Wednesday, July 14, 2010 inspection
Dusk fell fast in July. The waiting room was pitch dark as my assistant was at the back feeding the dog while the intern had just gone for her dinner. I was in the consultation room typing up my ear canal resection observations for my record and experience. Delays in writing mean never writing them up as every day seems to fly by so fast.
I noticed a young lady in black spectacle frames coming into the waiting area at 6.30 pm on July 14, 2010 as my consultation room door has a glass window on the top half.
I thought she was going to pick up her dog, cat or hamster as my associate Dr Teo has several in-patients. 3 cat fight wounds and 3 other dogs and two hamsters. I had two ear canal resection cases, a motorbike abrasion trauma case and 4 hamsters from one owner and two young rabbits nobody wanted to adopt. The kennel at Toa Payoh Vets was full house today.
After a while, I left my computer to speak to her. She had made appointment to inspect the Surgery prior to spaying her dog on Sunday. This was the first time I get an inspection from the non-regulatory veterinary authorities and I showed her the premises and answered all her queries.
The following queries regarding the spay of her Chow Chow this Sunday are recorded for the benefit of dog owners and for my knowledge management archives.
Dear Ms ....
1. No food and water 10 hours before arrival at the Surgery.
2. Your Chow Chow will arrive at 12 noon on Sunday and surgery will be performed around 1-2 hours later depending on my caseload.
3. Bathe your dog before coming to the Surgery and check that she has no skin disease on her belly area.
4. She should be active and has had normal appetite on Saturday. If she has vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite or is inactive, do not bring her for spay. Let us know when you cancel the appointment.
5. At the Surgery, she will examined and if she has no fever or heart problems, spaying will be done by me.
6. Belly hair will be clipped. Dog goes to Operation Room. Surgery takes around 15 minutes.
7. Anaesthesia domitor IV and isoflurane gas will be given.
8. An IV saline drip will be set up.
9. An antidote to domitor called Antisedan will be injected post-operation. This injection wakes up the dog in a few seconds as if from a short nap.
10. Post-op tolfedine and baytril antibiotic injection will be given.
11. The dog can go home 2 hours later with antibiotics and tolfedine pain-killers for the next 4 days. We will phone you.
12. For the first 2 days, the dog may or may not be active or eating much. It will be good if you take leave on Monday. If not, ensure that the dog is crated or in a small room.
13. Check the surgical area daily for pus or abnormal bleeding. Replace the plaster 2 days later after using a piece of facial cotton with clean warm water to wash away the blood clots. Dry the wound after washing. Then put on the new plaster.
14. No e-collar will be used in your dog although I do recommend in many female dogs. Your Chow Chow may not like it.
The plaster usually protects the wound. Usually the dog does not lick the wound if the painkillers are given as instructed. Some owners are unable to give the tablets directly onto the back of the tongue, close the mouth, stroke the neck while lifting up the head. Some dogs are too smart and just spit out the tablets and therefore do not get the pain-killing effect. They start to lick the operation wound.
Therefore, an alternative method is to conceal the tablets in cheese or meat balls. The first two ball given will not contain the drug. The third will contain the drug. Delay the meal time by one hour as an example. Usually the dog just swallow her favourite food quickly.
15. The absorbable skin stitches will dissolve in 21 -28 days. So you need not come for stitch removal unless you want to get the stitches removed in 14 days as some dogs do get irritated by the stitches. Stitch abscesses form and are irritating. Observe daily and you can use clean scissors to cut off the knots on Day 14. Usually I stitch 2 skin stitches and they can be cut off easily 14 days after surgery.
16. If possible don't let the dog walk up and down slopes or stairs in the first 7 days. As the wound is 2 cm long (if there is no complications), this will not be a big problem with stitch breakdown. However, try not to let the dog jump and run around as she will feel active by Day 2 as the painkillers mask the pain.
17. Air-condition post-operation for the Chow Chow with her thick coat. In my experience, the body temperature after surgery drops due to the sedation and anaesthetic. No air condition is necessary and no Alaskan malamute, Siberian Huskies or Chow Chow have suffered from heat stress due to the lack of air conditioning post-operation. In your case, the dog goes home two hours post-operation and therefore she should be OK with you.
18. During the past years, I seldom get post-operation infections and complications after the spay if the owner nurses the dog well. Some 10-15 years ago, I did not give pain-killers post-surgery and the dog may howl in pain at home and during the first night. With pain-killers and antibiotics properly taken, no spayed dog will howl at home 24 hours after spay.
19. I hope all the questions are answered. E-mail your questions if there are more. Best wishes.