Infection after Dog's tumor removal

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Infection after Dog's tumor removal

This is a discussion on Infection after Dog's tumor removal within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi, I'm a first time poster. I have a 9 year old staffordshire bull terrier mix that I adopted two years ago. My family has ...

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Old 12-12-2016, 07:36 PM
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Infection after Dog's tumor removal

Hi, I'm a first time poster.

I have a 9 year old staffordshire bull terrier mix that I adopted two years ago. My family has owned dogs before, but this is the first dog I've owned as an adult.

Recently, we found out my dog has skin cancer. On dec 2nd, he had surgery to get the the tumor behind his ear removed. When we went to pick him up, the incision a lot longer than I'd expected. But they didn't send him home with anything. No medication, no e-collar, nothing.

I had to ask them for some pain meds and an e-collar. My dog is abnormally well mannered so they assumed he wasn't in pain just because he wasn't freaking out.

Anyway, they gave me no instructions for aftercare. They just said not to bathe him, which I didn't.

The incision leaked blood on the first day. Different fluids the next few days. I called the vet and they offered suggestions, giving him benadryl, wiping with warm water. they said I could bring him in but I wasn't able to at the time.

the fluid just kept leaking and he wasn't in pain, but it looked awful. It formed a large scab. I got him to the doctor as soon as I could.

The vet tried to make it seem like it was my fault for not bringing him in sooner and said it was infected. Which bothered me because I didn't know it was infected.

Anyway, they removed the dried blood and offered to give him a $180 shot to help. But I'm a grad student, poor, so I asked if they had any cheaper options. The surgery itself was $400 so I'm hesitant about spending big amounts unless it's necessary.

They offered some oral antibiotics as well and I went with that. They left part of the incision open so it could drain before they stitch it back up in a week.

I have to give him pills, squeeze any pus out of the ear and put cream inside of the incision for a week.

Has anyone else had difficulties with aftercare or their vet? The staff is so nice but the vets are unprofessional. They didn't give me proper instructions and it seemed like they were not well-informed about the specific area his tumor was removed from.

Everyone kept saying it was a difficult spot to heal, but I expected a lot more support than I received. and today's visit cost me another $100. I honestly feel like the infection was their fault. They just stitched him up and expected me to figure out everything else.

I'm just so frustrated and stressed out. I want to make sure my dog is healthy but I don't know if I can trust my vet and my funds are quickly draining...
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:23 PM
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I know exactly how you're feeling. I feel like some of these places are more concerned about making money than they actually are about taking care of animals. I make a decent salary but let me tell you nobody wants to pay some of these prices it's so ridiculous and it's so obvious that they're in it for the money . First advice is to see if you can get your dog signed up for any kind of wellness plan or pet insurance . Some of them totally suck ( so do some research first) but others will cover things like this up to 80% . Moving forward it's something to consider especially if you adopted a dog that's older you will definitely be in for more trips to the vet then if you got a puppy. My dog is 12 1/2 years old and most of the time would barely have to go to the vet . But now that she's older I feel like I go almost once a month and now I'm dealing with another unknown element which I have to go tomorrow to get checked out . About the only thing that is comforting me a tiny bit is that I signed her up for the super wellness plan for senior dogs which is roughly $54 a month . Doesn't cover everything but it does cover some things and every little bit helps when you're going to the vet more often . Getting back to your situation I would definitely try to find another vet to go to if you feel like there is a certain level of confidence that is just not there. Bottom line is if you're paying that kind of money into see someone they should be treating your pet and you very well. $100 Per visit is very expensive . But also look into some of these chain hospitals because at least the vet visits are around $40 of course when you add stuff up it does come to that much but at least you know you can bring your dog in and have them looked at and you're not spending $100 .
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Old 12-19-2016, 08:07 PM
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I just wanted to add my 2 cents. I work in veterinary medicine so I might be able to offer some insight.

First off it is absolutely unacceptable that you were not given after care instructions! That is seriously a complete disregard for the patient's wellbeing and poor service. Second, sending an e-collar for this could go either way. It could be they were concerned it would aggravate the wound. I would have suggested getting something like a bootie if they tried to get at it scratching with the hind legs. As far as pain meds are concerned, IMHO they should have received a pain injection after the procedure, and been sent home with enough to last a few days. Just a basic NSAID like deramaxx or metacam would be typical.

To chime in on your last few concerns, I will mention a little bit of fluid leaking out for a day or so would be normal just as an FYI. Antibiotics are not necessarily dispensed with every procedure as they are not always needed. Unless it's something like a wound caused by injury where bacteria was likely introduced. If it is a surgical procedure that is considered "clean" it really depends on the doctors person preference/opinion. Again when I discharge a patient I discuss the signs of infection and instruct them to call us asap if they become concerned.

Now, I'm not beating you up, and understand life happens so do not take this as any kind of finger wagging at you. In the event an infection does appear to set in, it is extremely important to immediately have it addressed by a vet. It can't just be put off to a more convenient time. The owner must make whatever arrangements necessary to have the pet seen. A little time can do a lot of harm when it comes to infections.

Lastly...I can't for the life of me think of an antibiotic injection that would cost $180? Perhaps this was to include some other form of treatment like sedation, lancing, debribing, instilling a drain, etc. Perhaps there has been a miscommunication here?

So I wouldn't automatically say the infection was their fault, any more than I would say it was yours. Infections are a possibility anytime the skin is pierced.

At the very least I would say there is very poor client communication going on. We set up discharge appointments with pat parents and an assistant goes over all the aftercare instructions, books the appointment for sutures to be removed and we even send the owner home with a print out of everything as it can be hard to absorb all that info at once. And the following day we call you and check on your baby, asking specific questions that would give us an indication that a re-check is needed. So if that isn't the service you're receiving I would probably consider going elsewhere. All though what I just described above will likely cost most. It's a "you get what you pay for" thing.

Wow this was long. I hope your baby gets better soon.

Lots of love
LinZ
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:40 AM
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I can understand how it feels when your dog is in trouble and you want to help him out and in any way you can't. I think you should consult another vet and try to see solutions and remedies of this online. Another thing that would help is proper diet. Give him best possible food. I can understand you are on your last leg but you'll have to take his care before this gets even worst.
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