Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Update on My Rat Terrier

My 9-pound Rat Terrier Mix, “Cross” went to her vet on Monday, April 13th. After putting $497 on the debit card, we’re in a wait-and-see mode. The most challenging wound is the puncture bite just below Cross’s right jaw. The worry is that Darla’s tooth punctured the salivary gland, which is a very tricky thing to correct as a punctured gland rarely self-heals.

However, as of Monday, we’re 48 hours out from the incident, and the good news is that there is no pus and the hematoma-type swelling that appeared after the fight (and which was drained by the ER Vet) has not returned. In fact, other than a little poochiness along the side of her neck, there is no major swelling. There is still seepage, but it is clear, minimal, and completely free of blood or pus. So for now, we are holding off on risky, dangerous, difficult (and costly) surgery.

The xrays showed no broken bones or teeth, and no visible tears in the salivary glands and no ranula (a pocket of fluid building under the tongue and no major mucolcele (swelling due to the leakage of saliva from a ruptured gland). The lymph nodes have been damaged, so there is some adenitis (swelling of the nodes due to retention of fluid). However, overall, Cross is a very lucky dog. Dr. Beth Williams, my vet, called a colleague to discuss treatment and the consensus is to watch and wait. I have to apply warm compresses to the neck to reduce any swelling, and swab the area with a surgical-prep cleanser to ward off yeast infection. I’m still administering pain medications and antibiotics. And on Friday, April 17th, we’ll do a recheck. I just hope we don’t have to do a surgery in the area of the salivary glands. Evidently, it is a rare and difficult surgery with many risks.

As of today, Cross has regained much of her spunk, and lets me swab her neck and apply the compress. She is eating well and is back to going on walkies (in a breast collar). She was perky around JoJo, a pit bull male dog who came home with me before heading out to a new foster home this evening.

Darla is back at the Shelter, and I plan to take her to off-sites this weekend if she doesn’t find a home or a foster set-up sooner. She was excited to see me and jumped up and down like a wind-up toy: “Why. Aren’t. You. Taking. Me???” she seemed to say. She is now on the top of my Shelter dog list, since my other Shelter favorite, the pit bull, JoJo, went to a foster home tonight! More on that later.

Thanks to all who have left comments and asked for updates!


  1. i am happy to hear Cross is doing well, keeping my fingers crossed for her recheck!!!

  2. I am so sorry to hear about this. Quit beating yourself up. We all make mistakes. You learned from yours and that is all anyone can ask or hope for.


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