Anyone know how to stop a dog messing with a wound?

A couple of weeks ago I was playing with Geoffrey when I found a lump on his shoulder. Although the chances were that it would turn out to be just a fat deposit, I thought I’d better get it checked out. A visit to the vet, £279 and three days later I return with my dog, minus the lump that has been sent for histology and plus a 3 inch incision with 14 stitches.

For the first night the dog just lay about whimpering gently and looking very very mournful I do have a picture but for some reason it’s failed security protocol on here so I’ll have to tinker with it!). He got much fuss and much attention.

The day after he’d perked up a lot.

A week on and he’s discovered a fun new game to keep himself amused while I’m at work, it’s called ‘Bugger about with your wound and see if you can get it to open up again’. Wonderful.

Friday – I put a new dressing over the wound, pinched froma  friend who is a district nurse. Dog removes dressing, eats half of it and then spits the rest over the living room floor.

Saturday – I customise a turquoise vest top to cover the wound. It looks absolutely bloody ridiculous, like an episode of ‘pimp my hound’ but it does stop him chewing his stitches. Saturday night while we’re asleep dog removes vest top and shreds it all over the landing. Vacuum cleaner then sucks up a bit of shredded vest top, produces a lot of smoke, and a horrific burning smell then ceases to function entirely. 

Sunday – I spend the day shouting at the dog every time he touches his stitches. He spends the day sulking and pretending he can’t see me.

Monday – We return to the vet’s for a check up and he informs us that we’ve done really well keeping the dog off his stitches and the wound is healing nicely. I am quietly proud.

Tuesday – Things aren’t looking quite so neat and tidy when I get in from work to find that the bloody dog has not only removed three of the fourteen stitches himself but has opened up the bottom end of the wound and made a vile looking scab in the middle. He is clearly very pleased with his efforts, me slightly less so, as I am the one who had to fork out a fortune for the bloody things and am not thrilled by the idea of having to pay to get them done again. I wrap the dog in about 13 miles of crepe bandage. The dog promptly removes the crepe bandage then ignores the vet’s instruction for ‘light exercise’ in favour of dragging bandage around the garden, jumping up and down on it and shouting.

Today – I have bought an age 3-4 years t-shirt and a further 13 miles of bandage. I did try and match the t shirt to the dog but unless I had a light blue, green or white dog this was going to be difficult. Why do they only make kids clothes in bloody pastel colours or with stupid cartoon characters on? Surely we have ‘baby-goths’ in this country? In the end I gave up and bought light blue. So tonight the dog and I once again enter a battle of wills. Assuming of course that I don’t return home to find he’s removed the rest of the stitches. 

So if anyone has any bright ideas on how to stop a dog removing it’s own sutures (that don’t involve a lampshade collar, our adventure with a lampshade collar and the resulting carnage is a story all of its own) please do share……

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19 Responses

  1. I’m sorry Vicola, I have no ideas to help you but I have to admit that I laughed my ass off at the way you wrote this! Absolutely hilarious. I know the situation isn’t funny, but you are my dear.

  2. Sounds like a right nightmare!

    This is my account on here btw 🙂

    • It bloody is Pillow. Have added your new home to my blog list and blog surfer. I’m very slowly starting to get the hang of this WordPress thingy…

  3. Get the collar and chuck him in a kennels if he’s going to cause carnage with it and you can’t be there to watch him. I’m sorry I can’t help further – I just can’t see what other option you’ve got.

    • Hi Oink! He’s now got the collar. I’ve moved everything off the coffee table and fireplace, covered the electrical cabling where the DVD player is and propped all the doors open. Hopefully this will minimise the carnage waiting for me when I get home. He was giving me proper shit-eye as I left for work but it’s entirely his own fault so I’ve no sympathy.

  4. this is Oink, btw.

  5. Hi Vicola..I have agree with Ladywise..and I certainly know what you mean about ‘war of the wills’..they certainly can be persistant..and I don’t think they need to rest or relax as we do. 🙂 Oh, by the way this is CC Tony’s better half 🙂 )) I have the computer for a minute and enjoy reading from you all in the ‘hood’..

    • Hi CC, nice to meet you! My dog is the most stubborn creature I have ever encountered however he now has the lamp shade collar on and no matter how much he glares at me, it’s staying on till that wound has healed!

  6. Will a plastic bucket with its bottom partly cut out and fastened around the dog’s neck extend far enough back to cover the wound?

    Failing that, is adding some rum to the dog’s diet daily until the wound heals a realistic proposition? I take no responsibility for any adverse consequences of this suggestion. 🙂

    • Dog now has lampshade collar and I’ve attempted to smash-proof the living room. The run is an interesting suggestion but given what happened when someone gave the dog beer at one of my parties, I think I’ll give it a miss as I can’t afford to recarpet the house….

  7. Those collars are absolutely necessary. When my cat tangled with a raccoon and a resulting scratch became infected, he needed stitches. In addition to antibiotics and the collar, we also got some brown liquid goo to squirt down his throat. It was a mild sedative. To keep him calm and sleepy, so he’d heal faster. We called it “kitty laudanum.”

  8. “proper shit eye”! You have all the best sayings.

  9. The Elizabeth collar would seem to be the way to go. Another is to cover the wound with some foul-tasting stuff. I think there was something like that that worked. Weird of him to tear out stitches though. usually they just lick them. Maybe they were irritating him. Our dogs (of WAR!) never ripped out stitches, just licked the wound.

    • We’ve given up trying to stop him messing now. The wound has closed nicely and the remaining 6 (out if 14) stitches will be coming out tomorrow. I think they must itch because he’s had stuff done before and now messed with the wound. Even when he got neutered he left the stitches alone. I found him yesterday with the edge of one of the stitches in him teeth, ready to pull. He clocked me watching him and I swear he grinned.

  10. My Dal had an operations so severe (or he’s a real pussy when it comes to pain) that I had to carry him outside so he could do his business. I have no words of advice, but I hope he’s better and that the stitches come out ok.

    • Aww….poor hound. Fortunately Geoffrey isn’t too bad with pain, he just meanders about looking really fed up and whining a lot. But then I suspect that what he had done was less than what your dog had done. He’s had the stitches out now and is officially in full working order. He just looks a bit like he’s been in a fight, with a shaved bit on his leg and a shaved patch with a ruddy great scar running through it on his shoulder.

  11. My oldest wiener bitch (mini-dachsie) had the same sort of lump removed from her belly. She came home with a satellite dish around her head to stop her nibbling at the stitches.

    I was going to put some fairy lights around the collar to make her look cheerful… is that acceptable you reckon?

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