"chewie"...he is a 2 yr old pygmie goat that was aquired by a young man in downtown vancouver when he was babe.. he kept the goat in his back yard and used to go skate boarding with him. eventually the goat was caught in the back yard by the landlord and sent packing. the man left him on a farm "temporarily" promising to pay for board and feed. after a few weeks the man disappeared never to be heard of again.
so far this little goat has had quite an adventure during his life. but the worst was left to come. 2 weeks ago, chewie was attacked by either dogs or coyotes. i suspect dogs because if coyotes had inflicted that kind of damage, they wouldn't have stopped...chewie would have been coyote toast.
he has a 10 inch gash that reaches from his hip thru to under the groin and belly..it has gone thru the tissue and in some parts past the muscle and right thru to the fascia and tendons. he has wounds to the back of his front leg that go right to the bone and underneath to his chest. he has a deep wound near his rectum, one on his face. all of the wounds are deeply infected, all of them are necrotic with dead rotting tissue. the rotting tissue smell of him is enough to make you gag. the reason the wounds are necrotic are two fold..one is from infection, the second is from pouring hydrogen peroxide in the wounds every day. hydrogen peroxide is cytotoxic....that means it kills newly growing cells...not just bacteria but also new healthy tissue growth. as the bacteria and new cells die, they lay a foundation of dead cells in the wound...eventually the dead cells rot and the bacteria take over killing off even more healthy tissue as the rotting infection deepens and spreads....think of it like gangrene..the rotting just gets bigger and deeper, destroying more and more as it grows.
as a teaching thing here...you can flush wounds with half normal saline and half hydrogen peroxide for up to three times in total only and this should be followed by a straight normal saline flush to clear out the hydrogen peroxide and the dead and dying cells. more than three times or using full strength hydrogen peroxide just sets up the wound to necrotize and become even further infected and damaged.
teaching done...to continue with poor chewie...he is unable to weight bear on his front leg...not sure if it is broken or if it is just nerve damage or infection into the bone.
he was given home doctoring and wound care every day but the wounds were far too extensive to heal with out professional medical care.
the vets have come and gone here already since chewie arrived this afternoon.. he got a dose of injectible antibiotics tonight and will get another tomorrow morning. the vet will be back at 8 am to knock him out and surgically remove all of the dead and rotting tissue.
he will lose most of the tissue covering his thigh because the necrosis has spread that far, his groin will be carved out like a pumpkin to reach the deeply imbedded necrotic tissue there. i am not sure how deep the other wounds go, i can only see the purulent discharge crusting them over.
all i know is that having seen thousands of deeply debrided wounds in my nursing practice..i know damn well how horrible those wounds are going to appear once all of the necrotic tissue is removed. it will be a minimum of 8-10 weeks to heal if he is lucky and if we can keep them clean and free from any further infection.
we have moved him into the bunny room in preperation of his surgery tomorrow and there he will have to stay until those wounds heal...it is fly season again and we cannot risk a maggot infestation getting that deep into his tissues and muscles.
all i am going to say about this is....
any wound, any injury, any illness that we as humans would seek immediate and professional medical help for ourselves is exactly the same kind of wound, injury, or illness to seek professional medical treatment for with the animals in our care.
chewie has suffered painfully from grievous injuries for 2 weeks...he will suffer for several more weeks to surgically remove and repair the resulting necrosis.
had chewie seen a vet immediately....he would have been sutured up, given his antibiotics, had his sutures removed by now and would have been feeling good again.
he will be at great risk over the next few weeks for infection just by the virtue of how great are the open wounds he will now have once the debriding is complete... (there will be too much tissue removed to even consider closing again with sutures..it will have to heal on its own slowly thru primary intention.)
once the surgery is complete...he will require multiple daily wound flushings and injectible antibiotics for weeks if he is even to have a chance to heal without infection taking him out.
chewie is a very lovely and sweet little goat...sucks to be him lately.
i asked the vet if he thought there should be a cruelty investigation...he said he sees it all the time...people with good intentions trying to home doctor injuries on their animals that they shouldn't. he also said he is used to it, it happens all the time...but he also said...it doesn't make it right.
i hope chewie's tale of unnecessary prolonged suffering one day reaches the ear of someone who will remember his sad story and then look at their own sick or injured animal and pick up the phone and make the call to the vet.
(you can see in that last picture that jenn posted, the darker discoloration of his thigh...that is a deep thick flap of dead tissue under the hair that the vet will cut off tomorrow..it is about half the size of my hand.)