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Old 08-14-2012, 08:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Recovering from surgery: time for wheel?

Quinn has had an operation on the 30th to get fixed in order to remove a tumor in her uterus. She's been recovering nicely and seems to be full of energy. The vet's order were 14 days of full rest, so I had to remove her wheel and pipe tunnel (cause she was trying to climb on it).

To other people who've had to deal with surgery, does the time seem right to you? I'd be giving her her wheel back tonight.

She looks good and I know she's getting restless without her wheel. She's started pulling out the liners in her cage, moving stuff around and making huge messes. I can't wait for her to get her usual routine back. But I'm concerned about the fact her stitches are still there, they haven't started falling out yet? Could it be dangerous to let her run again, since she might rub her belly on the wheel?

Same thing goes for bathing her. She really needs a bath, and a bit of a soak in oil to soothe her dry skin. But would soaking melt down the stitches?

I suppose I can trust the vet's order, but I thought I'd ask other owners just to be sure I'm doing the right things!
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Recovering from surgery: time for wheel?

I would say she can have her wheel back. Sometimes the dissolving stitches take a long time to fall off. When Peaches had her mammary tumour removed one of her stitches was still there 9 months later.

Sometimes they do more damage to themselves out of boredom than they do having their wheel. Her incision has most likely healed enough that there is no risk of feces affecting it from running and pooping on the wheel. I'm sure she'll be happy to have it back.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Recovering from surgery: time for wheel?

Woa, 9 months, no way I could wait then

How about a bath? Her incision does look well healed, (though it looked great from the start) there's no redness and the stitches haven't gotten loose or anything.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Recovering from surgery: time for wheel?

I would call the vet first and make sure that the stitches are dissolvable and not non-dissolvable that have to be taken out. All the dissolvable suture we use are only used for subcutanouse closures and non-dissolvable are visible. I would confirm that first and then go ahead with wheel and bath after. If stitches have to come out you may have to wait a couple extra days for bath for holes from suture to heal and as for wheel the vet may only want her to have it for small amounts of time to start and not all night. We usually recommend on leash 5 to 10 minute walks for first couple days then increase time over about 2 to 3 weeks for dogs so assuming vet would recommend a re-introduction to exercise like that. Goodluck
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Recovering from surgery: time for wheel?

When Annabelle was spayed last summer, I waited the 2 weeks before putting her wheel back. She didn't seem to miss it while it was gone but was fine once it was back. As for the bathing, I'm sure it would be ok now but I'd still double check with your vet
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Recovering from surgery: time for wheel?

They are dissolvable, I don't need to check. The orders were just 14 days of rest and nothing more. I gave her her wheel back yesterday, she came out at once to check it out, but I'm not sure she even used it last night... She'd rather still pull out her liners instead. I'll keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn't overdo it, but it looks like she'll be taking it easy.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Recovering from surgery: time for wheel?

I called the vet's office today and asked about bathing. They told me as long as I was sure the wound was closed (which it should be at this time) I can give her a bath.

So I picked her up and had a closer look at it. She didn't enjoy it, so I took a picture close up so I could inspect it. there seems to be some yellow stuff in there. It might be scabbing? I hope it's not infection, the fact she's lied down in her pee worries me a bit. But I suppose scabs are to be expected, I know I had them when I had stitches on my hand!

I attached a picture, what do you guys think? Does this look like a normal healing wound? Would it be okay to wash her?

Oh and, she started using her wheel again, though I think she's not as active as she used to, but she seems to be on the way up. She's been cleaning her food bowl every night too
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Recovering from surgery: time for wheel?

I think it looks pretty good. What you are seeing is probably just scabs. If there was infection the area would be red and puffy. You should be able to give her a short bath.

It may take her a while to get back to normal wheeling. Her tummy is probably still tender. Abdominal surgery take quite a while to fully heal.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Recovering from surgery: time for wheel?

The incision looks wonderful! She's healing really well.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Recovering from surgery: time for wheel?

Incision looks great! Though those are external sutures and they sometimes do require removal. Usually if the vet did not plan on a return visit, they would suture internally(so you can't see the sutures at all). Although I guess you could wait the months for the sutures to go, or maybe give the vet a call about it.
I'm not sure on how it may be for hedgies, but I would've expected the vet to suture internally so there's no need for a return visit.
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