quindo (quindo) wrote,

starla's surgical adventures

The good news:

Last Tuesday, Starla had surgery to have a mammary tumor removed. We've gotten the test results back and fortunately it's benign. We are so relieved!

No more tests, treatments, or surgery. She's healthy! Well, except for recovering from the surgery...

The less good news:

Recovery from surgery turns out to be a little more complicated than I expected, especially for a dog with Starla's personality.

First, they had to take out more tissue than initially expected, so the incision and cavity were larger than anticipated, which was scary to see. As a bonus, they had to put in a drain in case the cavity filled with fluid as she was healing. She also got a classic Elizabethan collar to prevent her from messing with her stitches, which she *hates*. When I picked her up from the vet, she was in a terrible mood, whining and snapping about everything, which was understandable.

She was crabby and mopey, but she seemed to be doing as well as could be expected on Tuesday night and Wednesday, but on Thursday, Starla decided to make things more interesting. I was supposed to take her back to the vet that morning for a quick visit to have the drain taken out, except I woke up to piles of vomit. At least I already had an appointment. Then on the way to the car, she started bleeding from the incision. Gah!!

The vet took the drain out, but noticed that in addition to the bleeding, the incision site looked inflamed. So now Starla has antibiotics in addition to her pain medication. We had to delay starting her on the pills because she's on a special diet due to the vomiting. No idea what precisely caused that either. This is so much fun!

So we've made it through almost three days of the special diet with no vomiting, even after adding both of the medications. Victory!

She is, however, still bleeding periodically. It is slowing down though. Hopefully it will stop soon because she is starting to get impatient with sitting around all day.

This morning, Starla surprised us by demonstrating exactly how much she hates the cone. Overnight, she worried at it with her front paw in a way that she now has a cut from it (bad enough that there was blood on the cone too). She has also been experimenting with various contortionist positions and is getting closer to finding a way to reach her stitches. It looks like she's developing a hot spot near her incision from all of these attempts. Her terrier focus is turning out to be a liability this time. *sigh*

Right now, I'm watching over her every twitch, to ensure she doesn't move around too much and stress her stitches or get sick again. When I'm not doing that, I'm mixing up special food, applying warm compresses, checking her stitches, or trying to trick her into taking a pill. Starla and I will both be very happy when she's back into her normal routine.

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