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DanaDVM, Dog Answer Team
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Dog Expert
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Dog wound that wont heal

Customer Question

I have a 10 year old lab. He was bitten or injured somehow 6 months ago that caused an abcess. He was treated with antibiotics, and eventually was operated on. The wound has been re sutured about every week and a half every possible way to keep it closed. It is behind his left shoulder blade. My vet has taken blood samples, and tissue samples to determine why it will not stay closed. Maxmy dog started this whole wound issue in April weighing 100 lbs. In the past two weeks he has dropped 10 more punds and has lost weight down to 65 lbs. He refuses to eat or barely drink water. My question is - Is there anything further that can be done to help him to heal? My vet and I have worked together on this to keep it clean, sutured, and medicated and yet to our best efforts nothing is working. Is there something we don;t know.
Submitted: 12 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  ZooCVT replied 12 years ago.
I would definately have your vet take x-rays if they haven't already
done so to make sure his heart and lungs are clear then you may want to
consider a second opinion from a specialist. Here is a website for one
in Dallas.

Good Luck!

The above is provided for informational purposes only.  As I am not a
veterinarian -- the above should not be considered, or relied upon as,
veterinary medical advice.  I strongly encourage you to consult your
own personal Licensed Veterinarian regarding any serious animal medical
matter as they will be able to see and exam your pet.

Expert:  DanaDVM replied 12 years ago.
It is hard to respond when I don't know the type and results of the bloodwork.
Failure to heal can be underlying disease in the dog, such as Cushings Disease, Diabetes, etc. Or can be resistant bacteria, which can be cultured.
6 months is along time, is there evidence of healing by second intention (self healing)?
Please try to get me more information and I will try to guide you better.
Customer: replied 12 years ago.
Max has shown some healing around the incision sites, however the initial spot of infection is the exact location that continually opens up. His bloodwork, showed no bacteria, or fungual infection. My Vet had additional slides run. his white blood count has been normal to slightly eleveated. Can you test for cushings disease or diabetes? If so what can my vet do about these diseases to help him to heal? Honestly I just don't really want to put Max through anymore testings, prodding and surgeries if it will only result in a matter of days or months. He is not an active dog anymore, he has hip problems and takes derramax for that. He spends much of his time lying down either in the house or outside. I am questioning if I am just prolonging his suffering or if there are real things that can make him feel better and heal.
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 12 years ago.
First, I would stop trying to close it. Secondly, I would get an antiseptic to place on it daily and antibiotics are up to you. The topicals I am thinking of are Nolvsan ointment or some of the common topicals used on horses.
I would run a general health panel or a chemistry to evaluate liver/kidney/etc, to look for diseases that are causing his body not to heal. This dog should be on some pretty strong vitamins to boost his body's immune system to heal this wound. Stay away from the surgery table, constant sedation is not helping.
If you need the exact vitamins let me know...
I also recommend Metacam over Deramaxx.
Good Luck,
Dr. V

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