Sunday, June 5, 2011

To Vet or Not to Vet?

Lately, I have read posts by a couple other bloggers (most notably Two Grad Students and a Pittie) about how to determine if a vet visit is necessary vs. if something can just be treated at home.  As I've mentioned before, my general rule of thumb is to evaluate Maisie's situation by what my actions would be if it were me instead of her.  For example, if I vomited once or twice, would I call the doctor?  No.  If I had a couple bloody cuts on a Saturday night, would I go to the ER?  That was the decision I had to make last night.

I have new neighbors who were out on their porch with a friend's little pit mix.  The dog seemed a little scared but friendly enough, so when they asked me to bring Maisie out to meet her, I hesitated but ultimately agreed.  I brought Maisie out on leash and the other dog immediately and with no warning attacked, biting Maisie in the face.  Honestly, it was dark out and Maisie reacted by continuing to wag her tail and trying to get close to the other dog, so it was not until we got back inside that I realized she had two cuts on her face.  One was very superficial but the other was deeper and bleeding more profusely.  I know from experience that facial wounds on dogs tend to bleed a lot, and since Maisie was acting normally I decided to just clean them up with a little water and apply antibiotic cream.  Maisie was actually more freaked out by me holding her still to put on the Neosporin than by the incident itself.

I checked the cuts first thing this morning and they don't look bad at all, definitely not anything serious.
.

Plus Maisie was her usual overly enthusiastic self this morning, pouncing on me the second my eyes opened, licking me until I got up then excitedly rolling around in the bed in anticipation of breakfast.  After I walked and fed her, she went right back to sleep (side note - I've been putting the Thundershirt on her well before I leave the house so she doesn't associate it with being left in the crate and I'll be out for a few hours today).

I'm confident I made the right decision by not rushing her to the emergency vet last night.  What would you have done?

8 comments:

Two Grad Students and a Pittie said...

Thanks for the mention, seriously, that advice is great. I think you should tell your neighbors this happened, because its something theyre gonna need to work on. But as far as Maisie you definitely made the right decision, assuming the other pup is up to date on shots, those cuts are superficial and she looks like usual happy-I-wanna-squeeze-her-through-the-computer-Maisie. Still waiting to learn about these Thundershirts...

www.twogradstudentsandapittie.blogspot.com

Bren and Titan said...

Poor Maisie! I would make sure the other dog has had all shots and make sure they know that was unacceptable behavior on their dogs end. Possibly more training or something, I'm no expert.

I hope Maisie heals quickly!

Froggy said...

I would just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get infected and for sure let the neighbors know. Love the Thundershirt! Maize wears one on walks.

OscarBlogger said...

I think I'd agree with what the advice you've gotten so far about keeping an eye on the cuts and telling the neighbours. Poor Maisie - I hope she and the other dog get along better over time. And to think Maisie was still trying to be friendly and get closer after being bitten in the face - what a sweetheart she is.

Maisie's Mom said...

Maisie's usually not that sweet, which added to the bizarre nature of the whole situation. I did tell the neighbors, but (thankfully?) it's not their dog, she belonged to a friend that came over last night.

loveandaleash said...

i think you're right on -- keep a close eye, but don't overreact. i am embarassed to say that our chick has had a couple of spats resulting in cuts back before we learned his limits and his triggers, and we have taken him to the vet a few times when we could have easily cleaned it up ourselves. we know now that cleaning with soap and water, followed by a little hydrogen peroxide, will do the trick. treat with neosporin (if the cut is deep, you can actually work the nozzle of the ointment in there and fill it with the stuff -- sounds gross but a vet once demonstrated for us and told us it's good policy).

as i understand, cat bites and scratches are worse b/c they are much more likely to get infected, so you really have to watch those carefully.

ick. i get grossed out just typing about this stuff :)

Bailey said...

We look for the unusual and new. Our vet is great about answering questions and will even phone screen as its a family business and some of her kids are vets in training. So they have been great when we see something new and we aren't quite sure about helping us make the call.

Your rule about thinking about when you would go yourself is kind of what we use. Also each of ours is slightly different. What is normal for one that will go away in a day is not for the other in all cases. Sometimes it is a warning sign that we need to get her seen.

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

That's an interesting threshold to use about going to the vet or not, I hadn't heard it before. It makes total sense though. I'm a hyper-worrier so I think thinking it through that way is really smart.