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Post-Op Angels

Thursday
11/13/2014

I dropped Ursula, Farrah, and Hope off at the spay-neuter clinic in DC yesterday morning and drove back to pick them up in the afternoon. Since the round-trip is about an hour, thatís a good way to split the workday into minimally productive pieces.

At the 3:30 pickup there were several other dog and cat owners converging to retrieve their just-neutered pets, and this was a new experience for all of them. So along with paperwork, they needed post-op care instructions that evolved into a group Q-and-A session.

Meanwhile Iíd watched a couple of vet techs bring the Angels (and plenty of other cats and dogs, all in individual carriers) into the staging room, and I started to worry that reclaiming them would take 20 minutes or longer, by which time my car might be ticketed or towed.

Itís very difficult to find a parking spot near the clinic, and if you have three carriers to retrieve, you might as well test your luck as a scofflaw by parking illegally near the entrance rather than trying to ferry multiple carriers to a legal spot who knows where.

So when a tech brought my three carriers out to the waiting area, I took the paperwork, confirmed that Homeward Trails had been charged for the spays, and bolted, even though the clinic had neglected to outfit the Angels with Elizabethan collars (the conical collars that prevent animals from licking any part of their body.)

These e-collars are in fashion now, but weíve cared for plenty of post-spay kittens and never used them in the past. And when weíve seen complications, they havenít been due to a kitten licking or biting its incision. Given the abdominal location of the incision on females, Iím skeptical that licking the wound is even possible.

Itís far more likely that sub-optimal suturing, combined with the leaping and climbing that kittens do when they feel back to normal, would cause the incision to open up and get infected. Nevertheless, I went out and bought a collar yesterday after bringing the kittens home, and will pick up two more today.

So far the incisions look great, and after the Angels endured hissy, swatty, wobbly hangovers yesterday, theyíre back to being their purring, swarming selves. So rather than torture them with the collars, weíll watch the incisions like hawks, and tie a collar on if we see any sign of irritation around an incision.

Which would at least divert its wearer temporarily by providing a new obsession (one our staff cat Reggie mastered quickly) – figuring out how to get the infuriating collar off.

filed by: TS

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