Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hope update - not so great news

You know, the absolute worst words to hear from a vets mouth are "that's weird..."

It's been a week since Hope had her stitches put in and we have gone through more boxes of melolin, gauze and wrap this week than I care to count. I'm fairly sure the pharmacy must think I'm running an illegal hospital given that I'm in there every day buying heaps every few days.

After the surgery, her foot was a bit swollen but I didn't worry as I figured it was a bit of bruising due to the general trauma of snagging herself, surgery and a few stitches that had been underlayed. While changing bandages there wasn't really any bruising
though, just swelling. But it looked healthy and she is on clavamox so I decided just to wait and watch. Evening of the third day after her foot was very puffy but the wound was still looking healthy and poking and prodding didn't feel like infection, so I chalked it up to the surgery being a bit more rigorous than Jayne had made it sound, coupled with Hope having pulled off the bandages irritating it. As of last night it began weeping clear fluid, so I guessed lymph and the "normal brusing and swelling" was more like edema. This morning it was puffed up about 3x the normal size and began weeping heavily. It still looked and smelled fine, fluid was clear as water, no temperature, her food and drink intake has been fine and it didn't appear to be tender. It was weird enough I figured I'd have Jayne take a look and sooth my niggling worry-wart feelings.

First thing first, we weighed her and she's lost a kilo in a week - this is despite her intake being fine and actually a bit extra (mince to put her clavamox in 2x day).

She looked at it, examines the stitches and the puffy areas... pokes, prods and goes, "Hmm... that's weird!"

"She's been having her antibiotics?" Yes. "And no fever?" Nope. "Intake is fine?" Pft. She'd be dead before she'd turn down food. "Bandage wasn't wrapped too tight?" Nope - I was careful to wrap it loose and evenly and the swelling didn't relieve when I left the bandage off. "No other discharge?" Nope. "Hm... How long has it been swollen?" Well almost from the start a bit but getting progressively more so but I'd figured it was because of the trauma, underlaying stitches and general surgery. "I didn't underlay them that far though, so that wouldn't explain it and there was no damage to the lymph that would explain the leaking." She paused, looked closer at the stitches and pointed to a little blackish spot in the middle of the healing wound where there's a tissue deficit, "What's that black spot there?" I said I didn't know, I'd thought it was a blood clot. "No, there was no blood vessel damage," she frowned, "and I don't like to see black spots in my surgical wounds." Hm, well we agree on that but bad black spots usually are quite obviously not healthy and this didn't look like that. "Some dogs form a pocket..." she mused. "Yeah but it was a clean, dry, simple wound - was there enough there to really form a pocket?" "No, not really." She continued poking, decided to lance the spot. Nothing. A few more moments, "The fascia was in tact..." Well not that I've got the lovely DVM to go after my name but yeah, it looked fine to me too. "But the only thing I can think is if the barb wire jammed something up in there that I couldn't see. So if it doesn't respond nicely in the next few days our best option may be to go back in and see if there's anything we can find."

IOW exploratory surgery. Razzafrazzing vet, those are dirty words in this house! Meantime Hope is rebandaged, sporting an elizabethan collar, got a 20 kg dose of metacam tonight and a 15 kg dose thereafter and we've got some Frusemide for the next few days so she'll be weeing constantly but hopefully it'll reduce the fluid and decongest the area.

Will try some comfry poultices later and massage the area or use pressure bandages if it keeps puffing up.

There was a funny moment today though, at the vets when Laurent was chanting, "Mum! Mum! Mum!" and Jayne asked him, "Laurent, can you say 'Jayne'?" I don't think she really expected him to answer but he looked at her and rather indignantly said, "Yes!" She blinked and said, "Well then go ahead and say it!" He looked back at her and said, "Jayne!" (Haha... little did she know!!! She thought it was cute!) "Yes?" "Jayne?" "Yes?" "JAYNE!" "Yes?" "Jayne? Jayne! JAYYYYNE!!! JaynejaynejayneJAYNEEE!!!"

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