Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Stitching up your dog

For Robert S.

I am not a veterinarian. Repeat: I am not a veterinarian. I take absolutely no responsibility for your actions or fuck-ups.
This may help those that cannot afford or do not have access to a vet when they need it the most but is best for bear bit or hog slashed dogs where wounds can't be treated by a vet in the next few hours or so.
If your dog is suffering from an abdominal or an open chest wound, take it to the nearest vet ASAP. Infection is a bigger enemy than blood loss. Stitches ain't gonna help, in fact they will prolong the suffering and your dog deserves better than that.

To stitch up CGD, I used a curved canvas needle and some thick-ass gray (undyed) thread. It was only gonna be in there a week so cotton was fine, but you want the thickest shit you can find.
Take a pair of blunt forceps and a pair of needle nose pliers and sterilize everything in peroxide, including the thread.
If the dog is hyper, muzzle it well. If it's calm, it's likely in shock so be prepared to treat for that before you begin.
To treat a dog for shock, lay it on it's left side, cover it and lay down next to it, give it lots of calming words and love. It's freaked out right now and stroking and kisses is what it needs. Have somebody else do the stitching. Your hound needs you and your voice in its' ear right now. If it doesn't start to respond to your voice in 5 minutes, get the fucker to a vet NOW.
Shave the area around the wound with a pair of shears. It don't need to be clean, just exposed. Take a baggie or a towel full of ice and press it against the wound. This will slow the bleeding as well as numbing it. Thread your needle with 6 inches of thread. No need to tie it, that'll be done when it passes through the flesh. Clamp the wound loosely about 1/2" from the beginning of the cut with the forceps, but be careful. This is where the dog will get panicky. You want to clamp this so loosely that if you wiggle the clamps they will slip off. Insert the needle and draw the thread slowly from one side to the other, then tie it off with a square knot.
Repeat as necessary every half inch.
When done, bathe the wound and stitches in peroxide. Bandage the wound. Check for worsening shock. If the dog seems to be going deeper in shock, rush to a vet immediately - you've treated the wound but shock is a killer in its ownself.
Stitches can be removed in a week or ten days by cutting them and pulling them out with a pair of needlenose pliers. Don't go too much longer of the flesh will start to grow into or around the thread, making it painful to the dog.

5 comments:

JC said...

Same technique works for humans

drjim said...

Never saw it written down, but it makes good sense. They sure don't feel pain the same way we do, and they can get pretty banged up before they know they're hurt.
What about that blood clotting stuff? 'Quick-Clot' or whatever it's called?

Hog Whitman said...

I think I just threw-up on my shoes. Sounds like good advice, though.

I had an old girlfriend down to Fresno who did that stuff when necessary. Earth Mother/Hippie Chick. She could also crack your back as good as any chiropractor. I should probably shut up now.

Tango said...

For humans, you can still punch them in the face REALLY hard to knock them out cold and then get the belly. The movies prove it's true.

Niki said...

You forgot the Neosporian. Apply it or another triple antibotic to the wound after stiching to avoid infection. It works on dogs, kids and humans.