I'm getting my dog spayed on Monday and I have 4 options for sutures:

Standard metal sutures for both layers... no extra cost

Standard metal sutures inside, Dissolvable sutures outside... $22 extra

Standard metal sutures outside, Dissolvable sutures inside... $22 extra

Dissolvable sutures for both layers... $33 extra

I don't know what to do. Can there be complications later on from leaving the metal sutures inside my dog later in life? I don't know if she'll try to lick or bite the sutures and I've heard stories about how the dissolvable sutures dissolved too soon and the dog had to get new stitches. I'm leaning towards dissolvable inside and metal outside, but I want to know what you think.

What experiences did you have with the sutures your corgis received?


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I honestly have to say a place that charges extra for disolvable sutures may be somewhere you want to avoid. I have NEVER heard of this and NEVER heard of a vet having the client choose what sutures are best and have to make money come into play with deciding what is best for your dog. I have also never heard of putting non-dissovable sutures inside, this is very dangerous for your dog. Your dog's immune system will likely reject the foreign material and you will probably see a suture reaction and infection. I have seen dog's have a reaction to dissovable sutures and these are made from synthetic cat gut not metal (a totally foreign material). How much do you trust this vet? You may want to consider going elsewhere, this just seems shady to me.

Thanks for your input. I recently adopted my dog, so we don't officially have a normal/default vet yet. I found this vet on a list of recommended vets for spaying and neutering by the San Diego Human Society and ASCPA. And they had been voted as the best vet in my part of the county by a local news paper and I also had a good impression of the facility and staff when I went in to make an appointment. They seem to be popular and in high demand because they had a 3 month waiting list for spay/neuter surgeries. Luckily I walked in right after someone cancelled and I only had to wait 2 weeks.

I really did make an effort but I just don't know how to choose a vet and evaluate them in any meaningful way before going through with the actual surgery and seeing the results. I'm nervous about even having to put my dog under for this surgery, I don't want to hand her over to someone who will totally mess things up. It's also hard to trust a vet when you haven't worked with any before. Reading reviews on any of the local vets doesn't seem to help much. They all have their glowing reviews about how wonderful they are because they saved a pet's life and the negative reviews about how they are evil, money grubbing, pet killers. It's hard to make such an important decision.

Anyways, I will not be making my suture decision based on price, I just want to make the right decision for my dog. The whole concept of non-removable metal sutures inside seems wrong to me, so I will definitely be getting dissolvable sutures inside. I'm really conflicted about the pros and cons of the metal vs. dissolvable on the outside though.

I agree its very difficult to evaluate a vet so go with your gut feeling. If you liked your first impression, go with it. Yelp reviews are often very misleading simply because Jane Doe was super upset because she actually had to PAY for services rendered to treat her pet from a medical condition that was likely her fault to begin with. We see it all the time, owner breeds his/her dog and then it needs emergency c-section and they are SO UPSET they actually have to PAY for the surgery or owner declines all medical advice and then the pet dies and its automatically the vets fault.

Sometimes its just a matter of visiting several different vets and seeing who you like best. In this case, I don't think it is that big of deal who does the spay, especially since this place has good reviews. Things to make sure of: she has pre-anesthetic bloodwork done before the procedure and she goes home with pain medication. If they have her on IV fluids during the surgery even better (and highly recommended). As for the sutures, metal outside will be fine. Many vets do this. Some vets don't even use sutures on the outside layer and prefer to just glue the skin. Its really the internal sutures holding things together. I have never ever heard of internal sutures dissolving too quickly so a more likely scenario is the pet owner didn't keep the dog quiet as directed and the incision opened up, and not due to faulty sutures. The sutures take so long to dissolve that sometimes it may be months to years, they only need to be in places for about 5-10 days for the healing process to occur.  So metal vs dissolvable on the outside will simply come down to do you want to go back in 10-14 days to get the sutures removed or would you rather just have the spay done and not  have to worry about a return trip.

Hey Melissa, something you wrote caught my eye. Ace was cryptorchid so he had to have a pretty invasive neuter surgery in his abdomen, to find that wayward chestnut. He came home without pain meds - is that normal for males? His scar looked pretty identical to a spay surgery's aftermath, so I'm wondering if males get sent home with pain meds for cryptorchid neuters too.

Henry got pain meds for his surgery. I want to say 5-7 days worth.

Really? Damn. I wonder why Ace didn't get a single one...

Franklin was sent home with pain medications as well. Cryptorchids tend to vary in the amount of incisions, how far in they have to cut, etc. Franklin did not have to have abdominal surgery, they found his wayward chestnut (lol!) in his groin area. I used the pain meds mostly for sedation since he went home day of surgery and tried to run around and chase the cat!

Bahaha :D Typical corg, always have to attend to business like cat-chasing! Ace definitely had abdominal surgery - his hidden nugget was buried deeeeep inside of his abdomen. I didn't even know a testicle could travel upstream that far. Hence I wonder why he didn't get any pain meds! o_o

He didn't show any signs of discomfort or tenderness in the area. We were even able to remove his gauze early on to replace it with a new bandage (that SMELL, yech) and he didn't flinch. I would say "balls of steel", but... that's kind of anathema to my point. :D

I'd do what the vet recommends - after all you're paying for his expert advice.  It's been too long since we had female dogs, so am sure there have been updates in the procedure since then.

Seems odd to me too.  My vet uses a kind of "blind stitch" looking thing (my term, not his) with dissoluble sutures.  I've never had a problem with a dog trying to pull them out and haven't had to use a cone. Can't imagine using metal staples inside.

I agree with Melissa...any vet that would suggest metal sutures for inside is someone I personally would avoid. That just seems really weird to me. Both my male dogs had dissolvable sutures inside. Henry was a cryptorchid, and he had some kind of soft suture that had to be removed later on the outside for his abdominal incision. I don't know exactly what material it was but definitely not metal.

Hi Brittany,

I don't know if there's a difference between vet and human grade surgical sutures, but I've used metal sutures in ortho / cardiac surgeries, its stronger, maintain tension overtime and sterile (no infection), it is preferred over catgut because it is tough (e.g.: heart is a strong muscle), catgut looses its tension in 7-10 days.

So why use catgut? mainly for cosmetic appearance.

Complications from surgeries depends on owner's wound care, e.g.: exposing stitches to wet grass...etc.


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