Thursday, November 01, 2007

Here we go, NaBloPoMo!

At work today I saw a limping dog, and quickly found the problem: a fractured toenail. Ouch. The nail was broken up along the side and the "pulp" of the nailbed was exposed.

I gave the owner an estimate for a reversible sedative, nail trim, and pain meds to go home. I also applied some lidocaine cream topically before we pulled the broken nail off, and a light bandage, just for tonight.

"Geez, Dr Vetmommy," one of the tech said, "when my dog broke her nail I made my boyfriend hold her and I just ripped it off. Otherwise she would have hurt every step she took all night - although she did yelp so loudly I temporarily went blind."

So, yeah, I have done this before when I worked in a rural area and people wouldn't pay for anesthesia - it's jokingly called brutesthesia. I would not do it to my own dog, Francesca. I would wait until the morning, then bring her to work and fix it under sedation.

So, I took an informal poll of my coworkers. If your dog broke a toenail at 8:30 at night, would you:

A. Make your significant other hold your dog and rip the toenail out?

B. Pay $150 to the emergency clinic for them to take care of it.

C. Wait until the morning then bring the dog to work (or your regular vet) to take care of it.

Five people agreed with me and would wait until the morning (C). Three people would rip it out (A), reasoning that it hurts like hell, but the pain is all over in 5 minutes. But I know my dog would remember the pain for a long time and I would not want that, or to put my non-veterinary spouse in that position (handy and capable as he is!).

None of us would splurge on option B. What would you do?


Dana said...

Definitely C. I feel terrible if I accidently step on or kick my cat (usually when she's walking right in front of me or between my feet!) Dogs, though, have a very sad look that they can give you--they trust you so completely. Cats just have a very accusing look and they stockpile these incidents to use against you later!

peevish said...

I'm sure it hurts but animals are so much better at handling the pain than we are, and the dog would probably just lie still all night anyway.

Leah said...

I would so go with "C"--I don't think I could ever rip the toe nail out. OH MY. your pet would never let you touch their feet again.

Laura said...

I'm an option B kind of gal. Go figure. I'm really practical in other ways!

EdamameMommy said...

opt C and apply topical lidocaine from the kids first aid kit. would that be okay? As someone whose kitty was brutally declawed, I agree they DO remember the pain and are paw-shy ever after. :(

Laura said...

One more question: Do you have to post in both places or just on your regular blog for NoBloPoMo??

I'm confused! And not technosavvy (thanks to Sesame Street, I can make up my own words!).

Lula said...

I would choose C, but I would also try putting Ambesol or some other toothache medicine on the nail in the hopes that it would ease the pain. Poor pup!

Emily said...

Yeah, I agree with edamamemommy and lula, I would do C but put something on it from my medicine cabinet.

although, with my cat, she just licks off anything I put on her. :-)

Dana said...

Day 2---you have less than three hours to post something!

Leah said...

Thats to funny Dana...I was just thinking that too. CLOCK IS TICK TICK TICKING

Anne B said...

I wouldn't splurge, I would call Dana and ask her what I should do. Probably option C. However, my dog would not let me touch her toenails anyway. I quicked her a few times when I was learning basic grooming. They do remember...and hold grudges.

Sinda said...

Crate the dog andwait until tomorrow. Also, call Leanne and make sure she could come first thing!