Sewing up a dog? Tips, pics advice.

The only thing I would add is, if the abdominal wall is cut completely through (where you can see the intestines or they are hanging out) I would get to a vet as quick as possible as there are "layers" and they must all be repaired. This info came from a vet, I don't KNOW but having seen a dog in that condition once I wouldn't want to tackle it myself. I have done a bit of doctoring and never lost a dog, but I think you kind of need to know your limitations. A lot depends on how much you value the animal and whether or not it is suffering. I have called vets to get their advice and I've never been refused information. Hope this is helpful. ----Ben Jimmy

Also, you might take into consideration the heat & flies. If an animal suffers from a broken limb seperate it from others in its own pen, no chains.
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I AM NOT A VET. Any advice given should be checked with your vet. I have had a kennel most of my life and in extreme cases of trauma these methods have worked very well for me.
There are many ways to rehab a dog and my way is only one of them. I would strongly suggest you locate a veterinarian that will teach and work with you.
As many of you know keeping a large amount of dogs is VERY expensive and having your vet teach you how to take care of your dogs yourself will save you much time and money not to mention increase your knowledge and improve the quality of life of your dogs.
With that said....
I think the most important thing with wounds is keeping them clean.
1) Wash affected areas with Betidine scrub and rinse with warm water.
2) Staple large open wounds and leave part of it open to drain. Once stapled take a tube of triple antibiotic ointment and put the tip in every wound and pump in some ointment (this creates a nice wound barrier to keep bacteria out and promote healing).
If after a few days the wounds are not swollen and have formed a nice scab LEAVE THEM ALONE. A scab on a wound that is not infected is nature’s own band aid. Keeping them dry and clean is a good thing.
Some have used and swear by Granulex Spray
I have not used it but hear many good things from reliable sources.
3) If you think they need antibiotics polyflex is a very good one for bite wounds (see your vet for dose info).
If after a week series of injectables you have a wound or two that is being stubborn stop the injectable and switch up with a series of oral baytril, or if orals are more convenient use baytil only (see vet for dose info).
Some cases may require injections of Azium or dexamethasone? Dexamethasone is an inexpensive drug usually made for horses but can also be used on canines. Dex can be great for reducing swelling and allowing wounds to close quickly speeding up rehab. However, it is a corticosteroid that acts as a diuretic and will dehydrate your dog. To compensate this you can either put water in your dogs feed, and give them broth in the evenings to make sure they are drinking enough fluids (sometimes when it is cold dogs will not drink much) or you can give fluids either IV, or SQ. You can check your dog’s hydration by grabbing a pinch of skin along the spine in between the hips and beginning of the rib cage and pull upward and let it go. If the dog is at a working weight (lean) and hydrated it will snap right back. If the dog is slightly dehydrated it will take 1 second. If it is severely dehydrated it will take a count of 3, or more and will require immediate fluids either orally or via SQ, or IV. Dex can suppress immune system, and can be hard on kidneys and the liver. I usually only use it in rare instances and only for 3 days (check with your vet for dose info, etc).
If your dog has had a kennel fight, or experienced a similar bite wound and you have a lump under the skin the size of a cherry, walnut, or larger that does not have a hole to drain. You can take a 3 cc syringe and pull out the plunger and with a 22, or 18 gauge needle you can take the knot in your fingers and poke it a few times with the syringe and the extra fluid with milk out. You may have to do this twice a day until the lump is gone. Otherwise it may not re absorb and your dog will be left with a hematoma.
Dog should be kept in a clean dry area to rehab. If they are really beat keeping them in a crate lined with newspaper is a good idea. This can help keep debris from getting into open wounds causing an infection. If you rehab one this way you will have to take them out to empty often.
Common sense is the rule. Keep your dog warm (a dog that is beat can slip into shock if left in the cold to rehab) and clean and in most cases as shawn said you will not need antibiotic injectables.
Good working dogs work hard for us and I always figure the least we can do is make an effort to care for them properly afterward.

PS: Many wounds that are only about 1 in long by 1/2 inch wide if kept clean will close. Stapling large wounds shut leaving a small section up for draining does two things. 1st the healing time is MUCH faster, and the chance of bacteria and debri getting into the wound is GREATLY reduced.

Super Glue:
your dog may be more annoyed by that hard crap that is closing the wound than the wound itself and may chew at the wound until it gets it off making it worst than it originally was.
Keep it simple.
1) Wash em with anitseptic scrub
2) Put antibiotic ointment in their wounds
3) Keep em in a warm, clean, dry area to rehab.
4) If wounds are severe be proactive and give give oral, or injectable antibiotics.
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New here, but have raised dogs for many years. We have used staples and super glue when we needed to close up a wound. You need to leave space for it to drain think "tacking" the wound closed rather than closing it completely. Super glue works best where the dog can't get to it to lick it. I have also used colidial silver to rinse out the wounds and it works well for wounds in the mouth. As far as injectible antibiotics it is better to prevent the infection than to wait till one sets in and then fighting it. Cephalexin works well as does Baytril for stubborn infections. Pen G works for mild stuff. Good Luck...
Originally Posted By: 122CouesNew here, but have raised dogs for many years. We have used staples and super glue when we needed to close up a wound. You need to leave space for it to drain think "tacking" the wound closed rather than closing it completely. Super glue works best where the dog can't get to it to lick it. I have also used colidial silver to rinse out the wounds and it works well for wounds in the mouth. As far as injectible antibiotics it is better to prevent the infection than to wait till one sets in and then fighting it. Cephalexin works well as does Baytril for stubborn infections. Pen G works for mild stuff. Good Luck...

Good info. For mouth I'd add just treat your dog as you would yourself. After eating flush with water (hose, etc) then in a large syringe a 1 part listerine 2 parts water flush works fine too.
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Gonzaga do you have any state aided hospitals ? If so try get friendly with someone there and they could maybe source you sterile needles and thread.

I have a very useful supplier I even get local anaesthetic , saline drips etc.

Give it a try or even a paramedic buddy may be able to source it for you.Vets are generally unhelpfull in this respect - money grabbers !! The more you can help yourself the better. Last year my leopard season cost me R 114 000.00 in vet bills alone.They see you coming a mile off and know you're in a jam cause your hounds are valuable and they take advantage accordingly.

My closest vet is 70 km away and they wont even let our local registered drug store owner keep tick and flee repelent and sell it on their behalf - we got to buy it from them.

Wish we had access to those staple guns you guys can get. Good luck.

Roy Sparks.
I've never used the staples cause i've had them in me before and they hurt like [beeep] when they need to be removed> I just use a needle and like 4lb. fishing line and it works for me. Mike
I cannot argue much with any of these options. Just a couple of thoughts or "pearls".

Love a staple gun as it is quick and easy. I have access to anything obviously and this is my first choice if at all possible.

When you sew a wound try and look at the layers and get them to match when you pull it together. Don't pull the sutures very tight as the tissue will swell and you need to leave the sutures loose enough to allow for swelling.

A good antibiotic is hard to beat, but getting a good antibiotic is another thing. Getting enough of a good antibiotic is even harder to accomplish.

Most of our dogs are like a herd of cows. It is hard to find someone who understands that and will treat them as such. We don't just own one little poodle that lives in the house we have a whole pack in most cases.

An old saying is that a veterinarian helps only 10% of the animals that are sick. 80% were going to get better on their own and 10% were going to die no matter what you do.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Super glue is an excellent way to keep a wound closed and lasts until the wound is healed. They use a similar product in a couple of hospitals I have worked at...on the liter side I was at camp with a friend, my father and my uncle...the dog was in the corner licking his ba!!$...My friend said, "boy I wish I could do that..if I could, I would never leave the house" (jokingly of course) uncle replied, "go a head...I'm sure he wont mind" Man, I almost fell out of my chair laughing so hard...ahhh the good old days!
I got a dog that the hole won't heal up, its from a deep trauma (run over in the mid section by atv, just in front of the back legs behind the ribcage) that killed a lot of tissue deep in. That dead tissue has worked its way to the surface, I had a vet open a large pocket under the hide and install a drain tube, that worked well but then a week later it was time to take the tube out. The wound healed but then later filled back up with fluid and more dead tissue, the bottom where the drain tube was reopend so I left it to weep out. Its been healing up, refilling, then reopening for quite a few cycles now

the injury as best I can figure happened in june 2010, I didn't see any pockets until 0ct, vet opened the wound I think late november and its been draining since. I worked a little more dead tissue out and some fluid just today. not sure what to do about this.

The other side recently had a pocket swell up as well, the fur fell off, probaly a silver dollar size lump maybe a bit bigger, and it was purple looking.
I nicked that one with a knife, it drained a good amount of old blood and some dead tissue. Its healing up nice now. Wish the other side would heal as well. I want to train and work her some, but its winter too

this is a britt I'm trying to make a decent pointer for grouse, some rabbit too.

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That is a common issue with deep wounds. It could be a couple of things. The first is that the wound is healing from the outside in. This causes a pocket which is perfect for microorganisms to breed and infection to set in..or their may be a little bit of debris still inside that is foreign material and the wound may heal around it but the body knows it doesn't belong so the dog's immune system kicks in in an attempt to remove the foreign debris...either way...the wound needs to be reopened and the dead tissue needs to be removed. If it is really deep a wet to dry dressing needs to be applied...basically a ball of gauze drenched in normal saline and the outer gauze being dry. With this, the saline will keep the inner part of the wound moist so the gauze doesn't stick (if it did and you removed it, it would rip the new tissue away that is starting to grow). With the gauze coming into contact with the will stimulate tissue growth from the inside out which is what you want...and a pocket wont form...that and some antibiotics and the pooch will be good as new. I never had to do this with a dog...but I do it with people and it does the trick...if you do this...make sure you keep the gauze covered so the dog can't pull at it...maybe an ace bandage over...and if you can...get one of the cone collars that go on animals to keep them from biting themselves. Good luck
Buy a sterile staple gun and remover from KV Vet Supply. You can also get an antibiotic for fish tanks (I'd recommend cephalexin) to prevent infection. Clean it real good before you staple it. Leave a small opening for drainage. You can use a mixture of Betadine and peroxide on it daily. You can even flush the wound through the opening you left if it starts to get infected using a syringe with some of your Betadine/peroxide mixture.

The key is the antibiotics and keeping it clean. I'm no vet, but I know a regimen like this will get them on the mend in a week or so depending on the severity of the wound.

If you treat the dog daily with the antibiotics for a week or so and the Betadine, you shouldn't have any problems.
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Jason , Duane and the Doc have it sorted for you in their advice here.

If you hunt stuff that cause open and deep flesh injuries to dogs try keep penicyllin ( I use Peni LA )with you while hunting. I think bears and cats are about the same when it comes to infection which is often far more dangerous than how bad the wound looks. As soon as you can after a contact inspect all your dogs carefully even for what might look like minute nicks in the skin and bite wounds and if these are evident inject your dogs as soon as you can. Then you can clean out the wounds as previously explained here.The cosmetic part of the treatment I regard as the last priority.

Please check and re-check rough coated dogs as bites and bad sratches are easily hidden by the dense coat and you will not necessarily see a trace of blood as a sign on the surface of the coat. A dog that appears unijured at the time might be returned to the kennel and die overnight from bad infection - its happened to me !!

Often ugly looking wounds where skin has parted will heal remarkably well without sutures and especially so if the dog can reach the effected area with its mouth. If this is possible most dogs will pull the stitches out with their teeth as the wound starts itching with the healing process just aggravating the situation.

I hope this serves to help out.

Veterycin and then super glue...I have seen it work wonders on horses and cattle, I would imagine the same for dogs

You can get it at the vets, also Orschelns and other farm supply stores have started to carry it. It is worth it!
hey do you all worry about it if they just rip the hide?

My dog got a stick in between her legs and ripped the hide in a < shape about 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches

I rinsed all the dirt out but didn't have a staple gun or needle handy to hold the loose flap of skin back where it should be.

Didn't rip the muscle, just tore the skin. This on her inner thigh

washed with betadine (she didn't like that) and squirted vetricyn on it after.
My first post here guys. I raise and hunt blueticks and have for years. All this sounds pretty standard to me. It's good advice.

One thing that hasn't been touched on is having a "country" veterinarian that you do business with. I've found that there are basically two types of veterinarians in the world, "country vets", and "poodle doctors".

When I lived and hunted in the Ozarks I had a country vet that I used all the time. I'd sometimes have to wait while he filed the teeth on a mule or something, but he would sew up a damaged hound for $25 and send you home with a bottle of penicillin for another $5. The veterinarian in town, the poodle doctor, would want to charge $200 for sewing up the dog and then keep it for 2 days observation, do some blood work, and take x-rays for another $800.

Wherever I set up housekeeping, one of the first orders of business is finding a country veterinarian for my dogs. The guy I'm using now also does large animals and owns his own ranch. A typical emergency visit is maybe $150, versus $300 to $500 most other places. The country vet doesn't mind you doing your own vaccinations and things, whereas the poodle doctor won't sell you the shots or equipment and insists on doing it himself. I also raise sheep, so I'm pretty good at vaccinations and I already have the equipment. I just buy the medicine from the vet or the feed store.

Anyway, just my $.02 on the topic. In other words, don't wait until you have an emergency before you pick out a vet. It can make a huge difference in the cost of care.
I've had to use a staple gun a couple of times. They don't sew cuts up as well as stitches, but they are stronger and easier to do yourself. You can find them all over online.
Iraq and Afghanistan we used the small 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch saftey pins.....not in dogs though....but they should work!

We kept hundreds of em and a bottle of alcohol.....super fast stitch kit!