Remember the little black puppy that we ended up with when a couple of college students wised up and realized they really were not supposed to have puppies in their apartments? This puppy was sold to the boyfriend as an AKC Pit Bull. Only the thing is, she only faintly resembles a Pit Bull and has topped out at a whopping 32 pounds. She has a little pit in her, but a whole lot of mutt going on.
So here we are, the home of a pit-mutt puppy pushing 7 months old. The boyfriend wants her back this summer when he moves into a house that allows dogs. So we are her home for now. And as responsible pet owners, we made the arrangements to have her spayed last week. They also recommended that for pets her breed (Pitt-Mutt?) that we should have her dew claws removed. On Wednesday last week I dropped her off early in the morning.
Warning: The following pictures are graphic and not for the weak of stomache.
Do not scroll down if you do not want to see.
You have been warned.
The procedure did not go as well as planned. Of course, no one told me this until I went to pick her up at the end of the day, after the vet was already gone. The vet tech came out holding her on her back, all bandaged up and totally out of it. The story I got was that she had had a little bleeding so they bandaged her belly and to bring her back in the morning to have it removed. Oh, and here are pain meds for the next 5 days, she is going to really need them.
Here is how she looked that evening. She cried constantly, couldn't stand up, wouldn't eat or drink and was absolutely miserable. The pain meds didn't even seem to take the edge off. I slept with her all night to try and keep her calm. Well, not so much sleeping as just holding her. First thing the next morning we were at the vet's office when they opened. They took her back and soon returned with her tummy un-bandaged. They walked us to the door in a hurry. I asked to talk to the vet and was told she was already in with another patient. They told us to come back again the next day to re-check her.
I got her home and got my first look at her incision site. Oh holy heck is she bruised up! Also very, very swollen. She did stand up long enough to pee, but spent most of the day whining and lying still. She drank but didn't eat much. She would only get up if I coaxed her into it. See the bulge in her belly down below but parallel to the incision? After the swelling went down it is more pronounced and concerns me greatly.
Now it is Monday and most of the bruising and swelling is gone, but she still has that large bulge. I am worried it is a herniation of the interior suture line. I hauled back up to the vets office to have them look at it again. Once more they whisked her to the back and I waited. The vet tech comes out and says the doc is worried about infection in her dew claw areas so they have re-bandaged them and are prescribing antibiotics. That will be $67 please. I ask about the bulge and she says the vet is on his way out to talk to me. (Of course he is, he isn't the one who did the surgery so has no need to hide) He tells me hei s concerned about her paws, I tell him I am concerned about her bulge. He rolls her over and looks again and says it because she has been licking at it, see the purple marks? (Insert sounds of kettle drums beginning to roll in the background)
Oh heck no, that is the last of the severe bruising she had immediately after the surgery. Her incision line is clean and dry and has not been licked. (I actually said i was not buying that bull. Hee. Go me!)
So then he tells me it must be a reaction to the sutures.
OK, then why is it beside the suture line and not under it? Why is the skin not red? Why is she not trying to lick at it and why is it not tender?
Umm, well, maybe that is where the internal suture line is.
I stood there toe to toe and looked him in the eyes and then began to tell him exactly what it was NOT and why. It was not belly fat, it was not an infection, it was not a reaction to the sutures. What it was was a shoddy job. See Doc, how there are only 5 external stitches and they are spaced very far apart? That was someone in a big hurry and who didn't care. And if they were in that big of a hurry with the part that shows, then what the heck did they do on the inside? See how the incision is too low and too small? Again, someone in a hurry. But that made it hard to reach the uterus so they had to push and pull more than necessary and that caused a lot of the bruising and swelling. See Doc, how she was bruised with dark purple (that is caused when a lot of blood is under the skin) and see how she is still developing new bruises? That was deep bleeding, not damage to the surface layers. See how she was bruised from her chest to her thighs? I then proceeded to tell him that I had pictures and was sending them to specialists in the field that I knew.
At this point I began to feel sorry for the guy. He looked like a deer in the headlights. He then told me exactly WHO did the surgery and that I would be seeing that person on Friday. I told him Thank You and we left. I could almost hear the sigh of relief as I walked away. (Oh and the vet tech told me how sorry she was and she would have done the same thing I did)
Can you see the bulge? It is longer than the suture line and is lumpy and firm, not like normal swelling. I just hope her guts don't pop out....