Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A MidSummer's Nightmare...

It's that time of the year again in Mauritius!!

I am not talking about the blazing sun; the packed beaches nor the short skirts of the girls...but what I mean is: It's Fly invasion time...and for a vet it means long sessions bent over maggot infested wounds!!
Yup! Got 2 last week and I know they will keep coming (especially at PAWS. The tiniest wound could be the deadliest one!
People have the bad habit of bringing their animals to the vet when they have time...not when the animal is wounded. So a minor trauma that happened Monday would eventually be seen by a vet on Saturday; and by that time flies have done their reproductive aerial trick; laid eggs in the wound and the animal is now being EATEN ALIVE by the maggots! And the stink!!! Gosh!It stays in your sinuses for like days!
Poor animals...can't even imagine how it feels to have maggots eating their way through my flesh!One good thing about maggots though, is that they keep a wound "clean".i.e. a maggot infested wound will never be infected by bacteria nor have pus in it.
So what's the routine for maggot-infested wound? Anaesthesia of course; forceps; some cypermethrin solution and call the owner to watch you pull the wriggling little devils out of the wound...guaranteed sensational impact!"Waaaah!"; "Oh My God!"; "Can't believe that there are so many!"; "lemme get a pic of that with my phone camera!"
For the owner, it might seem like a great thing to witness and a great story to tell the buddies but from the Veterinarian's standpoint, it's such a pain in the neck (literally!)to manage such wounds! Ok, you've removed (or you think you've removed)all of them; then what? You cannot close such a wound. Doggy needs at least 3-4 days of wet-dry bandaging to get granulation of tissues going and when you are satisfied and wound ready to be stitched up, you realise that there is very little skin left to appose; all gone in the big hole eaten out by the maggots. Tough call!
Special plea to all pet owners out not wait to attend to a wound on your animal.Merciless flies are lurking around and just waiting to lay their eggs in them!
Clean and disinfect with Betadine Solution; apply some "Healing Oil" - that will sure keep the flies away and accelerate resolution of trauma and despite me being a "non-spray" person...I would recommend Supona spray.It is something you would want to have handy in these summer days. The only problem with Supona is that it masks all underlying tissues; you do not know for sure if the tissue is healing or necrotising underneath the blue coating Supona leaves...and the animals hate the stinging sensation of the spray too.
Be wary, pet owners; for, as Shakespeare puts it in A Midsummer's Night Dream:
Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere

...and that applies to flies too!
Get your dog the medical attention it needs when it really needs it; do not wait for complications.

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