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Abscess on a dog’s leg

Berry Haven Veterinary Group Surgical Case

Lucy is a lovely and friendly 15 year old Kelpie x Cattle dog. Lucy was brought into the Shoalhaven Heads clinic one Friday morning by her concerned owner. Her owner said to us that she had not been herself for the past day and was still no better this morning. She said Lucy was depressed, couldn’t move, wouldn’t stand up, didn’t get up to eat her dinner last night (which is very unusual for her because she LOVES food) and was just not herself. Lucy was able to eat out of her owner’s hand. She said she found a large, crusty lump on her right, hind leg and the leg felt stiff and was sore to touch. She thought that their other dog had bitten her. Two nurses helped carry Lucy out of the car and put her in a nice, comfortable cage.

While one nurse rung the vet to inform him of the situation (who was at the Albert Street clinic doing consults), the other nurse took all Lucy’s vital signs and discovered she had an elevated temperature. A tick search was also carried out to make sure there were no paralysis ticks (thankfully no ticks were found). She was monitored closely and kept comfortable until the vet arrived.

The vet examined her and realized how swollen and hard the leg was. He said it is either an abscess from a dog bite or a mast cell tumor. He decided she needed an operation on her leg. Lucy was given an antibiotic injection of Noroclav (her high temperature and swelling indicated an abscess). She was also given a premedicant which is given to animals prior to an anaesthetic to sedate them, relieve pain and make the anaesthetic smoother. She had a pre-anaesthetic blood test and all her levels were fine.

Once the premed had kicked in, Lucy had an IV (intravenous) catheter placed and was put on IV fluids which she was to be on from the beginning of her surgery till the time that she went home. The vet then induced her into general anaesthesia. While one nurse monitored her anaesthetic, the other nurse clipped up and cleaned her leg, ready for surgery.

As soon as the vet made the first incision into her leg, the puss poured out which confirmed it was an abscess. (a dog fight abscess is caused when the skin heals over after a dog bite wound and the bacteria is trapped underneath which then forms a pussy abscess. A larger incision was made to allow the puss to drain, the dead tissue to be removed and the wound to be flushed. A penrose drain was placed in the wound to allow it to drain and the edges of the wound were sutured. Over all, the surgery went very well.

She was given more pain relief after surgery and she recovered well. She was sent home on Cephalexin tablets which are antibiotics and Meloxicam oral suspension which is pain relief given orally. Her wound healed up well over the next 2 weeks with check ups from the vet.

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Dog abscess pre op
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