My kitten was traumatized at the vet--somehow (they aren't telling the truth, I think) she escaped the cage and was hiding out in the kennel area for an undetermined amount of time. This is a former feral, so she was already having a hard time w/o that. On top of it, nobody at the office apologized or took responsibility; they only made excuses (in the form of a lecture) about how tricky animals can be.
Sooo...I don't want to go back there, or subject the kitten to the stress of another trip to the vet. I'm thinking I can remove the sutures myself. The vet called it a "double knotted, continuous" suture. The knots are obvious, and I'm supposing the "continuous" means that the suture material runs from one knot to the other, under the skin. Any tricks, cautions, etc? Best of all, any diagram or instructions available online?
Can you take her to another vet?
Explain what happened at the first vet, and they may help you out. It only takes a minute.
We just had Daisy's stitches taken out, and I know I wouldn't want to do it myself. I would be scared I would cut her or something and make things worse.
It's too bad your vet didn't use the stitches that are "buried" beneath the skin and do not need removal. This is what my vet does with feral cats.
My cats are all feral and ex-feral and I know what you mean. But, will your cat lie still and allow you to remove the sutures or are you going to have a big fight on your hands?
I think you merely need to snip the knots, but please wait until someone more knowledgeable answers this question.
My hubby removed me son's stitches (He was also traumatized at the hospital, as they held him down and stitched him with no pain killers!!)
So we couldn't get anywhere near a Doctor to get them out!!
We steralized tweezers and scissors, and while he was napping my hubby snipped the knot and gently removed the stitches with the tweezers, the doctor toold us to make sure All stitches were removed (make sure no little peices are left in)
there were only 4 to remove, so it wasn't so bad.
I know how to remove sutures from a two legged person and it cannot be that much different except that the two legged one is usually more co-operative. <g>
It sounds like you may need a different vet but IF you do want to try this yourself (I am not certain it is the wisest thing - depends on your experience and how confient you feel about these things) but here is essentially how to remove sutures.
If you have Using sterile forceps (maybe tweezers will do but dip them in LOTS of alcohol before you use them on your cat. It might be preferable to buy new ones. If you have a son or daughtrer with a biology dissection kit, get a larger one from there) .
With your non-dominant hand, gently lift the suture at the knot. Using suture scissors, clip the thread as close to the skin as possible. Lift the suture out with the forceps. Gently tug on the suture to remove if needed.
If you snip the suture as close as possible to the body, minimal suture will be pulled through. This reduces the pinching/pulling sensation for the patient er cat. It also reduces the possibility of introducing infection being pulled through on the sutures.
I am not sure about antibiotic - like with humans we always use our old faithful betadine. That might be fatal to a cat, I don't know. Maybe you don't need antibiotics?
5. Assess healing as you remove each stitch. You can remove each stitch in succession, or skip every other one until you reach the end and then return to the top and remove the rest of them.
I had to remove my cats stitches after she was spayed because she attacked the vet and he didn't want to have to put her under to do it if we could do it without anestetic. what we did was take her home and allow her some time to calm down before we started. I had my mother hold her on her back while gently petting her and rubbing her to keep her calm, and i did just what cyberkitten said only i used fingernail clippers, which my vet said would make it easier so there is not so much worry about accidently stabbing the cat if it gets upset. the nail clippers worked really great because they cut the stitches nice and clean and quickly but they were smaller and made it easier to get close to the skin without accidently cutting her.
Here goes my opinion again.
Removal of spay sutures are very easy. But I want to suggest you take her back to THE vet or another one, and stay in the room with her. Maybe you can help hold her.
She needs to be comfortable with travel and the possibilty of other vet trips in her future. Some cats can be an absolute catzilla behind closed doors and a princess in front of their owners.
It only takes a minute to remove the sutures, but she needs this experience in case of an emergency..(God forbid)
If you look back through the threads, Mesaana posted how to remove stitches for another person
I'm writing from the perspective of the animal health technician dealing with the cat... I just wanted to say that I worked so hard with cats in the clinic I worked at and when the owners were there, the cats were COMPLETELY different than when the owners were not. I had a black cat who was soooo sweet in the general exam and as soon as the owner left she became so nasty. The next morning, I tried to get her to the surgery room and she screamed and clawed and jumped out of the cage onto the floor. She hid behind the clothes dryer and I tried to get her out with food and then by throwing a towel on her (usually they stop moving) but she just ran behind other things. When the vet finally came in to give me a hand, she had to tackle the cat and the cat ended up ripping her t-shirt off. It is so hard to deal with cats when the owners aren't around. Frankly I am a dog person and in my experience dogs behave much better after the owners leave but cats...
As for the sutures, wait at least 14 days and if the cat's skin is not irritated or red or puffy, then you cut them off near the knots with round tipped scizzors and slide them out. Like I said though, usually at the vet, if you're there, the cat won't be as upset.