the wrong sutures?
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Thread: the wrong sutures?

  1. #1
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    the wrong sutures?

    Hi, This is my first time posting here, I will try to keep this brief. My baby Scarlett (a boxer) was spayed early last month. I'm a military spouse, and I had the procedure done at the military vet clinic. ok, fine. they told me that the sutures they used were the dissolvable kind. They gave me her little post op care paperwork, and sent me home. Everything was fine until I started to feel her scar looked weird. It looks stiff, and when I would feel it, it felt hard, almost like I thought there was something inside.

    ok then, so, she gets this little infection looking things at the top of her scar. I -should have- brought her to the vet, but i am tight on money, so i thought I would just clean it out. (so much for this being brief) So i peeled off the crust and cleaned out the little area, and i saw what was causing the problem, the knot from the sutures. I thought to myself that it shoulda been dissolved by now. So i sterlized some of my good scissors and cut the knot out. I cleaned her up and put some antibiotic cream on it, and she was golden, it looked perfect the next day, healed up just fine.

    Then a few days later I see another red bump looking thing. I vow to take her to the vet once I get my paycheck. this bump is like an inch down from the start of her scar, and just off to the side...weird. I keep an eye on it, and Scarlett's behavior, she seems fine, so I chill. The bump comes to a head early this morning, and again, i say I'm going to clean it out. So i peel off the crust and start to clean it out and there is a peice of monofilment in there. It looks like a peice of fishing line. I say to myself that's impossible, she was spayed over a month ago, this should have dissolved. So, i gently tug on it, and it gives, and gives, until 5 inches of monofilment comes out of her, and i saw it worm its way through her scar, it was the weirdest thing ever.

    I scrambled to get her operation paperwork, and there was a blurb the vet wrote about her procedure. It listed the type of suture used, and I googled it, and it said it's dissolvable. They used the wrong suture on her, i'm sure. But if they used the wrong suture there at the surface, did they use the wrong stuff all inside her, where they tied off and sewed things back together for the spaying?! the paperwork says they used the same suture the whole time, for everything. Does my dog have ...what is basically plastic fishing line inside of her? What can I do? What will they do to find out?! Right now the vet is closed, and she's not in any obvious pain, but first thing tomorrow I am going in there. I just am not sure what to ask, or if they'll beleive me when I show them what I pulled out of her,

    ok, sorry so long, i'm just freaking out.

    -Judi

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  3. #2
    Senior Member GroovyGroomer777's Avatar
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    Re: the wrong sutures?

    Judi -

    Sorry to hear about all this. I understand the money issue. However, feel free to call your vet and explain all this. If they are a decent clinic they would not DARE charge you for a phone conversation! I don't even think they would charge you for a "re-check" after her surgury. Call your vet ASAP and explain your concern...they may put your mind at ease by explaining something, or they may ask you to bring her right in. If this is something they messed up on I don't think they would charge you!!

    Always, always feel free to call your vet with questions!!!! I work in a clinic, it is quite common for owners to call with concerns and they would never ever charge you for something like that!!

  4. #3
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    Re: the wrong sutures?

    Yeah, give the vet's office a call. I know military vets aren't big on customer service (my dad was in the Navy), but they should be able to give advice. And, if they did use the wrong sutures, most vets offer free suture removal anyway.

    If you get any more pieces of suture material out of her, try putting it in some hydrogen peroxide. I just learned that peroxide will dissolve the dissolvable sutures. If it doesn't dissolve in peroxide, you'll know for sure that they used the wrong kind.

    But.....my dog Penny was stitched up after her spay with dissolvable sutures, and I was pulling knots out of her for longer than a month. I can see why a lot of vets don't like them for external use. My current vet only uses them for feral cats because of that.
    "Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."
    Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality

  5. #4
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    Re: the wrong sutures?

    well, i will be bringing Scarlett to the vet today close to lunch time. I'm gonna try to remain calm, even though I'm quite agitated. I'll show them what I pulled out of her, and I was thinking on asking for an ultrasound to make sure there isn't anymore inside of her.
    -Judi

  6. #5
    Senior Member mylittlebecky's Avatar
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    Re: the wrong sutures?

    sorry to hear you're having issues with Scarlet.

    as far as absorbable sutures are concerned, depending upon the type and size, they can take a long time to be fully absorbed (ex 3-0 monomend is commonly used to suture the linea (below the skin). it is an absorbalble suture and takes 60-90 days to be absorbed). the suture absorbs very slowly so that the vulnerable area has as much time as possible to heal and strengthen.

    the reason you were able to take out a long strip of suture from the wound is they probably used a simple continuous suture pattern (kind of like a whipstich). some dogs and people's skin is irritated by the suture material and experience a reaction to it like your dog. the internal suture used to ligate the uterine horns and stumps will most likely not cause any trouble as they should not constantly irritate any surface.

    both my dogs' linea were closed with stainless steal suture back in the time where it was commonly used and by older male DVMs (who sometimes take a little while longer to update ). i can feel the sutures below the skin and they show up on radiographs. stainless steel is still used today for high tension areas (such as the knee).

    i hope you got everything sorted out at the clinic.

    The best way to convince a fool that he is wrong is to let him have his own way. -Josh Billings

  7. #6
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    Re: the wrong sutures?

    well, i feel kinda silly for throwing a freakout fest. the vet said he used sutures that take a longer time to dissolve, but they would dissolve. he was very nice to me, even though i was acting like one of those crazy new parents.

    so yeah. you guys have been very helpful. i wish the post about stainless steel sutures was put up sooner lol, then i really would have had something to reflect on.

    so yeah, crisis averted (there was no crisis to begin with) <3

    freak-out-fest boxer mom
    -Judi

  8. #7
    Senior Member RRM_Mom08's Avatar
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    Re: the wrong sutures?

    Ok here is my take in it my one female just had a c-section and they used the dissolveable sutures.When I took the puppies in for there 2 week check the vet looked at the incesion site and there was the tie off knot left which she removed (my dogs always have the sutures not visable and internal except for the tie off knot).According to my vet she said sometimes the body just doesn't want to absorb the fillament..So just because it is dissolveable doesn't mean that the body will accept it...as long as the body heals fine following surgery and there is no infection or issues..HTH

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