Qwerty has a cut, I am on the phone with his daycare and my heart sinks. It’s behind his shoulder, in a place that will be very hard to heal. Wonderful, he is a young, active GSP and now I am going to have to keep him QUIET? He needed stitches, somehow he got himself real good.
This was the first time Qwerty had to get vet care where I wasn’t his technician, it was after hours for the clinic I work at and it tore me to pieces to have them take him to “the back” without me. When your veterinary technician tells you they understand, trust me, we do! It was a long wait for a phone call telling me they were done. I picked up my baby, 4 stitches later, and now I had a task ahead of me…try to keep my high energy baby quiet and calm while he healed!
First off, he did not go outside without a leash on, fully supervised. A tie out isn’t good enough to keep your dog from running. Qwerty was on a 6 foot leash for every potty break, in 7 ° F weather! Let’s just say, not fun, not fun at all.
Cone collar. That’s right, when I was not able to watch him and whenever he was in his kennel the cone went on. When I could watch him I would take it off, but when he started to go after the wound, it went back on. The bruises on my legs are a testament to how much I hate the cone, but it is a necessary evil to make sure he wasn’t able to chew sutures out or cause infection.
T-shirt. Now, I will fully admit Qwerty looks adorable in clothes, but I am not one to just put him in clothes for no reason. He has jackets for winter, but that’s pretty much it. Qwerty’s wound was on his side, a place very easily reached to scratch open with his paws, that meant he needed some extra protection. Thus, his handsome preppy shirt.
Now that the wound was protected it was to to keep him quiet! Not an easy task for a year and a half GSP who is used to 15-20 miles a day! I had to use the kennel more than he had needed in a while. Whenever I couldn’t really keep an eye on him he was in his kennel, very much like when he was a puppy again. Whenever he was in his kennel his cone was on. We were also lucky and after talking to Qwerty’s trainer got him in a NoseWork class! This is a type of class where Qwerty only needs to walk and sniff, no running, but excellent mental stimulation. So once a week he got to get out of the house, see other people and dogs, as well as use his brain. We also had the foundation to practice this at home!! We also got a few new treat toys and puzzle toys to help keep him mentally stimulated.
The power of medicine. Qwerty was put on an antibiotic and anti inflammatory pain medication, but I also opted to take home a medication to help keep him calm. I did this after talking with the doctors I work with and only use this when I know that he will need it. The point of the sedative was to help take the edge off, not make him so sedate he couldn’t do anything. This just helped assured he wouldn’t do anything too stupid.
I also made sure that I was checking the wound regularly. At one point the stitches did break open and we had to re-suture the area. Wounds are extremely frustrating, but as long as you are attentive they can heal just fine with minimal maintenance.