June 25, 2013

In hindsight

Is there a name or phrase to describe unpleasant experiences that can be recalled after-the-fact with, not fondness, but perhaps, less revulsion?

I can almost laugh about it now, since we are through it...

About 10 days ago, our Labrador, Gus, had surgery to remove, what turned out to be, two tumors from his chest.  They were mast cell tumors, his second such occurrence in the past year.  Together, the two tumors had swollen, nearly overnight, into the size of a softball.     

Obviously, removing the tumors, and trying to get clear margins (about 3 cm is usually preferred) resulted in a large void.  To prevent fluid build up, the vet installed a drain at the bottom of the incision.

Gus spent one night at the vet clinic, and came home the next morning - 8 inch incision, stitches, drain, and cone of shame.  The vet had instructed us to clean any accumulation of drained fluids from his fur, and warned us that it might seem like a lot at times.

He didn't say that my kitchen floor would look like the scene of a mass murder.

Seriously, is there no way to hook up a collection bag to that drain?  I realize many dogs wouldn't leave it alone, but ours would - and it could have prevented a week of misery.

We just couldn't bring ourselves to confine Gus to a crate, considering the size of his surgical site and the fact that they had to take some muscle in the process - he wouldn't have been able to move in those tight quarters.  We made pallets that nearly covered the area of the kitchen that we confined him to.  He choose to lay on the cool tile.  Everywhere he plopped down would result in a smear of bloody fluid.  When he stood up, gravity and the drain kicked in and he would leave a Hansel & Gretel-like trail of bloody drops everywhere he walked.

When Gus lays down, he likes to curl his paws up under him.  This means that the fluid pooled in his paw, and we also had bloody footprints to deal with.

Depending on which 5 minutes you might have dropped in on us last week, we would either have the most disgusting tile floor imaginable, or the cleanest.  The entire family seemed eternally stooped over or on our knees, spritzing 409 on the floor, mopping, searching for drips.

I can almost laugh about it now...

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