Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Leah requested an update on Nellie's wound.

Nellie was out hunting with Mike and Ken mid-November when she showed up with a wound on her left foreleg. Neither Mike nor Ken saw what happened. Mike trimmed the torn skin and provided no other treatment except to protect the open wound with a bandage when she hunted.

I say we provided no other treatment because we have been this route three times, and we now act according to advice given on the first occasion. The vet told us that stitching the wound is not the best option. It requires surgery (hard on the dog) with the possibility of re-tearing, etc. Plus, it's difficult then to keep the dog from licking the wound, which is actually the best thing. The vet said to trim the skin and then the dog's attention to the wound -- licking and saliva -- were all that was necessary to cleanse and eventually heal the wound. Besides that, the vet added, there would be minimal scarring, which would not be the case with surgical intervention. We were skeptical, especially when a week later Nellie still had a gaping wound, so Mike called the vet's office again and was told he just had to be patient -- that eventually the wound would close. And that's what happened.
So now when Nellie sustains such a wound, Mike trims the skin and lets her tend to the wound herself. It takes three weeks to a month but then the wound closes without a visible scar unless you really look for it. (In the photo to the left, you can just see a remaining red spot at her elbow.) In a world that hastens to intervene, it seems like an amazing thing.

Nellie is good to go again now. 

It was cold here this morning -- 19, but the cold is the best thing for us at this time of year. Now if we just had some precipitation. It's really dry. KW


Leah said...

I feel better now. Good job Nellie.

Chris said...

Glad she healed up okay. I like your comment that "in a world that hastens to intervene, it seems like an amazing thing." I agree.

My only question is, is it hard for Mike to trim the skin? That sounds painful and possibly difficult to do.

Hallie said...

What did Nellie think of you taking a very close picture of her elbow?

Kathy said...

Mike says it isn't hard to trim the skin and the dog doesn't seem to mind.

I had to get Mike to show me where the wound was. He held her leg while I took the picture. Nellie didn't care -- was napping and drowsy. And -- I guess I was a little close, but I cropped that picture.