Author Topic: The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!  (Read 3984 times)

Offline Macie_and_Emma

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The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!
« on: April 01, 2009, 11:36:22 PM »
So two weeks ago my heart rat, Miss Bo, had a tumor removed from her "rear".  It was rapidly growing and I was afraid that it would soon intervene with her ability to urinate and/or defecate.  We knew it was going to be a tough one to remove, but my vet did a wonderful job and was able to remove the whole thing. The only problem was that since the tumor basically wrapped up "underneath" her urethra, the incision was extremely close to both her vaginal and anal openings.  There was no possibility of creating a bandage to prevent chewing of the incision, since anything in that area would have collected urine and feces and been the perfect breeding grounds for bacterial.  So we crossed our fingers, hoped for the best, and of course got the worse.

On day two, she opened up her outer incision slightly (the inner tissues had enough time to heal so luckily there was no risk of internal infection).  Then, out of instinct, she began to "clean up" the area, creating an open wound much larger than the original incision.  It was a circle, about 1 inch in diameter, that was literally one more "bite" away from opening up both her abdominal cavity and her anus and urethra.  No matter what I tried, e-collars made from you can only imagine what, body wraps and casts, she was able to still chew at it.  It was getting worse each day, and not healing no matter what we did. We tried tissue glue, and put her under anesthesia a second time to clean up the wound and resuture it.  My vet told me that if she opened it again, she wouldn't have any more tissue to work with, and we'd be looking at the possibility of euthanasia if an infection set in.

Anyway, long story short, she opened up the incision AGAIN (I had her with me for over 48 hours non stop, even came to church with me, and on the morning of day 3 after the second round of suturing she finally got a few nanoseconds to herself and chewed it open, and I wanted to scream and cry and wring her tiny sweet little neck!).  I took her back in to the vet the next day, and she said the only choice we had was to try healing it as an open wound, and hope that Bo left it alone enough for it to start healing.  Staring at this nasty, deep, gaping hole in the bum of my beloved rattie, I thought that there was no way this thing would ever close on its own, that the tissue would necrotize before ever being able to heal together.  That was last Monday.  Today, there is just a tiny little red line about the size of a staple where the gaping hole was. And the magic worker was hydrotherapy! 

Basically, for 5 minutes 1-2 times a day, we held her under the kitchen sink sprayer, luke warm water at the highest pressure possible, and let the water "massage" the tissue.  Apparently running water helps generate or stimulate deep tissue growth, and we could literally see the giant hole healing before our eyes.  I am kicking myself for not taking pictures along the way but I was actually out of town for most of last week and this weekend, so my mom and brother did the hydrotherapy (its so easy that even my computer gamer brother had no problem doing it), and I can't even begin to express how impressed I am with the results.   

If she weren't such a "picker", perhaps the wound would have healed up on its own eventually if infection didn't set in.  But the hydrotherapy made everything grow so quickly that she didn't even have time to keep up with destroying it.  I just wanted to throw this out there, that if you have a rat with an open wound, especially one in a very bad spot that just wont heal on its own, try this.  It can't hurt and it definitely can help!

And I wanted to add a huge thanks to Melina, Dearpie, and mamarat2 who offered great advice and just a shoulder to lean on when I thought things were beyond the point of no return!  As mamarat2 pointed out, sugar stimulates tissue growth as well, but in this case it wouldn't have been beneficial to add something that would have just encouraged her to chew even more, but if its in a place that they can't reach, sugar granules also have an amazing effect on healing!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 11:39:00 PM by Macie_and_Emma »

Offline kferber

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Re: The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2009, 11:43:19 PM »
Thanks for posting your story. One of my little ones is going for tumor removal on Friday and her opening the incision is a big fear of mine. I'm relieved that there is another option in case something like this happens to my baby!  :thumbsup2:
Mama of  Albany, Brooklyn, tobyRat, and Corbin :)

Gone but not forgotten: Maggie, Zoe  :heart: , Scout,  Remy and Emile


Offline RatPerson

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Re: The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2009, 12:06:12 AM »
That is wonderful!

Speaking of tumors, by how much is the risk lowered of tumors in females by spaying? I understand that spaying costs but I hate the thought of tumors in my girls.

Offline Macie_and_Emma

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Re: The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2009, 12:11:35 AM »
I dont know the figures, but if you do it young (before 3-4 months), it can GREATLY reduce the risk.  Also, spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine cancer or pyometra.  I have decided that if I ever get a baby girl again, she will be spayed as soon as she's old enough.  Spaying after a year can go either way in terms of chance at reducing tumors.  If you have a vet you trust, and the money in your bank account, I'd say do it!  I wish I would have!

Offline kferber

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Re: The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2009, 12:12:56 AM »
I don't think spaying guarantees a tumor-free life but I have heard that it helps reduce the risks significantly...especially if you spay them at a young age.
Mama of  Albany, Brooklyn, tobyRat, and Corbin :)

Gone but not forgotten: Maggie, Zoe  :heart: , Scout,  Remy and Emile


Offline RatPerson

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Re: The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2009, 12:15:07 AM »
What are the risks for spaying such a small animal?

And thanks. :)

Offline kferber

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Re: The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2009, 12:18:46 AM »
The risks are mainly with anesthesia during the surgery. Make sure your vet knows how to closely monitor a rat during the surgery to make sure they are getting enough, but not too much anesthesia. They should be supporting the rat's body temperature and, at the very minimum, monitoring breathing rate. Also...as you can tell from the post...pulling sutures is a risk... as well as infection.
Mama of  Albany, Brooklyn, tobyRat, and Corbin :)

Gone but not forgotten: Maggie, Zoe  :heart: , Scout,  Remy and Emile


Offline Macie_and_Emma

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Re: The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2009, 12:19:04 AM »
The topic of spaying rats has been discussed MANY times on this forum.  All you need to do is use the search feature and search "spay risks" and you will find TONS of threads already going over the questions you're asking.  I don't mind that you have questions, but please try not to hijack this thread about hydrotherapy with your questions.  If you don't find the answers you are looking for with the search feature then start your own thread in the care section.

Thanks.  ;)
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 12:24:46 AM by Macie_and_Emma »

Offline RatPerson

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Re: The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2009, 12:23:05 AM »
I'm sorry.  :(

Back to hydrotherapy...

Offline Bekah

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Re: The wonders of hydrotherapy for an open wound!
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2009, 12:46:00 AM »
Thanks so much for this tip!  I hope I never need it, but this sort of knowledge has kept me from losing my mind during an emergency a number of times. 

The funny (in a horrible way) thing is that when I read "kitchen sprayer" and "highest pressure possible," I had a fleeting image of the Water Pik thing we have attached to our bathroom sink.  Man, on the highest pressure that thing could blow a hole in a tire.   :eek:

I'm so glad your little chickie's healed up!