When Lucy was spayed the first day was awful… she shrieked every 15-25 minutes in pain. With Molly, she didn’t do that at all. She whimpered a couple of times that day but that was all. We were relieved that she would have a smooth recovery. Or so we thought.
Like usual for pups after surgery, Molly rested a lot for a couple of days. We kept an eye on the incision which looked a little rough. We couldn’t help but notice that it wasn’t healing up as quickly as Lucy’s did. Then there was the “scuttling”. Molly wouldn’t walk like normal anymore… she would walk as quickly as possible with her head lowered and tail down and plop her butt down into a sit… and then walk quickly and plop…etc. She wouldn’t walk at a normal pace and would not stand at all. It was very strange looking. She had never done this before and Lucy hasn’t either but we assumed that she was just coping with the strange feeling in her own way.
But it didn’t stop and about 5 days later I couldn’t help but worry. Not only was the “scuttling around” not getting better but the incision looked half-scabbed but half-gooey. Also, we had to have the cone on 24/7 because the moment we took it off, she would go right for the stitches. So yesterday afternoon we had no choice but to take her to a nearby vet (that we hadn’t been to before… her vet was too far and would be closed & her usual vet is on vacay for the week).
Our assumptions were correct. The behavior coupled with the persistent irritation of the wound was not normal for day 5. After inspecting Molly, the vet told Jamie that Molly was allergic to a material in her internal stitches. He said if her incision was not infected already it will be by tomorrow. He said that the painkiller she had been on until yesterday did keep some swelling down and that the incision would probably have pulled a part completely had she not been on it. So he gave us an antibiotic for her to take twice daily, medicated cotton balls to wipe the incision twice a day, and a higher dose of painkiller (essentially ibuprofen for dogs) once a day. If she doesn’t get better in 5 days we will need to bring her back (he recommended we do a follow-up examination regardless) and worse-case scenario: they will have to remove her stitches and replace them with an alternative.
Praise the Lord Jamie and I followed our “gut instinct” that something was amiss. The vet told Jamie it was a good thing we brought her in when we did, because in such a small pup it doesn’t take long for something like this to become life-threatening. She isn’t out of the woods yet but she is being extra pampered. I know she is very frustrated… especially since she is confined to our arms/lap or the crate. She wants to play so bad but it is too dangerous for her right now.
(Molly’s “play”… confined to sitting on my lap with a small tennis ball in her cone)
I can’t help but feel bad though. I was so annoyed with her. I kept wondering why she was being such a handful… why she wouldn’t be as relaxed and restful as Lucy was for her recovery. I didn’t realize it was because she felt miserable. That is why she was so restless. That is why she HAD to wear the cone 24/7 unlike Lucy. The vet said the “scuttle” was definitely not normal, and he said it was a clear indication to him that she was in pain and uncomfortable. If you have pets, please take it from us: if they aren’t recovering at a steady pace by day 5, you may want them to get checked out. Especially if they have any change in behavior!
Molly isn’t having any problems with the meds – thankfully! The medicated cotton balls do seem to sting her and she doesn’t like that but I’m hoping that will get better (she has only had two treatments). So, though she is restless and frustrated, she is being very well loved and babied. She is enjoying the extra attention. Lucy is handling things okay. She is definitely annoyed to have her playmate taken from her and she doesn’t really understand why Molly can’t play.
We are really looking forward to things returning to normal. It breaks our hearts to see these little pups this way. Throughout this, I was reminded of the importance of being patient and understanding. Hand out grace willingly. When someone cuts you off and speeds away, give them the benefit of the doubt… maybe his wife is in labor? Maybe her child is hurt? You never know. Somebody was snippy to you? Maybe they lost their job, or a loved one, or their home. You never know. Your little pomeranian being troublesome? You never know, she may be in pain/uncomfortable. Love without conditions. Extend grace freely. It wont be long before you will need it.