Dogs are great patients

Zoe is still living her new life as a mobile, destructive lamp. The vet dressed her leg a week ago, but didn’t tape down the wound dressing under the bandages, so after a few days everything had moved around, and I had to soak off bandages that were glued into the scab and redress it all. Fortunately a friend took me to a pet first aid class a couple of years ago so I have a fully stocked pet first aid kit. Her wound was healing brilliantly until a few nights later when she discovered that she could with much effort, curl up in just the right way to lift her cone over her injured leg. Overnight, she chewed off and ate the dressing. Glorious!

As it was healed to a scab I decided to trial leaving it unbandaged and removed her cone. That worked well until she was unsupervised at one point, when she chewed off the scab and licked open the wound again. Argh! She’s always been difficult at letting things heal, and I have numbing ointments and so on from the vet from previous mild injuries in mostly futile efforts to get her past the ‘it’s almost healed so it’s itchy’ stage that inevitably sets us back. The only thing that reliably works is stopping her access to whatever is trying to heal, if at all possible. She is wily.

So I cleaned and sterilised and redressed her leg with a lot more sticky plaster over everything to keep it in place, and put her cone back on. We all got home from a birthday party around 11pm to discover that somehow she had got her cone off, chewed it up a bit, and had another go at her leg. The sticky plaster had slowed her down quite a bit and she’d not been able to get into the actual wound. Win!

Not so much. She had been able to tear off the upper end of the dressing, and when she couldn’t get any more off she instead dragged her leg along the ground repeatedly until the dressing filled with dirt, opening the wound again and stuffing it full of dirt too! Argh!

I did not kill her on the spot. I am a good dog owner. I called her a lot of names in a mostly calm tone of voice, cut off the dressing, cleaned every last scrap of dirt out of the wound without throwing up, irrigated, disinfected again, redressed with extra sticking plaster, and stuck her back in her cone a little tighter. So far so good.

Some days I think owning a bull terrier cross is good practice for parenting.

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