Have you read the information on flushing abscesses here in the Medical and Care Guide?
- Let Sleeping Pigs Lie
This is a thead about Kermie's Miss Pinky Weber, and her gaping stomach wound (she ripped out her own stitches after having surgery to remove a mammary tumor):
Kermie writes about why it was left open to heal
I hope some of it helps.
I just found out that our part of the city is having a "boil-water" warning as E. coli was just discovered in our city drinking water. My husband hit the grocery store and managed to snag 10 gallons of water (It was flying off the shelf faster than they could stock it!). I boiled some too as I need water enough for water bottles for 18 pigs, and water for my cats and dog.
And my overnight guest arrived. Just feeling a little stressed...
- You can quote me
2. Without reading back, she is on pain med, right? She is not going to be pleased when you gently express it and flush it out. That'll get better as she a) gets used to it and b) it starts to hurt less. It should start to hurt less pretty quickly (a day or three).
3. I'd flush more than once a day if possible. Be very gentle, but if you can express it and flush it twice or even three times, it'll help. If you can get a curved-tip syringe, they are wonderful for this. Alternatively, a squeeze bottle with a tube on top (like you had in chemistry class) works very well. Thusly:
Technically called wash bottles
4. If she'll tolerate it, put a warm damp clean cloth on the area as a compress before expressing. It can make it easier and more productive.
5. Use a very very dilute solution of betadine or Nolvasan (even more dilute than you might for foot soaks) or saline in the wash bottle.
As Tracis' links show, the open-er something like this can be kept, the better the chance of success. You don't want it to reseal prematurely -- you want it to granulate from the inside out.
6. I don't **think** surgery like this actually penetrates into the body cavity, so even though it looks like her guts could fall out, they can't.
Can you put the overnight guest to work? :-)
I was given a curved syringe...only one (also Chlorhexidine solution to use for the flushing). I'm worried at how pointed it seems, like it might puncture something inside there during the flushing. I WAS wondering about the "once a day" instructions for flushing. It didn't seem like enough.
How would you hold her for the flushing? I was thinking of a towel in the sink and then I can hold her upright with both hands while my husband does the flushing (he has agreed to help). He is not comfortable holding piggy. How could it be done by one person? If I could do it myself somehow, I could do it more often, but I can't figure out how to safely hold and flush at the same time.
Also, they obviously flushed it thoroughly after the procedure and she came home all wet on the bottom and top. How can I dry her or keep her dry?
I guess I would towel dry her and consider a warm (not hot) blow drier.
So taking her back downstairs, he said, "I'll help you do it now if you want..." Blink, blink!
The Chlorahexidine is supposed to be diluted?! I used it out of the plastic medicine container it came in (not an original container, but one the vet put it in). No clue if it's full strength or diluted already.
Since I only have one curved syringe, I don't know how I am going to keep it sterile. I can probably get more of them at the pharmacy tomorrow.
Oh, I'm giving her metacam for pain. And I put hay in a large ceramic bowl in her cage...and saw her eating it.
- You can quote me
Lynx' point is well taken. You don't really have to stick the point of the curved tip syringe into the abscess itself. The fineness of the point makes it a little jet and that's all that needs to go into the abscess area.
Rinse/wash the syringe well. It doesn't have to be kept sterile per se (at least, we never have done so) as long as it's kept clean and allowed to air dry between uses (let the parts dry separately).
If it were me I'd alternate flushes with the solution the vet gave you (probably already somewhat diluted; is it pale blue?) with very dilute betadine or saline. Chlorhex is very drying. There's a (pretty good) chance it will make her skin down there itch, which won't help if she bites at it or starts to try to scratch it.
Drying her off: when we've had to do this I've put the patient in a large Sterilite bin on a warm, clean towel, and then changed the towel a few times. Maybe put a Snuggle Safe pad or low heating pad near (not under) the bin. After a while and a few changes, she'll be dry. I'm scared of using a blow-dryer, but that's just me.
One-person flush: oh boy. If I absolutely positively had to try it and absolutely positively could not get any help, I think I'd put on clothing I didn't care if it got dirty or soaked, then hold the pig against my chest, upright, in my lap while sitting on top of the toilet. Hold pig around the chest with one hand, and use the other to gently squeeze and flush. Pulling fluid up into the curved-tip syringe is difficult, and near impossible with one hand, so if you can get a couple more and prefill them, it will be to your advantage. Have several small, clean, dry towels ready to put her back down on, on her feet, when you are done.
You will have flushing fluid and purulent debris all over you, your toilet, your clothing, and your bathroom floor, so this is probably a lousy suggestion and wait for better. But that's the best I can think of if I had to try it.
Her wound was packed with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_sulfadiazine
to keep it moist and clean, so she didn't get hay or potty crumbs in it.
For wounds - for humans - the technique long ago was to dry out wounds - heat lamps were even used!
Now the standard is moisture balance for healing
( http://woundeducators.com/wordpress/category/5-myths-related-to-wound-care ) - Myth 3
I don't have bentadine or saline solution. Do they sell saline solution at regular pharmacies? The only saline I have ever seen is the little bottles of nasal spray.
After the flushing, we use the syringes of Silverdene to fill the empty cavity. It doesn't take much (it's like a thick, white cream) and then I gently wiped off the excess with a tissue.
What I did not count on was that the procedure may make her feel better. I think it has. She seems to be eating better and there were poos all over the cage this morning. I was worried that she may not be eating due to an intolerance to the antibiotic, but now I'm thinking it may be due to pain and discomfort. I intend to change the fleece daily to keep things cleaner for her.