution. Though it is not a pretty one. It’s a surgery called a Perineal Urethrostomy (in most clinics it’s called a PU). Or in simpler terms, amputating the penis. I happen to work with the leading PU surgeon in the world, Dr. G.

Dr. G estimates he has done over 3000 of these procedures in his life. At one time, he was flown to France to perform the surgery, while it was filmed and broadcast to veterinarians around Europe. Another way in which this man is a total badass. Last Friday I got to help him with one of these procedures on a chronically blocked cat named Cuddles. He came in on his day off to do it as Dr. S was too afraid to perform the surgery himself. I was excited to see the master at work. Although (like a good technician), I spent the majority of the procedure monitoring the patient’s vitals, adjusting anesthesia, and handing Dr. G different surgical instruments, I did get to see a lot of what happened. His hands were quick and nimble and before I knew it, the penis was removed.

Everyone left the surgery suite, except Dr. G and I. He sutured open the new urethral opening and let out a sigh.

“You know, Chris, I’ve done so many of these surgeries.”
“I know! You’re the master.”
“I’ve done it so many times that I have visions, and I have them a lot.”
“About the surgery?”
“Well, I have these visions that in my next life, a cat performs this surgery on me.”

That’s the hardest I’ve ever laughed at work.