THE BIG THING: There have been some questions and surprize about Ayla's 2nd spay operation. Since she is a little uncertain about all this, she asked me to explain a bit...
1. Summary: When I originally arranged to adopt Ayla (nee Isabel), the nice cattery lady (Heather) said she would have that done the day I was to pick Ayla up. I was pleased, because that saved me both the trouble and expense. Ayla was spayed in January 2008.
A few weeks later, Ayla went into heat. My vet and the operating vet both said that can sometimes happen a few times after a spay operation. When the 3rd heat cycle occurred in April, I contacted my vet for an exam to confirm that Ayla was indeed in heat and not suffering some other problem. A test confirmed the hormonal cycles were continuing.
When I contacted the operating vet, he suggested waiting one more time, but did say that if it continued he would do a followup operation at no cost. When she went into heat again in May, the operating vet was off doing international charity vet work.
Ayla was relatively calm during the Summer (one heat cycle in July), so I thought it was fading away finally. Her heat cycles resumed every 3 weeks in early October...
By that time, I was focussed on Skeeter's worsening kidney problem and the behavioral difficulties that followed from that. I should add that both vets had suggested very little possibility of success in a followup spay operation.
The day after Skeeter went over The Bridge, Ayla went into heat again I contemplated the idea of going through that for the next 15 years and started doing some research. To my surprize, reputable websites generally said that a followup spay operation is routiely successful. I contacted the operating vet a few days later (my own vet was reluctant to followup on another vet's surgery).
The original operating vet was surprized to hear that Ayla was still going into heat, but agreed at once to do the followup operation. Though his staff failed to return my calls to arrange a visit, I reached the vet on his cell phone at 6 a.m. the planned operation day and he agreed to see her first thing. His office is an hour's drive away. So I had to grab Ayla and drive off fast.
Ayla had her operation, and the vet, knowing I was just killing time far from home, returned her too me in 3 hours. I drove Ayla home, but she had to stay in the cat carrier until the anasthesia wore off. We will have to wait and see if the followup operation was successful.
The vet did find what he thinks is a tiny amount of ovarian tissue. Interestingly, he also found an undisolved "disolvable" suture from the original operation.
2. About the operating vet... The operating vet seems unusually experienced. He has performed about 75,000 spay/neuter operations nationally and internationally, and mostly for charity and animal shelters. He says there have been 5 times that he knows of where the spay operation didn't work. I googled him and he seems to have a sterling reputation. My own vet said that he himself has performed about 25,000 spay/neuter operations and 3 have not worked. And he says followup operations were not successful.
3. Options... The operating vet is researching pharmacutical solutions in case the followup surgery doesn't work. My vet mentioned to me last Spring that such are available but "dangerous". If it comes to that, it will matter whether "dangerous" means a 5% chance of problems or a 50% chance of problems. But we aren't at that point yet...