The rear end rescue blog - an anal gland surgery diary
Surgery day + 1 day
by, 1st February 2012 at 06:14 PM (1193 Views)
Warning – today it is a very long post with explicit photographs below!
Homecoming today! We had prepared for a few days with dogs without bladder and intestine control:
I and the dogs move to the spare bedroom for the first days; if accidents happen only one small bed has to be cleaned.
- Next to the bed I have placed two of their baskets/cradles, if they feel more comfortable there during the night.
- Lots of clean towels and soft cloths to clean them if accidents happen. They must be really soft, or you can use cotton.
- Chlorhexidine, a mild antiseptic.
- A small bowl to mix medium tempered water and chlorhexidine when they need cleaning (several times a day)
- A38 (a kind of sour cream, with less fat) to mix their painkillers into. They eat anything if it is mixed with A38! One spoonful of that, and they are in heaven.
- Time and patience to take them outside a lot of times the first days.
- Lots of Ajax and toilet paper to clean after them; they will be dripping faeces the first days/weeks.
- Old washable blankets to cover the furniture they normally rest in. The blankets may need washing a couple of times a day, so you might need a few. We just use the cheap grey blankets you can buy in most pet stores.
- Short leashes ready at the front door, when they need to go out.
- Closing doors to rooms, they shouldn’t enter (our normal bedroom for “safety” reasons and rooms with carpets, where there is a risk of scooting and then ripping the stitches).
- Apparently a lot of old clothes for yourselves – Éowyn is really clingy and will only sit on my lap, which is impossible without accidents. I’m wearing my third pair of pants today.
Other things to consider
- FOOD: Don’t change the food or give your dog “new” treats while he/she is recovering; do that before or a few weeks after recovery. The intestine system needs to function as normally as possible.
- THE FLOOR: Beware of carpets and rough tiles; they mustn’t be allowed to scoot on those (stitches again).
- CLEANING: When cleaning them I use medium hot water (approximately 38⁰C / 100 Fahrenheit) and pour a spoonful of chlorhexidine into it. I use very soft tissues, soak them in water and almost dap on their behinds. Some poo might hit their legs and tail, and I am very happy that they were cut very short yesterday. It makes it a lot easier.
- ACTIVITY: Short walks only, in a leash.
- CONE: Until the stitches are removed, they need a cone. Sabby posted some links for an alternative cone, and if you now a few weeks in advance that they need a surgery, Sabby’s cone looks really comfortable. Molly and Éowyn are wearing the traditional plastic cone.
- THE WOUND must be checked daily to make sure that it doesn’t get swollen or red. After the first couple of days it should not look fresh anymore. If clear fluid keeps coming, contact the vet. If the fluid gets yellowish, there might be an infection, and you contact the vet again. If they get any signs of fever, contact the vet.
- MEDICATION: They have been given antibiotics for 8 days and liquid pain killers for the first 3-5 days. I can get more pain killers on Friday if necessary.
That was all the precautions and preparations! You might think that it is a lot, and that all those preparations are too much for you and your dog, but: Most of it were things we had in the house anyway, and I have everything ready, so I don’t need to leave the dogs for the next week.
Back to Molly and Éowyn. They are now sleeping, Molly next to me, Éowyn in my lap. Especially Éowyn has been really clingy since they came home three hours ago. I am jumping ahead in time, before we got to the sleeping part, the following happened:
I was told to call the vet at 10 a.m., and I passed the time clearing out rubbish and prepare for their return. At 9.30 a.m. the vet nurse rang and told me I could pick them up right away. The night went well, and she told me that all tests were fine, and that they were the happiest two dogs, ready to come home. I was at the vet one hour later; it’s a 10 minutes’ drive, but I had some things to finish, before the house was read for them.
First of all, the vet who operated and the vet nurse went through the results, their antibiotics, painkillers and some of the precautions written above. They both told me that Molly and Éowyn were happy and easy to take care of. As soon as they could, when they woke up after surgery, they had been wagging their tales. The vet had spread their food out on the floor, so they could search for it – they stormed around, happy as ever, searching and eating.
As regards Molly’s teeth there was nothing else to do but continue the dental regime we started a few months.
The best news was that her blood test about the low amount of blood cells was not a sign of grim disease. She does have the capability to produce red blood cells; the number is just below normal at the moment. Three weeks with liquid iron supplements (the one you buy for children) should do the trick. HOORAY!
I got a bag of their medicine, different leaflets with good advice for the teeth and this anal gland surgery, and paid. All in all it was £1268, but: It was TWO dogs, and Molly also needed a dental, and removal of four teeth. Included is all medicine for the next days. If you look at Éowyn alone, who “only” had the anal gland operation including anaesthetics, blood test, and medicine, it was £520. My vet uses another technique than the traditional one, where they “cut and remove”. Here they use paraffin to make sure that all gaps are “cast” out, and then they stitch the anal glands in each side. This method is safer and with better prospects for a total recovery.
Then, finally, it was time to see the girls. They were SO happy, and Éowyn tried to jump up and lick my face. I wonder how many scratches her cone made? But, honestly, GOSH, they were smelly. I was prepared, but still. At the vet they left small pieces of poo on the floor, and I now knew what to expect. The vet had prepared me very well, and I am really happy about their treatment of and attitude towards the dogs.
Back home they were washed gently in the behind. It takes a while, because you have to be so careful. The tail and back legs also needed washing, and the smell vanished.
I mentioned their clinginess. Funny enough Molly is usually the clingy one, but when Éowyn is sick, she gets really out of character. Normally she is happy and very active. Now she just sits/lies as close to me as possible. I bet, when Christian gets home, she turns to him; he is the pack leader. I’ll have to remind him to wear old, washable pants ;-)
They are tired now and will be for the next couple of days. Small traces of poo are left when they sit or walk, and my main function is to remove and wash, remove and wash. Now it’s evening, they have had their dinner and a dose of pain killers. Molly copes well; she is quiet and tired, but she poops less involuntarily than Éowyn, who seems a bit scared and confused over this. It’s especially when they get up in a rush or sits down, and there seems to be pressure on the lower parts. But it’s like having baby twins with diarrhoea, apart from the crying, I guess ;-)
Their treatment: Pailkillers, antibiotics and chlorhexidine.
Molly day 1.
Éowyn day 1. Sorry for the specific description, but you can see how the poo is more fluid and difficult to control.
Finally they’re asleep. You can see their short haircut. I know it’s too short for cavaliers, but right now I tell you it’s practical. You can’t avoid their tail and legs to get dirty the first days.