Solomon was brought into the Darwin Animal Doctors clinic in a terrible state. The owners had found him on the weekend, hiding underneath the couch, covered in wounds. They suspected that he had been involved in a dog fight, however, due to degree of damage done to his entire body, the Doctors believed that he was likely hit by a car.
Unfortunately, the poor pup had previously received very inadequate care. He was badly stitched up and sprayed with a type of silver spray, meant to kill bacteria. He was given incorrect and ineffective antibiotics and was not given an E-collar (the plastic cones for around the head) and so was scratching and licking his wounds, worsening his infections. By the time that he was brought into the Darwin Animal Doctors, Solomon had suffered an extensive amount of tissue death, and was extremely unwell.
The team had their work cut out for them. Solomon would require a complete reconstructive surgery, with two veterinarians required to work simultaneously on the dog in order to get the massive amount of work done in a safe amount of time. Coming in at the end of a long morning, the surgery would also have to be done during the hottest time of day and during the team’s only break. Two volunteer veterinarians, Eva and Tracy, after spending an hour shaving and preparing Solomon’s wounds for surgery, were not swayed by the challenge ahead and readily offered to undertake the job.
The two veterinarians begun the difficult task, with Carmen on hand, ready to jump in if required. They removed a large amount of dead tissue and cleaned the massive areas of wounds covering Solomon’s face and hind legs. The skilled veterinarians loosened skin on the side of Solomon’s face in order to cover the massive wound covering the right side of his jaw. As there is not a large amount of excess skin on the legs, there was no option to do the same there. The veterinarians worked under the pressure of time as Solomon’s temperature began to drop due to the length of the surgery. Cutting away a large amount of dead tissue and stitching together what was possible, the veterinarians worked for three hours, keeping Solomon at a stable temperature. At the end of the surgery, the team dressed his wounds and rewarmed the dog to a regular body temperature. As the wounds were too extensive and severe to be able to close them fully, Solomon needed to be in bandages for the next few weeks, returning daily for a bandage change and antibiotics. Solomon would have a long road to recovery.
The owners reliably brought Solomon back into the clinic every day, as the veterinarians gave him close attention. The first bandage change was terrible, so smelly from all the exude, but they seemed to be improving. However, late Sunday night the vets were called back into the clinic as Solomon’s condition had declined significantly. He had a fever, wasn’t eating and was depressed. His wounds didn’t look too bad, but the infection had clearly spread to his blood – called a sepsis. The team gave him a third type of antibiotics (he was on two already), medical treatment for the fever, and told the owners to come back the next morning.
The owners did, dutifully come back in the morning. But without Solomon. He had died during the night.
The veterinarians and the owners had done everything possible to save Solomon. However, proper care in the initial stages of any necessary treatment is essential, and unfortunately this is something Solomon did not receive.
Please, take this as a warning; Always seek high quality care for your pets from the moment something is wrong. These stages are the most important in being able to best treat your animal.