Chico is much better this week. He has adapted to the collar very well, even figuring out how to chew a bone while wearing it. And that’s not easy because he can’t get his paw on the bone to hold it – the collar gets in the way. he’s developed a flipping technique to get the bone where he wants it so he can gnaw at it.
The collar is staying on for a few more days because on Sunday, when it was off and I was inattentive for about, oh, 45 seconds, and Chico was able to get all the stitches out in that time. The wound was mostly healed closed, but not all the way. Our town employs a community nurse who gives free care to any resident who needs it* and I called her to ask if she had time to take a look (she’s offered to look at Chico in the past). She was just headed to her office to meet someone, so we also went on in. We both got down on Chico’s level, she took a look, got up and put together a little kit for herself, and came back to the floor. I held Chico on his side and Jo Anne swabbed the wound with alcohol and used a couple of little adhesive strips to hold the edges together. I backed those up with thin strips of band-aid and tried to keep Chico quiet all day.
I couldn’t contact the vet until Tuesday morning (she was busy being the vet on call at the Sandwich (NH) Fair), and when I described the situation and she quizzed me on redness or oozing of the wound (there’s none), she said she didn’t think seeing him would change anything. I’m directed to leave the collar on for another day or two and to remove any of the band-aids that are still in place and keep an eye on the situation. Phew.
Chico has figured out how to eat, drink, eliminate, sleep, play, and run with the collar on, so he can stick it out for another little while. With any luck, we’ll be back at agility class on Monday night.
*The Tamworth Community Nurse Association was just the subject of a study that looked at the healthcare cost savings derived from this service and the results are astoundingly favorable. The study report is here.