Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Really Nasty Post about Dahlia's Wound

I'll apologize in advance for this post, which gives me the heebie-jeebies just to look at even as it fascinates me. Because even though large, open, oozing wounds with underlying muscle and fluids clearly visible may not be most people's cup of tea, some will find it useful as a reference in case they encounter such a wound themselves. 

So Dahlia had a small lump, that the shelter vet decided to remove. 

The incision had to be large because they had to remove a lot of the tissue around it, in case it was cancerous. The good news is that it wasn't; the bad news is that the incision is on the edge of her butt, in an area that gets stretched every time she sits, stands, stretches, pees, poos, walks, or basically does anything.
Feb 20

With the result that a few of the stitches on the original incision pulled out within a few days of when she had the surgery. 

Now the first mistake I made was letting Dahlia move around too much when she had those staples. The second mistake I made was to take her back to the vet when a couple of those staples ripped out, instead if just keeping her still and letting it heal. 
Feb 24

Because the vet then put even more staples in, making the surrounding skin even tighter, which meant that a good number of those staples ripped out the very next day, 

probably when we went for a walk and she saw another dog and launched herself onto Fozzie as he reacted. 

Feb 26
Ick. When I saw that, I hauled me and Dahlia all the way back to the clinic. But the vet said that basically there was no point in sewing her back up, there was no more skin to stretch and the thing would surely rip open again. 

So I brought her home with a weeping hole in her leg, and no stitches no bandage no antibiotics, oozing bloody fluid all over, getting dust and dirt and dog food in the wound, and making me feel just a bit faint anytime I happened to look in the direction of her butt.

Apparently such things heal--they just take longer, about 3 weeks, as the skin grows in around the hole, while with stitches the skin can grow back together in as little as 10 days. And better to leave them unbandaged, as the oozing keeps it clean and having something on there would just trap bacteria, possibly leading to serious infection. 

I heard that a product called Granulex could really speed healing in open wounds and that animals with wounds larger than Dahlia's had healed OK in a couple of weeks. So I ordered some, thinking I could just do this at home. 

Feb 28
Then it started looking like this. 

At which point I freaked out. 

Took her to the emergency vet, where they kept her overnight and cleaned that sucker, gave her some heavy duty antibiotics and pain meds, and gave her a bandage that is actually sutured to her skin and has to be changed daily by a vet. 

She'll be staying at the shelter for at least a few days until that gets better. 

Holy crap! I thought this post was going to be a much different thing, with a bit of icky stuff at the beginning and then an inspiring story of healing. Sure didn't go that way.

I think I'll stop now. Here are some goats to make up for what I put you through. 


  1. Holy moly! To be honest the last pic (of the bandage, not the goats) is the one that creeps me out! Ugghh! You poor thing (and Dahlia too except that I'll bet she notices it A LOT less)!

    I'm glad my news feed reader decided goats should be the preview image for this post...

  2. I love the goats. And we're sending Super-Strength POTP to Dahlia!

    -Bart, Ruby and Otto

  3. Hard keeping them still, isn't it? :) Yes, we too have been back and forth to the vet with an open wound that wouldn't stay shut. Poor Dahlia! We hope she is starting to heal and give you a much needed break!

  4. Oh my goodness poor baby. Sending lots of hugs your way
    Lily & Edward

  5. Poor Dahlia hugs to you

    retro rover

  6. Hi Kirsten, thanks for the warning. My dad and I had to scroll down really fast to this spot to leave you a note. We hope that Dahlia will be okay and that it doesn't sting very much (or at all). It's been sunny and cloudy most days up here. Around 48 degrees during the day and dropping to or near zero overnight. Cold enough to drop a good cover of frost on car windows. But we have blooming camellias, daffodils and stuff. Farmers are worried that the cold, frosty nights will harm the strawberry and blueberry plants that are 3 weeks ahead of schedule.

  7. Oh my gosh poor Dahlia! It's so hard when they are recovering and trying to keep them quiet. I hope she heals up fast.

  8. I don't think I can look at that again. It started okay, and then omg! Yikes!

  9. We hope the healing is coming along. Where can my wife and I go to see her. We are looking to adopt and she looks like such a sweetheart.

    1. She is actually coming home with me this afternoon! email me ta peacefuldog at yahoo dot com and we can set something up.


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