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ZoeyLove October 3rd, 2010 09:17 AM

Post Spay Care
this is my first day on your forum. I hope I am posting in the correct location.

I am a Canadian living in Germany and was referred to a vet through my husbands work.

I have a 5 mth old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I took her to be spayed on Friday. When I picked her up the Vet was leaving the office, she did not stop to speak to me and did not give post surgery care advice. The receptionist did not speak much english ( the vet does) and she was unable to answer most of my questions. She just said for me to take the bandage off in 3 days and to come back in 10 days for suture removal. I asked if there was certain post op care I should do for the incision. She seemed confused and said no. So today I tried to take off the 'bandage'. It was actually a piece of strong and very sticky tape. This tape was stuck to the incision, to the sutures, the surrounding skin and fur. It took me almost an hour to remove the tape as it was very painful for my little pup and she was nervous, so I have her little breaks. I had to use soap on a wet Q-tip to loosen the gluey side of the tape from her skin and in a couple areas it tore the skin and made it bleed a little. I would have just left the tape, but I noticed as I started that the incision was very dirty with debris. I wanted to free the tape in order to gently clean the area. Now there is still a lot of glue from the tape that is matting together the surrounding fur. The incision is covered with this greenish blue substance and dirt is sticking to it and the surrounding fur is stained dark orange. So I have her wearing a light shirt now that is covering the area but is made of a material that is not sticking to the glue. I am mortified when looking at this mess. Is this post op condition normal? I thought the incision would be kept very clean. I have read online that I should not get the incision wet so I have not actually cleaned it well. My pup is not in any pain right now, and the incision does not look sore. However I am concerned about the glue mating the fur together around the sutures and all the dirt and debris that has gathered on the glue. I want the area to be clean and hygienic. And I want to know if this is a normal post op condition. I have a feeling it isnt and I am obviously worried. I would appreciate any advice or opinions.


Zoey's mama

Longblades October 3rd, 2010 09:37 AM

In over 50 years I've never had a Vet put a bandage on one of my spayed cats or dogs. And certainly never a sticky bandage for any wound on fur. IS there any other Vet you can go to? I really have no idea what to tell you on how to proceed. One thing, was it actually the Vet who did this? Imean the bandage. Or an assisstant. Perhaps the Vet does not know the state your pup was in at discharge? Perhaps you should let this Vet know what you have found.

Not meant to make you panic, all sounds OK right now. Like you, I'd be afraid of causing irritation. The little shirt is a good idea. Hopefully some other folks will be along soon with experiences and ideas.

ETA: No, I correct myself. The dirt at the incision does not sound good at all. I'd be calling the Vet or finding another one.

DoubleRR October 3rd, 2010 09:46 AM

I was thinking the same thing, Longblades--have never seen a bandage of any sort over the incision. I would certainly get in touch with the vet about your concerns--it may very well be just a different way of doing things and nothing is wrong at all, but better to know for sure!

hazelrunpack October 3rd, 2010 09:49 AM

Hi, ZoeyLove.

That's [I]not [/I]normal...and least not in the States. I've never seen an incision covered directly with tape--if there is any bandage at all, there should be gauze between the tape and the sutures. She needs to have it looked at.

The orange around the area could be the betadine they use pre-surgically to sterilize the skin. But the greenish blue substance along the sutures would concern me. It might just be the scabs, softened by being covered and be normal, but I think I'd want to get a vet's opinion on it. You're right--the incision should be kept clean and dry and putting the shirt on her was a good idea. Watch for swelling or oozing along the incision...

I would take her back to the vet that did the surgery, but I think I'd find another vet if the first one looks at it and isn't appalled. :o Just my :2cents:...

I hope Zoey heals up well! :goodvibes: Please keep us posted on her progress! And when she's all better, I hope you'll share some pics of your little angel!

Welcome to the board, Zoey and ZoeyLove.

hazelrunpack October 3rd, 2010 09:49 AM

Jeez you guys type fast :p

ZoeyLove October 3rd, 2010 09:50 AM

Ok I will give a little more info. I took Zoey back to the Vet the day after her spay. I had not tried to remove the bandage at this point. And did not know that it was abnormal to have a bandage there. I took her back because I saw that the skin was red and I wanted the vet to see it and be sure it was ok. The vet and the assistant pulled the 'bandage' off a little at the top, peeked inside and said all was fine. They then said to take it off on sunday (today). I asked if there was any other advice for incision care once the bandage was off. They all looked confused and said no. Then today as I tried to remove the tape and saw the state of her skin, fur and incision I called a 24 hr ER vet in another area of Germany (there isnt one close to me) they advised me to use the soap to remove the tape. They did not know what else to tell me to do without seeing the incision themselves. They too were surprised by the tape. I will definitely be taking her to a different vet to have the sutures removed. I plan to start calling vets first thing in the morning to try to find one that will take a quick look at the incision and give me some advice. But for today I am worried and hate to sit around waiting. Thanks for the reply and I hope to get more opinions here.

Rgeurts October 3rd, 2010 09:51 AM

I can't help with the bandage issue. Like longblades, I have never had a vet put a bandage on mine. One thing we did for a baby (he got neutered and had bladder stone removal at the same time) is put a t-shirt on him. You put it on backwards, put the hind legs through the sleeves then tie it around the pups waist. It will keep her from licking and help to keep the wound clean.

I would definitely take her back to the vet to have the wound cleaned.

ZoeyLove October 3rd, 2010 10:05 AM

picture of the incision
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i have a picture of the incision site. please take a look at this and tell me that i am not crazy to be worried to death about it. this can not be normal. seriously i am so upset today. thanks for all your advice and support.

hazelrunpack October 3rd, 2010 10:46 AM

Not sure what the green discoloration is from (is that just residual adhesive?) and the incision looks largish to me--although our dogs were bigger and therefore the spay incision might look shorter on them. The incision looks a bit irritated, too.

I'm going to PM a link to your thread to Dr Lee, a member who is a vet volunteering some time to the board. Not sure if Dr Lee will be signing on any time soon, but if he does, perhaps he can offer an opinion.

Meanwhile, if it were me, I'd be getting her into the vet asap--if not today, then tomorrow--if only for my peace of mind.

luckypenny October 3rd, 2010 10:49 AM

The blue/green looks like bruising and, while not unusual, it does look a bit excessive. Personally, I've never seen such a long incision (max. 5-6 stitches on all our female fosters) [I]but[/I], the actual incision site on your pup does look clean (from what I could tell of the photo). Please limit her activity for at least 10 days (no jumping, running, off-leash activity). Take her outdoors on leash for short periods of time and if she's rather active indoors, you can keep her on leash as well if you don't have a crate.

Monitor the incision site several times a day and keep an eye out for yellow/green discharge which would indicate an infection. If this happens, or if the area starts to swell, turns red, and is hot to the touch, please have her seen by a vet asap. If you have a topical anti-septic solution on hand such as Betadine (found at a pharmacy), you can gently apply it with a sterile gauze several times per day to keep the area clean. Keep your pup from licking and scratching.

Is she otherwise behaving normally? Eating and drinking as usual? Normal stools?

ZoeyLove October 3rd, 2010 10:58 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I agree, the incision looks very long to me. I looked at some pictures online to compare and was shocked at how long her incision is. The greenish blue area is not a bruise. It comes off if i scrub it, but i do not want to scrub and cause further irritation. I plan to try to find a local vet first thing in the morning. If no one in my area can see her I will drive the long distance to the 24 hr ER vet. As of right now she is resting comfortably, has normal stool and normal appetite. There is no discharge around the incision site. Thanks for all the information. I will post again tomorrow.

hazelrunpack October 3rd, 2010 11:05 AM

Oh, she's a doll!!! :flirt: Speedy healing, Zoey! :goodvibes:

And thanks for posting pics, Mom :D

luckypenny October 3rd, 2010 11:09 AM

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Omd, Zoey is just a little sweetie-pie :cloud9:.

The red arrow, that bluish stuff washes off? What the green arrow is pointing at looks like dried blood.

Yes, please give us an update after her vet visit :fingerscr.

Shaykeija October 3rd, 2010 11:10 AM

That is one long incision. I have small dogs and theirs were no longer than 4 inches. Cute puppy.

ZoeyLove October 3rd, 2010 11:12 AM

yes the blue actually washes off. the stuff the green arrow is pointing to may be dried blood. its little black specks that may be dried blood and some dirt or debris that is sticking to the glue.

Frenchy October 3rd, 2010 11:35 AM

[QUOTE=Shaykeija;956447]That is one long incision. [/QUOTE]

I was thinking the same. I also never heard of vets putting bandages on it :confused:

if there's any bruising , it might very be caused by taking off the bandage. But all in all , it doesn't look too bad.

oh and , omg what a cutiepie !!! :lovestruck:

Dr Lee October 3rd, 2010 11:38 AM

The bandage is unusual but sometimes this is may have also been placed to protect such a large incision. While most incisions are much smaller, even the most experienced veterinarian will occasionally have a very large incision. The lack off communication by the veterinarian is very distressing. This is especially so because she knows her staff does not speak English.

I am wondering if the blue/green/teal colored stuff that can be rubbed off is a type of antibiotic spray. I would ask.

It sounds like despite the long incision, despite the bandage and strange color and despite the non-communicative vet, that Zoey is feeling well? Is this correct? I get worried for post-op spay patients if there is lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, any discharge from the incision or anything out of the ordinary. The good news is that incisions heal "side too side" and not "end to end" so if all has gone well internally, then she should be fine ar 14 days post op.

Last item, the debris... If you have a large incision that you bandage over, you will get small blood oozing which dries like small coffee grounds. Could this be the dirt and debris that you saw?:pawprint:

I hope this helps.

ZoeyLove October 3rd, 2010 12:27 PM

I will ask if the blue/green substance was an antibiotic spray. This may be the case. Also yes, she does seem to be getting back to her normal behavior. She does not sleep more than usual, has normal appetite, has normal stool etc. The incision seems a little red, but there is no discharge. She did not react when i gently touched it, I assume this means it is not sore or painful for her. Hopefully its just a case of the site looking messy, and hopefully she is fine internally. I will have another vet look at her tomorrow asap. At this point I just don't want to return to the vet that did the procedure. Her lack of interest in speaking to me and leaving me with staff that couldnt speak english makes it so that I can not continue a relationship with her. I feel she should have told me herself how the surgery went, what to expect, advice for after care etc. Hopefully tomorrows vet will be more helpful.
Thanks again to Dr.Lee, your opinion is greatly appreciated.

kathryn October 3rd, 2010 07:19 PM

Hi Zoey's mom! I am a spay/neuter tech in the states. First of all, HOLY GUACAMOLE!!! THAT IS ONE BIG INCISION :eek: I have NEVER NEVER NEVER seen an incision that big on any kind of dog. I teched on a 111 pound great dane spay the other day and your dogs incision STILL looks bigger!

I know that in Europe they do things a tiny bit differently, but I nearly fell off my seat looking at that picture!

For the blueish green stuff, that sort of looks like bruising, but usually in post surgical bruising in my personal experience it usually looks more purple than that color :confused:

As far as the bandage goes, we never apply bandages unless the situation warrants it. We use Tefla bandages if need be. Your dog probably needed a bandage

For the blue stuff, it is probably a Chlorhexedine based solution. Orange stuff would probably be betadine as someone else suggested.

I would go get a second opinion. I really have no idea what is going on with your pup :shrug: Maybe that is just the usual way of spaying dogs in Germany, but other techs at my office have worked with vets from Europe and other countries and they've mentioned "Flank Spays" being done in foreign countries, but nothing like this.

Sorry that I wasn't quite as useful as I thought I could have been in this post, but I'm going to have to show this to some of the people I work with and I'm willing to bet they will nearly faint at the site of that incision. I'm sure she will be perfectly okay with a bit of TLC :lovestruck: But I would recommend a new vet just since the one you went to really should have talked to you post-surgery. Our vets do not do that since I am at a shelter, but we (the techs) are all properly trained to do that ourselves, and if there is a problem we contact the vet ASAP.

ZoeyLove October 4th, 2010 01:18 PM

Just a quick note to update. Zoey is doing well today. Her incision looks a lot better. No redness at all and no soreness. She is full of energy today, eating well and regular behavior. She will be seeing a vet soon. In the mean time she is under my watchful eye. Thanks.

Love4himies October 4th, 2010 01:42 PM

Sending :goodvibes::goodvibes::goodvibes: that she continues to recover.

luckypenny October 4th, 2010 02:22 PM

Wonderful news, ZoeyLove. Please continue to keep us updated (more pics of the gorgeous girl would be nice too :D).

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