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Old 08-06-2009, 02:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Spay Incision - Something Wrong?

I had Mirage spayed on the 31st last month at one of those "low cost" clinics - I could NOT afford the $350 USD that every other place was asking for, so we didn't have a choice - and I knew that the care would be close to sub-standard. And it was, they did not inform me that they would be closing her incision with "glue", I would have greatly preferred stitches as I know first hand that they actually work. She also was not supervised and managed to nearly rip her claws out by scratching at the cage - they're still red and brown with blood but appear to be healing.

Anyway, the first night she managed to lick part of the glue off and we immediately ran out and bought a pricey E-Collar (wasn't included in the price, of course). Everything was going good... until today, six days later. She managed to figure out that she could "scrape" the wound and glue with her collar and even lick a part of it... and now she has a slight gap that's scabbed off on the top portion (incision is only 1 inch) - barely noticeable, about 2mm in length across but still worrisome to me - it does not appear, at this stage, to be infected as there is no discharge or swelling - but it is caked with a bit of fresh blood.

I fixed this issue a couple of hours ago by taking a piece of gauze and placing band aids over that to hold it in place (less sticky than that clear medical grade stuff) and wrapping some self-sticking bandage over that around her - not too tightly of course, and it's holding for now. Is this anything to seriously worry about? They told me to NOT put topical antibiotics onto the wound, but I am very tempted to right now because I know that the rate of infection on something like this is very high - especially when considering the poor quality of care these "low cost" clinics offer, they probably use the same instruments over and over without washing them properly. Anyway, the would is NOT deep anymore and her muscle is not exposed and is mostly healed from what I can tell. So, could I put the ointment on and/or around the wound to keep infection a very low possibility now without complication at this time?

Has anyone ever encountered a problem like this - anyone ever had their cat closed with this "glue"? She is my first female, so I really just don't know what is expected and what is dangerous and needs immediate attention, the clinic didn't really elaborate on this too much and neither did their 1 page care sheet.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spay Incision - Something Wrong?

I have had several spays closed with glue that healed just fine. I had one that did get slightly infected (fat cat) and I really only needed to gently clean/dry it several times a day so it could heal. After 6 days, I'd say quite a bit of healing has probably occured and the tiny (1-2mm) area isn't of great concern.
Can you post photos?
Can you call and ask a vet? If you are at all concerned about her safety, I'd take her in to be seen. If she appears just fine, just 'worrying at' her spay site...keep the collar on and keep her spay area clean/dry. I know it isn't ideal to cover those wounds, but I think you doing so was a good thing in this situation and as long as you check it daily (and possibly twice daily) she should heal just fine.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spay Incision - Something Wrong?

Thanks, well I really do want to take her back and have them deal with it (they will do this up to seven days after the surgery) however I can't get her in quickly enough to have them take care of it free of charge by tomorrow (their reception is ridiculous and they never pick up the phone). I don't know if I could afford the $70 our vet office wants to take her in unless I know for a fact that it's turned serious. I correctly diagnosed her with an abscess in October last year, so I know when she's really sick or has a bad infection... but this, I just don't know. I might be worrying over nothing, but like I said, she's my first girl and I just really don't know what is normal and not normal for this specific set of circumstances.

I can try to get a picture up here, but I can't promise it will be tonight. I can try to describe it better now though in case that might help any. Incision is one inch long, bottom half completely unaffected and sealed, top half not completely sealed with 1-2mm wide scab-like development between the folds of skin with no redness, swelling or discharge around the wound - except for very small amount of caked blood (likely from her scraping with the E-Collar), and it appears to be trying to heal again. I know for a fact that her muscles are completely unaffected by this issue - there is no perforation or tenderness into the abdomen at all.

She really isn't acting much different than usual, no lethargy or anything and she is also not behaving the way that she did when she had that life-threatening infection last year. She's fairly comfortable and pain free and willing to jump and play a little bit right now (she's being very, very restricted on this though).

But yeah, so I shouldn't apply the antibiotic ointment then? I've used it plenty of times on both dogs and cats, just never had to use it in this instance before - think it's safe by now? It only says to not apply it if a wound is "deep or a puncture" and it's not anymore, for the most part it's pretty superficial...
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spay Incision - Something Wrong?

Well...from the description I think it sounds good. Especially the parts about no tenderness, swelling or redness.
I really don't know about the antibiotic cream. I would *think* if it isn't showing signs of needing an antibiotic cream, I'd just leave it alone and let the skin knit together under the scab. I think the scab works like a bandage to hold the edges closed while the skin underneath knits together. When the skin has knit enough, it sort of 'pushes' the scab off. I would think that using a cream would loosen the scab and not be able to provide the service of holding the skin together. Get what I mean? I don't know if I'm right or wrong, that is only what I thought goes on under a scab...
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spay Incision - Something Wrong?

Personally I wouldn't put the cream on, just incase it did get down into the would and caused more damage. The would is probably about 1/2 way to being healed now so I'd just keep a close eye on her for signs of discomfort, redness or swelling..
If there is a scab covering where the glue was, I think that's fine but if the wound was open, I would recommend taking her into a vet.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spay Incision - Something Wrong?

they didn't close the incision with glue - just the outermost layer. There are still subcutaneous stitches holding everything "important" together. Plus, at six days out the site should be pretty much healed. The licking and scratching may have just irritated the outside... its pretty common.

Keep her away from it and keep a close eye on it. Should be fine.

But pictures are always helpful
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Alright, I'll just leave it be until something changes for the worse. My mom said the same thing happened to her dog - she's had raised sharp points there ever since and has been fine so I might just be worrying over nothing.

But actually, I'm getting more concerned about her nails at this point. They're not healing very well after seven days. Every one of them is cracked or broken off and brown. I *thought* that they had been healing, but... I'm not so sure now. I didn't notice it until pretty much the day before yesterday as I had noticed she had not been extracting them at all, so I know it didn't happen in the car on the way home because they weren't bleeding then or afterward. But she's showing sensitivity there and I don't know if I should try trimming them (if she'll let me), clean them or else just leave them alone. Do they heal on their own like that? Not all of them are broken off and none are missing completely, but some are cracked or else splintered (I didn't notice those ones before today).
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spay Incision - Something Wrong?

for the most part nails will grow back unless they were completely ripped out - which is pretty hard to do. They may not come in 100% normally or may take some time to get back to normal. Sounds like she did a heck of a number on them

I would leave them alone for now and give them some time, but also keep an eye on them on a daily basis to make sure they don't look like they are getting swollen or anything like that.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spay Incision - Something Wrong?

I was wrong, and I should have taken her back when I had the chance. Her skin is coming apart at the place that has the 2mm gap. I know what I should do, but there is NOTHING that I can do about this at 1 in the morning. Absolutely nothing. And I can't take her to a vet unless they do it out of the kindness of their hearts at this point because I have NO money at all and won't until mid October.

It's really not looking good now. I just hope that her stitches inside hold and that this heals on it's own. I'm so upset right now.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Spay Incision - Something Wrong?

I finally took her in. She managed to deepen the wound despite my efforts and it saved her life and me from being $1,000 or more in debt for major surgery. I have no idea how I am going to pay the $109.50 that I owe in three months before I get turned in to collections, but it could have been worse. They very kindly dropped the procedure charge and only had me pay $75 for the visit, and $34.50 for the antibiotics. And they even threw in a better E-Collar that she cannot escape from or lick her wound through.

They also said the same thing you guys did about the nails - that they are just traumatized but will definitely grow back/heal in time, so awesome job and thanks so much again.
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