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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  15 years of small animal veterinary medicine
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I am a member of a local dogpark that has 2 ponds. My dog gotwas

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I am a member of a local dogpark that has 2 ponds. My dog gotwas running along side aother dog that had just been in one of the ponds, my dog turned his head towqard the other dog and caused a minor laceration not an attack, the other dog had been in the pond. My dog doesn't go in the ponds. This dogs's owner took her pet to the ER vet, they stiched the laceration placed him on a broad spectrum antibiotic and listed it as a minor laceration. 2 days later the stictches were going away, the owner took him to regular vet and they cultured the area and it came back psuedamonas. My question is should the minor laceration that they listed as sticthed before getting cultures back knowing the dog had been in the pond?.

Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 12 years. Thank you for your question about this situation. The suturing of wounds on presentation is a "call" decision on the part of the veterinarian at the time. There are a lot of wounds like what you're describing that get sutured shut on presentation as they appear to be clean, fresh wounds that have a very good chance of healing with primary intention - suturing of the wound edges together. Suturing provides for the quickest wound healing in most cases. But, do all sutured wounds heal well? No. Some may have crushing injury to the edges of the wound that decrease viability of the tissue and compromise it. This then doesn't allow for good primary healing. Some can have bacterial contamination deeper in the wound that the initial cleaning of the wound and antibiotics fail to resolve and it becomes infected. So unless a wound is grossly contaminated with debris or presents as one that shouldn't be sutured due to other reasons, a lot of these get sutured as a majority heal very well with no complications. Again though, that doesn't mean that every wound sutured heals as hoped / planned on. At my ER, I routinely see dogs that have been playing / being active on the Mississippi River and they cut themselves on clam shells, wire, cans, etc... and when they come in, I evaluate each wound for the best way to help it heal. I will suture them without culturing it if I feel the wound presents as one that would have a very good prognosis for healing with sutures. The Mississippi River can't be looked at as a pristine body of water by any means. Please let me know what questions this brings up.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, I understand that now. The problem is the ownder is suing me for all the damgaes of over 2,000 dollars. It wasn't an attack. I don't want anything bad to happen from animal control and courts etc.

I'm sorry to hear about the legal situation. It is unfortunate when it gets to this. As far as what the ER clinic did with suturing of the initial wound, I can't find any fault with that based on my experiences in a similar nature.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Bear. How is everything going?

Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I offered to pay half of the bill in installments. The dog with the psuedomonas infection is well. The owner though won't except my offer and is taking me to court. I also don't feel the infection is my or the dogs fault just one of those things.The dog that did the laceration isn't really my dog it is my Son's, but she is suing me. I really feel the infection is just one of those things in life that can happen and I also feel you take a risk at a dogpark that requires no leash, ponds etc. I am so afraid she will have animal control pick the shephard up and quarentine him to determine if he is a viscous animal, which he is not. He has grown up with 2 much smaller dogs his entire 21/2 years without problems. Thanks for checking.

I'm glad to hear that the other dog is doing well. The lawsuit situation is a bummer though. I would recommend seeking council from a local attorney to see what they have to say on this situation. I don't know how much liability is on their part for accepting the risk of being at the dog park too like you said. Their bringing that dog to the park and letting it run with other animals opens them up for a knowledgeable decision that there is some risk there that they are taking on.

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