Recently, I removed a lump from my dog Kwalu’s leg. I had a cone for her, but did I use it? Nope. She’s had her fair share of stitches over the years and has never bothered them before, so how could this time be any different?
Well, it was. Three days after her surgery, she was sporting a toddler sock over her stitches, and we left her for an hour. We came back to a shredded sock, and all of her stitches bit perfectly in half and spit out on the floor.
A few choice words later, I was on my way to the clinic on a Sunday morning to apply some freezing and staple her incision back closed. Again, I covered it with a toddler sock and drove home.
When I pulled into the garage 10 minutes later, I heard licking coming from the back of the van. You’ve got to be kidding me, I think to myself. Nope. She had expertly removed 5 out of her 6 staples and left them on the blanket as proof that she had mastered the art of staple removal as well. How she managed this with just her teeth, I’ll never understand.
So, now she wears the cone of shame whenever I’m not directly watching her. I’ve seen firsthand how fast a dog can chew out their stitches. 10 minutes! That’s all it takes. And you really can’t predict if your angel of a dog is going to decide to chew out their stitches or not.
Use the cone! They look sad with it on, but not as sad as if they have to keep getting their stitches put back in!
Written by: Dr. Hayley Biederbeck, DVM