In our house our pawrents were having some in depth conversations about an operation heading our way. It seemed quite a big issue with some very graphic details, which made us cross legged and teary eyed. We think some of our male readers will know what we are woofing about………Back in June this year we had the castration op.
Our pawrents were pretty concerned what the after treatment would be like considering we were both getting it done together (just so we could hold paws and sympathise with each other, BOL). They already knew that no toys were allowed, no jumping, no running, no play fighting……are we allowed to do anything???? But their biggest concern was something they called “The Lampshade”.
We thought it was that thing to stop us from burning our nose on the bright object – ok, dogtionary here we come……
“Lampshade” – a cover for a lamp, used to soften or direct its light…..we know we are a couple of bright sparks but why would our pawrents put one of these on us?
Eeeeeeek, it sounded like torture but as we carried on with ears pricked we soon realised that this “Lampshade” wasn’t torture, but something we might have fun with. After all, who knows what their boundaries are with something weird around their neck, BOL!
After having a good think about wearing one, we decided this was something we didn’t want, because as much fun as it sounded, we didn’t want to be in trouble either.
On a visit to Mill House Veterinary Surgery & Hospital, we were sat in the waiting area and our pawrents spotted something hanging up. When they asked about them we heard the words – great, handy, wonderful and easy. Now these were words we liked hearing and before we knew it they had bought two.
Then D day came – off to the vets we went and our pawrents walked us into an area we had never been to before; luckily the lovely nurses allowed us to stay together when our pawrents had to leave (we gave the sad eyes, but they couldn’t stay).
It wasn’t long before we were very spoilt with loads of cuddles and then we felt something sharp. It was hard to keep our eyes open; we felt so so so so tired. When we awoke we were wearing something, and boy the pain wasn’t good. We were also a little wary about getting cuddles – the last time this happened they did something to us…..hmmmmmmmm!
Wanting to know what we were wearing we tried to be alert, which ended up a failure as we were too tired and in pain to concentrate. So our mum asked if we could do an interview at a later date. We were so pleased as we were not feeling ourselves and one of us felt an idiot being dressed up in this ‘whatever it is’.
A couple of months passed and we got to do our interview with Penny Jackson-Smith, Nursing Manager and great cuddles’ giver – woofywoofwoof. This is when we realised we had been wearing the medical onesie which helped our recovery as we could not lick at the wound.
Thor woofed, ‘The downside to it all was that we had to wear the (beep beep beep) onesie again for the interview’.
Medical aids have improved over time. Recently we experienced wearing the onesie and we noticed that you do an inflatable collar and still have the Victorian Collar (Lampshade) – have we missed anything?
You may not be aware that the Pet Shirt range (onesie) also have leg protection sleeves. You can get individual ones for either front leg – my sister has a little dog called Jack who was licking at his front leg due to stress. It caused a really nasty sore, so we put a protection sleeve on, which stopped him licking and it has allowed the sore to heal up beautifully. He had been wearing the fabric Victorian Collar, but somehow managed to still lick.
They have the protection sleeves for back legs, but those have to be worn as a pair and need a top shirt to attach them to, unlike the front leg protection sleeve. There are also tail guards for healing tail wounds – they are a mesh to help minimise licking, but still allow the fresh air to get to the tail.
There is still an important role for protection collars in wound healing, as they also allow the fresh air to get to the area which is important.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of medical aid?
All medical aids allow patients wider visual space in comparison to the Victorian Collar.
Shirts are great, particulary if they are put on the patient immediately after surgery (when they are still asleep) because they also help to keep them warm during recovery. They are very well tolerated. However, some long haired breeds don’t like them very much (cats are not too keen!). They can get wet, so having a spare is a good idea. They also need to be undone for toileting purposes.
Inflatable collars won’t stop pets from getting at certain areas – in particular, front legs and back feet.
The downside to the plastic Victorian collars are that dogs bash into things such as door frames and owners’ legs (lots of bruised human legs!). They can also hang their head and can come into contact with things like gravel and mud on walks.
Is there a recommendation due to treatment and breed?
There are many factors influencing our choice for wound protection, such as what area needs protecting and the character of the patient. Every case and patient is different and one of the aims is to stop self trauma and infection from licking/chewing. The most important factor is managing pain so always follow your vet’s advice about pain relief treatment – if something hurts, pets will want to lick.
Have you noticed a shorter recovery period when using one of the medical aids you offer?
Regardless of what type of medical aid used, anything that prevents licking of wounds will reduce the recovery time period.
Do you think these medical aids would be a great addition to a doggy first aid kit?
I don’t think there are any real benefits from having a pet shirt in a doggy first aid kit – dressing pads and bandages are more important. A pet shirt isn’t really going to offer any help in a first aid situation unless it is used to hold a bandage in place. It could be more of a risk to the owner trying to use it if their dog is in pain, as the most friendliest of dogs could try to bite you when they are in pain. (Yes, that is very true. I (Thor) once got my claw caught in between a fence panel and concrete post when my mum tried to help me. I nipped the back of her leg. I was so sorry for doing it, but at the same time I was scared and in pain. Luckily mum understood and all she was bothered about was that I was ok. She checked my leg and there was just redness on the skin….phew!).
Is there anything you feel you MUST have in a doggie first aid kit?
Other than the items mentioned above, I would recommend a tick removing hook, gauze swabs and a pair of blunt scissors to cut bandages. If you need to clean an area, either use cooled boiled water or a saline solution (1 teaspoon of salt to 1 pint of water). Keep the contents to a minimum (Mum are you reading this? BOL) and definitely no ointments/creams or medication of any description. Most scenarios will be to ring a vet for immediate advice.
Times move forward and it is thanks to veterinary staff who are always on the look out for better treatment and care. They put in a lot of hard work to make sure we get the best possible care. Some of us may take a trip to the vets for granted, but we have a new outlook and much respect for our vets. It may have been a minor surgery compared to others but the treatment and care we received was above and beyond.
We would like to woof a huge Thank You to Penny Jackson-Smith from Mill House Veterinary Surgery for taking time out of her busy schedule and allowing us to do this interview and grab a few snapshots. The onesies we are wearing were purchased from Medical Pet Shirts.
Woofs Thor & Loki ….Repawting Healthily for the Barking Bugle.