“G’day Dr Ed,” came the familiar voice on the phone. “I’m a bit worried about my dog- you know you stitched her up the other day? The stitches have come apart a bit, and it seems a bit smelly… Should you come and see her?”
“Sure I can… Let me see- how about tomorrow then?”
“Yep, that will work, see you when?”
“About elevenish, I’d say.”
“There’ll be someone home, for sure, see you then.”
I drove out, turned off onto the smaller road up the valley, and clattered across the old wooden bridge. Then I drove slowly, the road winding and turning, steep banks of tall trees and twisted jungly greenery on one side, and the creek hidden down below on the other. I cracked down the windows so I could smell the fresh, clean bush air, and hear the calls of the birds. I had to keep a sharp eye out for oncoming traffic. It was a narrow road, and most people seemed to think that driving smack bang in the middle of it was a pretty good idea. After a while, and crossing a few cement causeways over smaller creek, and a bigger bridge back across the main stream, trees all festooned with debris from the recent flooding, I pulled up into the steep driveway, and eventually came to a rest behind their home. I was greeted with a friendly smile. And thumped smartly around the shins by the cone that their dog had on her head!
“She’s a bit dangerous with that thing on her head, isn’t she?” I said with a smile.
“She sure is,” came the answer. “Do you need a hand to hold her?”
“No, I’ll be fine,” I said.I gently caught her by the
I gently caught her by the collar, and bent to have a look at her wound. It was right in the from of her front legpit, a place were there is heaps and heaps of movement in normal action for a dog, and I’d had a feeling when I stitched her up a couple of days before that the stitches might not hold. Sure enough, several had pulled right out, and the rest were quite loose. The wound was oozing a little bit, and just a bit smelly.
“Looks like we will have to give her some antibiotics,” I explained. “A lot of these sort of wounds heal quite happily without them, and I’d rather not use them unless they’re really needed. I’ll give you some tablets for her, a half a tablet twice daily, and if you also give it a gentle hosing twice daily with cold water for about 3-5 minutes, that will stimulate healing. She should be right as rain in a couple of weeks.”
“Sounds good, Dr Ed,” he said. “Should she have the first tablet now? And can you show me how to give it to her please?”
“Yes, and sure I can,” I said.
I caught her again, and showed him how to give her the tablet, pushing it gently over the back of her tongue. We talked about this and that for a few minutes – our local community, the weather, the usual small talk that is the glue of community. Then I had to head home and delve into admin (oh, the horror)…