Rescue Journal

i am trying to figure out the best way to manage chewie's wound care...

Carol  ·  May 14, 2010

the dressing is already saturated tonight with greenish slimey, bloody discharge...tomorrow it is even going to be grosser.

the vet said we could just flush the wound with straight warm tap water..he said there is nothing in my water that is dirtier than what is already in his wounds.

being a nurse..i am pretty stuck on flushing wounds with sterile normal saline. but honestly...looking at that drainage tonight and the pictures? there is no way that i am going to be able to flush that wound well enough to clean out all of the drainage and dead cellular crap.

we are starting to recognize thru nursing research that it is actually beneficial to patient's ultimate healing to flush out their wounds every morning in the shower. but that research is based on treated city water, not my particular untreated well water.

so now i have to decide..which is the greater risk, what has the greatest benefit for chewie....a really well flushed out wound in the shower or a wound not flushed as well but with sterile saline.

i am thinking that maybe i can minimize the risk if i flush him well in the shower first, then flush him with normal saline and finally to flush with chlorohexidine which is an antimicrobial and can safely stay in and on the wound because unlike hydrogen is not cytotoxic, it just reduces the bacterial load.

then i have to decide how to try to dress it, without it being too time consuming, too costly...and it is too easy to wrap vet wrap too tight which would be disasterous to that wound right now....we simply cannot be goofing around with vet wrap if that wound needs flushing once or twice a day...but how then to keep the dressing on and in place?

it is going to be trial and error to come up with a wound care and dressing plan which will provide chewie with the best chance of healing. the vet upgraded his healing time from weeks to months now which means it has to be not only a good plan for healing but one that we can actually manage consistently well given our limited financial and human resources.

just doing the dressing changes will be a 2 or 3 person job. like tonight...there are not always 3 people available around here to help when you need.

and here is another thing to know about rescue...when you take on something much bigger, and more complex than you thought it would be, you better be able to figure out how to follow thru all the way. it wouldn't be fair to chewie to let him down again.

sigh...rescue so sucks.



Ondogs I have used pantyhose just cut the feet off and tape them. once you get the right size they stay on pretty good.


do you have someone who could sew some spandex 80's aerobics goat trousers? would hold a big dressing in place.

Karen about boiling your tap water to sterilize, then irrigate with a watering can?

Jane Stanley

What size tape do you need Carol?

cheryl and stef

Carol, Try to see if you can get something called Expandover similar to Elastoplast not nearly as stretchy as Vet wrap but is sticky. Worked wonderful on one of our horses that needed twice daily bandaging. It is a little expensive 5 ish dollars a roll and it would last probably 2 bandagings It is amazing stuff and I mean after six surgeries it was what worked the best for the wounds and healing

Hoping chewie is okay and we are thinking about the little guy.