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Discussion Starter #1
:(

Three weeks ago, Angus ripped his thumbnail. The quick at the base was exposed. Didn't seem to really bother him that much, but took him in. To my great shock, the recommendation was surgery under general anesthesia to cut the nail all the way back and cauterize. This was sung to the tune of $460.

The surgery was pretty hard on him. He was fine when I took him in, but afterwards walked on three legs for about four days. This does not make you feel so much like you did a great thing for him. :(

The nail has just in the last several days gotten long enough to consider clipping. I was thinking I would do it this weekend.

Last night we were out playing fetch. As a lot of you know, Angus is very high-impact when it comes to this (or any other) activity. It was cooler last night so he was really ripping around like a madman.

Well, guess what? Yep, the nail has torn away from the quick AGAIN.

I am really hesitant to put him through that surgery again. It was really tough on him. Not to mention that Kevin has been out of work since last December, and I don't know when he will get a job.

OTOH, I have read some very frightening things about nail bed infections.

I want to do what is best for Angus. I would also like to do the lowest-impact thing we can do without jeopardizing his health. I am all over the board about what I should do. I really think $460 was gouging for taking a nail off. But it's not just the money...it's the effect that it had on Angus, too.

Is there not some way to sterilize and seal it? I am tempted to get some Betadine and try sealing it with EMT gel, keeping him quiet for a few days, and seeing what happens. BUT, Lord knows I don't want to under-treat him and pay the price later.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I would really appreciate it. I have a call in to the vet...I would like to talk to him about all this before I bring Angus in. The receptionist that answered the phone is being a total PITA and insisting I make an appt, which I did for later today, but I tell you what: the vet BETTER call me this afternoon.
 

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Hi Connie! Where have you been?! I'm sorry to hear about Kevin being out of work.

This happened with Tucker a couple of years ago. I took him in, the vet gave him a shot of something that put him out immediately, cut his nail and quick down to the base, gave him another shot and he woke right up. No surgery needed and he was fine.

I don't understand why your vet insisted upon surgery? Am I misunderstanding something?
 

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About 6 weeks ago Sam did this to TWO of his nails at the same time on his hind leg. The quick was exposed on one of them. They didn't even put him under. Our vet just trimmed them down and told me to keep an eye on it to make sure it grew correctly and didn't develop any problems.

That's an expensive nail clipping you got! Lucky just had major surgery to repair a ligament and the surgery + meds and all was only 524.

Why can't they trim it and put that sand looking stuff to avoid the bleeding? That's what they did with Sam, but maybe Angus's is completely different than how Sam did his. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Connie! Where have you been?! I'm sorry to hear about Kevin being out of work.

This happened with Tucker a couple of years ago. I took him in, the vet gave him a shot of something that put him out immediately, cut his nail and quick down to the base, gave him another shot and he woke right up. No surgery needed and he was fine.

I don't understand why your vet insisted upon surgery? Am I misunderstanding something?
Hi sweetie!! :) I just haven't been posting actively anywhere lately. Thanks for the words about Kevin. He has a phone interview today. Fingers crossed.

OK, so what you are describing with Tucker is what I THOUGHT we were doing with Angus. That is the impression they gave me when I left him..."We will give him something to knock him out, give him something else and he will wake right back up." :confused: I picked him up and he was woozy as a drunk, and remained so for 36 hours. Obviously not the same thing Tucker had. I am assuming Tucker's didn't cost $460, either. :mad:

Ridiculous. The receptionist was being a PITA and insisting he was too busy to talk to me, and I should just make an appointment. I really have a good mind to call and shop this around today.
 

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Oh crap. That sucks! :(

Is it bleeding pretty bad or has the bleeding stopped? After you spent all that money and it just happened again, I would be hesitant to go through it again. If it were me and the nail wasn't THAT bad, I would probably watch it for infection daily and let it fix itself naturally. If it starts to get infected, get to the vet ASAP for some antibiotics.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
About 6 weeks ago Sam did this to TWO of his nails at the same time on his hind leg. The quick was exposed on one of them. They didn't even put him under. Our vet just trimmed them down and told me to keep an eye on it to make sure it grew correctly and didn't develop any problems.

That's an expensive nail clipping you got! Lucky just had major surgery to repair a ligament and the surgery + meds and all was only 524.

Why can't they trim it and put that sand looking stuff to avoid the bleeding? That's what they did with Sam, but maybe Angus's is completely different than how Sam did his. :(
Oh man, poor Sam!

Yes indeedy, $460 is a little pricey for a nail clipping. Especially one that needs repeating in three weeks.

I think it has to do with how the quick is exposed in his, though...? It's not like the nail is split...it's like it has pulled away from the nail bed at the base, if that makes any sense. The nail, right now, has pulled up, exposing this little pink fleshy bulb right at the nail bed. When they saw it was like that, they all seemed to agree surgery was the only way to go. ? I am not a vet, but when they described something like what Amy described, it didn't seem like a terribly big deal. Well it was a big deal.

If that is the only way they think a break of this sort can be handled (which is the impression they gave me), I wonder if I might not be better off just getting a second opinion from the get-go.
 

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Oh crap. That sucks! :(

Is it bleeding pretty bad or has the bleeding stopped? After you spent all that money and it just happened again, I would be hesitant to go through it again. If it were me and the nail wasn't THAT bad, I would probably watch it for infection daily and let it fix itself naturally. If it starts to get infected, get to the vet ASAP for some antibiotics.
See, that's another thing: No bleeding, and no apparent pain. It makes me hesitant to put him through something radical.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh, and also: Thanks for all your well-wishes. Hi to all of you! I've missed you!
 

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Never hurts to just call other vets just to see what they say? A good vet is worth their weight in gold!

To heck with that assistant being a PITA! Ours always talk to me, if they're busy they ask if they can put me on hold for a few.
 

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No Connie, they just charged me for a regular office visit and he was fine right away.
 

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"We will give him something to knock him out, give him something else and he will wake right back up." :confused: I picked him up and he was woozy as a drunk, and remained so for 36 hours.
Forgot to mention.. sounds like they did the injectable anesthesia, and it is in the body until it is metabolized or excreted. They then give another shot that "reverses" the effects of the injectable anesthesia. Some animals take a while to respond, but this is the less expensive route for anesthetia.

I'm not a big fan of that kind of anesthesia because it's not as safe as isoflurane, which is the inhalant kind where they put the mask over the animal's face.. if you need to "reverse" it, you just remove the mask.
 

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Hi Connie! Unfortunately, I have no advice, but I also would be really hesitant to put him under again. Costs aside, surgery always brings risks, so why do it if you don't need to?
 

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CONNIE!!! Great to hear from you, but I wish it were under better circumstances.

Unfortunately, I have no advice on the nail. I do sympathize, however, with the anguish of having to make medical decisions with friggin ECONOMICS as one of the drivers. Facing the same deal w/Wes.....

Anyway, best to you and Kevin (praying for his job prospects -- I didn't know -- that sux) and let us know what happens w/Angus, huh?

In other words, don't be such a stranger!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Connie! Unfortunately, I have no advice, but I also would be really hesitant to put him under again. Costs aside, surgery always brings risks, so why do it if you don't need to?
Hi Nathan! :) Yes, exactly right. Angus does not seem to rebound very well from anesthesia, which makes me worry even more.

This is all really making my stomach hurt.

Dan!! How are you? What's going on with Wes? I hope nothing serious. It truly does suck that money has to be a factor, but it just is.

BUT, if I were convinced that surgery was the only thing to do, I wouldn't be dragging my feet as much. I don't know...I had a feeling like it was a little over the top last time, but I went ahead and did it. If they suggest it again, I'm really going to choke and they might be seeing a lot less of me.
 

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Last year Judy split a nail and was constantly licking it. I took her in and he took her in the next room, came out ten minutes later. He had cauterized and trimmed it. It was wrapped in that stretchy tape that sticks together. The bill listed it as "tonail trim, $17.80" She was fine afterward.
Maybe he went easy on the bill because I was picking up Bruno from a neuter, and had Mitzi there for blood work at the same time.
I hope Angus gets better. I would seriously consider the opinion of another vet before letting him go under anesthesia again.
 

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UPDATE: Just talked to my vet (he did call me back). I really do love him very much. That receptionist is just a PITA. She's the only one...the others are much more cooperative with me. :p

Anyway, feeling MUCH better. He reassured me this was not going to mean another surgery, that he would just take a look at it and probably trim it back a little. So, we (or maybe just Kevin) will take Angus there later today.

This had my stomach twisted in knots this morning. It already is starting to feel a little better.

I really appreciate all your advice and stories. You guys are the most knowledgeable, helpful bunch in the world. I guess the take-away is, I got ripped off with that surgery last time. But I do really like this vet, a lot. This is the only time he's done something over the top. I will give him one I guess, because he's otherwise been great.

Dan, I want to read about Wes but can't right this minute...of course today I am slammed (first time in two months...it has to happen today, naturally). I will read Wes' story in a little bit (leaving this window open).
 
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