When Your Pet Is Sick

Posted in Mixed Nuts on November 24th, 2008 by MadDog
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Sheba has a hurt leg. This is the story of that.

I’ll begin by warning that this post contains some unpleasant photos. The first two aren’t too bad, but the third one is not nice at all. If you’re not ready to see an injured dog, then skip past this quickly.

It started with our need to have Sheba spayed. There are many mangy dogs around here, so the less contact she has with them, the better. There are also some very ugly doggie STDs which I don’t even want to know about.

Without going into any details, let’s just say that the person claiming to be a veterinarian clearly was not. This is not an attack on him. However, I would advise him not to come back to Madang. Several others whose pets he treated are looking for him. Me – I’m a peaceable guy. I just don’t want him around my dog.

The main problem is that he injected the anaesthetic under her skin instead of into a vein. She lay on the table struggling for a half hour until he wanted to give her more and I said something quite unpleasant to him.

Within two days the skin over the area had died and she began to lick it off. That was four months ago.

Here’s Sheba with her bandage:

Sheba with her bandaged leg

The worst problem was to keep her from tearing it off. We wrapped two layers of tough medical tape over the gauze and used honey as an antiseptic. The trick turned out to be to wet the bandage and then thoroughly paste it with Dr. Wong’s Sulphur Soap – the most horrible tasting soap I could find (yes, kiddies, I did taste-test several varieties):

Sheba's bandage

After the first two weeks, she stopped bothering the bandage and life got a little easier. At first, we changed the bandage twice a day.

This is what it looked like about two weeks after she licked the skin off:

The injury after two weeks of bandaging

As you can see, new skin is already beginning to grow in from the edges.

A month later, it looked like this:

Sheba's injury after about two months

Fur is starting to grow on the new skin.

After another month, it was looking better still:

New skin growing slowly but steadily inward

It has now healed enough that we do not need to bandage it:

Thin new skin covers the remainig area of injury

There is no more bare tissue. The pink area is very thin skin. I don’t know if her fur will ever cover the scar. At least she doesn’t seem to even notice it. It’s ugly, but she’s well again.

So, what’s the point?

Well, I guess if you live in an area where you can get good care for your pets, then I’d suggest that you take a moment to be thankful for that – it’s one less thing, as Forest Gump would say. You might want to consider adding your vet to your Christmas card list or whatever.

Our vet back in Brownsburg, Dr. Dale Steele, gave us advice by email. It was very helpful. He’s the same fellow who supplied us with very posh free housing the last time we were in Indiana. All in all, he would be at the top of my list of People I’d Trust With My Life.

If you’re in a situation similar to what we have in PNG, then all I can say is be sure that someone offering to treat your pet is fully qualified to do so. Be there while it’s happening, Watch what’s going on. If you have any doubts at all tell the guy to stop.

Sorry for the gory photos. If you’re a pet owner, you’ll understand why I posted this.

Happy dreams.

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