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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7575
Experience:  Veterinarian
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Customer Question

I have a mini Dachshund who underwent his second bowel obstruction surgery a little less than a month ago. Earlier this week we notice him licking the spot where his stiches were, it started to turn pink and we put on a collar to prevent him from licking the area.  We started giving him Clindamycin that we had left over from oral surgery. The swelling has gone down but the slight redness is still there. we're still worried about why this occured so long after surgery. We have spent thousands of dollars recently at the Vet and were hoping this would clear up, should we take him or should we wait it out? Also, we have a full supply of metacam, would this help or should we hold off on it?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 4 years ago.
Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your young Mini Dachshund boy Roman who is still healing up from an exploratory surgery to remove a bowel obstruction! Typically these wounds are relatively big and it isn't too uncommon to have some swelling or irritation along the suture line at some point within 3 - 4 weeks of the surgery. It certainly does sound like you have spent a bit of money on your boy if he has had two lots of this surgery within a year!

Given this irritation occured nearly a month after his operation and he had no skin stitches when he was licking at the wound, it is more than likely the subcutaneous stitches (that's the ones under the skin holding the underlying layer of fat and tissue together), are irritating the underside of his skin. It could even be the stitches in the muscle layer. Because these other tissues take longer to heal, it takes 3 - 4 months for these stitches to dissolve. It is more than likely his licking was due to it 'feeling funny' rather than anything else. The swelling is more than likely due to his licking! The clindamycin sounds like it may have settled any secondary bacterial infection that has occured as a result of his licking.

As far as the metacam goes - if your Vet has prescribed this for him SINCE the surgery - then that would be fine. If the swelling has since gone however, then there probably isn't much need for it unless you think Roman is in pain. If the metacam was prescribed for another animal, or for Roman before this second obstruction occurred, then you need to run this past your Vet first. Your Vet may prefer you to wait a little longer since metacam can affect the GI tract (and he has only had surgery 3 - 4 weeks ago).

I hope this helps - and do keep that collar on while he is licking won't you! The other option is to use some unique and new 'anti lick strips' - . These are little sticky strips you put near the area he is licking. They are impregnanted with a couple of (safe) spices that don't taste that good and can help prevent a dog licking a wound very well!

Best of luck and don't forget to click a smiley :-D face if this has been helpful,

Dr Edwards
Pet Doc and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So when should I be worried enough to take him to the doc?

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 4 years ago.
Hi Will,

If the swelling has gone down - that is a great start, as that helps to rule out a hernia through the incision. If the area is still particularly red - or more importantly - if your boy is still particularly irritated by the area, then definitely get him checked up early next week. If you do get him checked over again, make sure you ask for the Vet who carried out the surgery. A lot of the time this sort of revisit will be included in the 'post operative' fees (which often are low or zero).

If the wound has healed up nicely - but the skin seems a little red, then you could a small amount of polysporin on the area twice daily for a couple of days (as well as leaving that head collar on) to see if this helps it to settle.

I hope this helps Will and best of luck with this little fella.

Dr E
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 4 years ago.
Hi Will,

Did you need more information on your boy? I noticed you chose 'poor service'? Feel free to keep on asking questions until you are satisfied! That's not a problem at all :-D

Kind Regards,

Dr E