Suture Self

An episode of the cartoon series "Rocky and His Friends" is titled You've Got Me In Stitches - or - Suture Self.  The comic Frank and Earnest also used the joke:

Rocky and Bullwinkle and Frank and Earnest may be funny, but for Momo the Wonder Dog stitches are no longer a joking matter.

Last week it was hot and humid in Japan and Momo was having a tough time staying cool.  She started going on shorter walks and not eating as much.   We thought it was the heat.   Wednesday she stopped eating altogether and  walked slowly.  So slowly that I tried to get her to turn around and go home early on, even thought of carrying her, but she kept on going.   K and I decided to take her to the vet the next morning, but then it turned out the vet was closed.  We should have called him anyway, but we waited another day.  When we took her in first thing Friday a stand-in vet was there.  She took x-rays and did a blood work-up.   Momo's trouble was not the hot weather.

Her blood numbers were all fine except for one - a very high white blood cell count.  She had a bad infection in the uterus which even showed on the x-ray.  She was given a shot of antibiotics, a suppository as well, and sent home.  She responded very quickly to the anitbiotics and was soon wagging her tail and smiling.  But she still would not eat.

Saturday morning her regular vet called and told us to bring her in again.  We had planned to do that anyway, but it was nice that he was so on top of of Momo's health.   She's had the same doctor since 2006, so he knows her well.  He performed an ultrasound while we were there and it showed a lot of inflammation from either infection or perhaps cancer.  He advised removing her uterus. (Interestingly, her doctor had discussed this operation a month ago as her birth control implant had expired and she needed the surgery before getting too old to be able to recover from it.)   He would open her and see what it was then if it was cancer he would stitch her back up and we would have to decided what was best for Momo from there.  If he found it was an infection, he would remove it. 

The Day After Surgery
Fortunately it was the latter.  The operation took an hour and then Momo spent the night at the pet hospital.   She was very groggy when we saw her that evening.  Next day we brought her home.  She was much more responsive.  She had received some nutrition via IV in the hospital and we tried to feed her.  We used a chicken breast doggy treat as she really likes that.    (Unlike humans, dogs are omnivores and have a digestive system evolved to do fine on either plants or animal flesh.)    She ate the treat eagerly.

Yesterday she had another check up and doctor said she didn't need the "cone of silence" as we called it around her neck.  She could return to her usual routine.

Today she is almost back to normal!   She'll have stitches for perhaps several more days, but she's eating well, walking normally, and shows no signs of the infection.   This morning she even went on her usual walk and walked along at sprightly pace.   She's well on the road to a full recovery.

 We'll keep a closer eye on her in the future, to be sure, and not be shy about consulting her doctor if something seems even a little amiss.


1 comment:

Martin J Frid said...

Bad infection - not sure I would be able to spot that. You did well to bring her to the vet in time.