Sunday, December 23, 2012

Week Four: This Is The Week That Was

I have been marking off the weeks since Bingley broke his toe. Seven more weeks till normal. Six more weeks till normal. Today, I expected to say, Four more weeks till normal. But instead, we're looking at a New Normal--ominous words. Tuesday, when Bingley went in for a bandage change, he came out with no bandage, no splint. In spite of keeping the bandage absolutely dry, he had developed numerous sores under the bandage. To complicate matters, even the most gentle tape--paper tape--peels off the tissue thin skin that covers his ankle and paw. I brought home a dog with a paw bleeding from multiple sores, and a new medication in powder form to be applied twice a day--AND--the old nemesis of all Greyhound guardians--the e-collar. Show me a Greyhound guardian with any length of experience with the breed and I will show you a person with a collection of failed collars that their sleek canine companion has outwitted, resulting in the serious compromising of healing injuries or surgical incisions. Standard issue e-collars are designed proportionally. The longer the collar, the wider the neck. I'm guessing that the circumference of a Greyhound's neck is not much larger than that of a Miniature Poodle. AND, their heads narrow from ear to nose. That in combination with thin skin, short, fine fur, and no body fat, and you have a recipe for long, complicated recovery. It was no time at all before John and I concluded that Bingley could not be left alone for any extended time. I figured, four more weeks of this drill. HOWEVER, when we returned yesterday for an evaluation of Bingley's progress, having at least staunched the bleeding of his wounds, we were faced with another unwelcome development. An x-ray revealed that no healing had occurred to the broken bone. Poor Bingley had suffered all pain and no gain. This sad situation confronted us with an option of Plan B and Plan C--or I think, more accurately, Plan C and Plan D. (Plan A was splint and bandage. Plan B was Open Wound Healing) Plan C was an attempt at pinning or plating the toe in an intricate piece of canine orthopedic surgery, which involved extended time of recovery, including extensive bandaging and anti-biotics. (I am sparing you, dear reader, the details of the impact of anti-biotics on Bingley's sensitive digestive/elimination system.) Plan D was amputation of the little toe, which promises a speedier recovery time and restoration of the use of the paw.
Bandages and anti-biotics are still in the picture, but for a shorter period of time. It was a painful decision. We consulted with our Greyhound adviser. One of the advantages to adopting a Greyhound through a well organized, cautious rescue is that you are assigned an old Greyhound hand to help you through just this sort of problem. After considering all factors, we have decided on amputation of Bingley's little toe on his left front paw. Prognosis is excellent. The risk of general anesthesia to a Greyhound is always a factor, but the surgery we have chosen is briefer than the other surgery, so we are minimizing that risk as much as possible. The surgery is scheduled for shortly after 7am Pacific Time. If you are so inclined, whisper a prayer for our beloved Bingley, Dr. Pearson, and assisting vet techs. All paws crossed.

No comments:

Post a Comment