He refused to eat this morning. He refused to eat this afternoon and by 3pm, all I could manage to get him to eat were 3 pieces of kibble. He also refused to drink water, spitting out whatever I syringed into his mouth.
He just wanted to face the wall and sulk or sit on the grass.
At 4.30pm, we went to the vet's, despite the heavy rain.
I asked the vet if we should remove the e-collar as that seemed to be making him very upset. At the same time I was worried that he would bite his wound and make it worse. The vet explained that while we could do everything by the book and do it correctly, this is Cow. Yes, this is Cow with an attitude.
In short, we need to treat each animal as it is. Not use standard operating procedures which are book-correct.
Made sense to me.
So, the vet decided to do an old-fashioned, time-tested treatment of soaking Cow's paw in a warm salt and iodine solution for 15 minutes.
Cow is a total pussy-cat at the vet's, so the 15 minutes went by nicely, but after that, when the vet applied iodine directly onto the wound, there was some protest and hissing.
There is still some pus on the underside of the paw, so the healing has not been "fantastic" despite me doing everything by the book. That being the case and with Cow being on a hunger strike, we decided we'd remove the e-collar to hopefully reduce his stress level and hope that this might make him a little happier so that healing can take place more efficiently.
I have heard of stories where extremely fierce animals were only treated with soaking the wound in salt solution and it healed beautifully. The animals can be so fierce, you cannot even give it any medication. Then there are also those animals who had their wounds treated by the book, with the correct medication and treatment and yet they don't heal. There was even a case where a seemingly small infection in an animal led to severe bone infection and caused fatality. It was treated with all the book-correct methods.
So, how much do we actually know? Maybe it pays to judge each case separately and in a more "holistic" way?
Back home, the moment the e-collar was removed, Cow groomed every part of his body.
Of course he first licked off all the salt water from his paw, and he also licked his wound. I observed him, and he was just licking, not really biting, so that isn't so worrying.
After grooming and licking all he wanted, he settled down.
I really hope he is happier now and will start eating soon.
Moment by moment, with a balance of knowledge and instinct, we do the best we can.