Monday, April 03, 2006

Gross Dog Tales

The following post should not be read by people with particularly weak stomachs, right before a meal, right after a heavy meal, expectant or nursing mothers, or those with immune disorders.

So I'm starting to think our middle dog, George, (75lbs) is a bit accident-prone. We hadn't had him six months when, on his first trip to the ranch, he cut a neat hole in his hind leg on a barber-wire fence. Last year, you may recall, he managed to get a bump on his face (possibly from a scorpion sting) and was forced to wear a cone. This also resulted in my having to get a new keyboard.

Late one afternoon about two weeks ago now, Jacob was on his trampoline and Trish and I were inside the study when we heard a God-awful series of doggie yelps. We rushed outside to find George dashing about with a BIG gash in his side. Skin, muscle, fat layers…no bones showing, fortunately. Eight inches long, I'd guess. Straight to the vet we went, where he got stitched up and had to stay overnight.

First day or two back went okay, but then he nibbled a stick or three loose and I had to take him back. Well, it was okay aside from the fact he had a big tube stuck in him to help drain the gunk out of the wound. Gunk which was dripping out on the floor, and the dog beds, and what-not. Most of the floors are tile, so, no big deal. It wasn't all that much, anyway.

So I took him back for the new stitches. While there, they removed the drain tube. So of course, he swelled up around his wound. Lotsa fluid. A few days later I took him back, fearing an abcess and an infection. While I held him, the vet made a small incision and drained a big pile of bloody gunk out. But the good news was that it was clean gunk. No infections. A few days later, though, we had to do it again.

This next paragraph is going to be particularly gross.

The doc seemed pleasantly surprised that I could stand there while this was going on. As I explained to him, I spent a lot of time on a ranch. While I didn't go into detail with him, what that meant was the following: Dad used to notch the ears of cattle we vaccinated with his pocketknife. I used to wield the syringe with the vaccine. We gutted birds with our bare hands, and I got to see deer guts, smashed snakes, etc. up close and personal. This latter stood me in good stead when Trish had to have a c-section and I looked over the curtain after the birth and saw the docs almost literally pouring her guts back into place. So dealing with a dog who had bloody serum squirting out of his side under controlled conditions was no big thing.

A few days later he lost some more stitches. I think it was an accident of some kind, and it happened on a walk. Yes, I took the dogs on a walk despite George's stitches. They all needed the exercise or they were going to tear up something, perhaps each other. So anyway, this opened a new hole, and we got more drainage. It never really stopped draining, this hole, so after another day I took him in again. The vet looked pleased, cleaned him up, and said he was doing fine. We'd just leave the stitches out there in order to allow the draining to continue.

This draining was a lot worse than the prior stuff with the tube (I hope I can get the stains off of the stuff he has been laying on). Thursday we went back for a scheduled visit. This time, the vet removed most of the stitches on purpose, but left a few in just to be safe. Still with the cone, still with the draining hole. Tuesday (tomorrow) is another scheduled visit, probably to remove the last stitches. I'm, betting he won't, but I wish he would plug that dang hole. I can put up with some fairly gross stuff; that doesn't mean I like it.


Mike said...


Or get a dog which is a big smrter.

Jammer said...

You don't want to know what we've had to do with the cats.

Jackie said...

Poor George. I am sure he will be glad to get the last of those stitches out and be done with the drain too!