November 2, 2006
Colton Tigers Undergo Successful Procedure
With the help of several volunteer veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians, PAWS' veterinarian, Dr. Jackie Gai, performed surgical castrations on 11 of the male tigers from the Colton abuse case. The surgeries were performed on two long days, October 17th, and November 2nd.
A highly skilled team of veterinary professionals generously donated their time for this huge project. Each tiger was anesthetized and a full physical examination was performed, including blood tests to assess each animal's overall health. For many of these tigers, it may have been their first physical exam ever. For Spanky, it was a recheck exam to see how he has been doing since he was diagnosed with pancreatic insufficiency shortly after he arrived at PAWS. We are delighted to report that Spanky has gained weight and seems to be in very good health now that he is being treated appropriately for his disease. Most of the tigers appear to be in good health, a few have some degree of dental problems.
Performing these castrations is critical for two main reasons. First, it permanently eliminates the possibility that any of them will breed and produce offspring again. Secondly, it may help to reduce aggression within the group. Many of the tigers are housed in small groups, which provides them with companionship but also can lead to fighting and injuries especially when intact females come into "heat" or estrus.
There are only 5 intact male tigers left to neuter, and several females that need to be spayed. The remaining males will be neutered on another day in the near future. The females will be spayed one at a time, as this is a more complicated surgery best performed in a hospital.
We are grateful to the veterinary professionals who so generously donated their time, talents, and resources to make these neuters happen, and we are pleased that all of the tigers have recovered well from their surgeries.
Jackie Gai, DVM