Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sad for my dog.

Libbie's stitches were removed around 8:30 this morning. Around 3:00 this afternoon, her laceration split open and we're now back to square one. I was told by the vet tech not to take her to the dog park because all of the running might split the wound open, but that it would be okay for her to get it wet. So, I took her to Ice Lake, a little pond up on the Air Force Academy's property. I kept her on leash until we got to the water's edge. Then I let her off to swim. She went in the water after a ball and came back with blood streaming down her leg. Sigh. Oh the frustration. After $400 in vet bills, her paw pad looks like it did before we even went into the vet's office. Plus, now there's the added annoyance that it's become very difficult to get her to walk into the door of the vet's office. She does not like it there.

I brought her home from the lake and irrigated the wound with saline (per Dr. Oz's instructions), slathered some neosporin on it (and in it), and bandaged it up. I don't know what to do next. I know what my options are: keep bandaging it myself, let the vet bandage it every three days for $17 a pop, let the vet re-suture it for $400, or amputate the paw pad and stitch it up for probably another $400. It just seems like there's no way it's going to heal with repeated bandaging. Even if I keep her in the house for the next month (minus bathroom breaks, of course) it still gets wiggled around when she walks up and down the stairs or gets attacked by the cats (not kidding -- Anna went after her today and attacked from behind using both her paws and all her claws). I'm starting to think the wound is not going to heal properly as is and that her paw pad probably has to be amputated.

I guess I'm mostly frustrated because we've already lost two weeks of doggie fun in great weather to this wound and I don't like to think about losing another two weeks (which is the best case scenario at this point), much less the entire summer. I just love seeing how happy she is to go running with her dad, rollerblading with her mom, frolicking at the dog park with her pals, swimming in the lake with the ducks. Now she just looks depressed...which could just be her mirroring my emotions.

The thing that's nagging at me is knowing that this whole situation could have been avoided and that it's pretty much all my fault. I shouldn't have let her off leash where I knew she would probably take off after a rabbit. If I had gotten her out for her exercise earlier in the day (read: if could get out of bed an hour earlier), we would have had time to run around somewhere else or time for a long walk that would tire us both out. But, I let her off leash. I didn't have time to walk her before it got too dark. And now she's suffering because of it. Grrr.


Michael said...

awww! im sorry to hear about that! i really hope you dont amputate the paw pad. that just sounds like the worst option ever!!

carrie said...

so sorry to hear about libby! i know when finn has problems, it just devastates me. not to mention it's incredibly expensive! i really think you should have the vet stitch her back up and then, take it easy for a few weeks until the pad starts to heal. then, of course, once the stitches come out, just take it easy for the first few weeks. keep us posted on what happens!

Michael said...

i second that!!

Hillary Dickman said...

I called the vet's office today and didn't really find out anything new. The tech who answered the phone recommended bandage changes until the pad heals. I think I'll call again tomorrow and see if they'll agree to see Libbie just to discuss our options without charging me for a doctor's visit. Yes, I can afford the $30 or whatever dollars it is to see the vet, but I think it's reasonable for them to spend a few minutes looking at her leg and giving me an assessment without charging me for another visit. Just on principle.

I changed her bandage today and the wound is actually looking pretty good -- definitely not infected and not oozing anything gross. At this point I'm nearly convinced that sewing the pad back on is not going to work. There's just not enough skin to work with around the perimeter of the pad. I think I'll either have to do bandage changes (which, thankfully, I can do competently without the help of a doctor) or have a doc remove the pad. But, I think if we remove the pad the skin will be too tight and may bust open again.

We'll see what the vet says...if I can get an appointment. If they won't see her for free, I will ask for copies of our records and find a new doc. There are plenty of them around -- ours just happens to have the prettiest building but not necessarily the brightest docs. I would prefer to take Libbie over to the specialty clinic for a new opinion. The doctor there who worked with Nacho when he had kidney surgery is really sharp and I trust him and his partner, but they're in high demand.

Hillary Dickman said...

Libbie went back to the doc yesterday and had staples put in the wound to close it up. She still has her paw pad and is not allowed to go for walks until it's all healed -- hopefully in two weeks she can get the staples out. The doc did it for free and it only took about fifteen minutes...crisis averted.

Now I'm just left wondering...why didn't we do that the first time? Whey the general anesthesia, blood tests, stitches, and multiple bandage changes?? Oh well...