My 5 year old boxer Runt recently had ACL surgery. The surgery site was closed with 13 staples, and looked really great, and he was healing well. I kept an e-collar on him whenever he couldn't be watched closely (like at night when we were sleeping), and also when my husband and I went to work. It worked great until last Thursday evening. He was just a little over one week post surgery, and I had only worked a half-day, but upon returning home we discovered that Runt had removed ALL of his staples, as well as the internal sutures. His knee was gaping wide open, and fortunately there was not a lot of blood (a little on his blanket and on the e-collar). We called our vet immediately, and rushed him in. Since it was after hours, it of course was considered an emergency "after hours" call. We had to leave him overnight (as well as a second night), and the vet had to do an additional surgery to remove dead tissue, clean up the area, and re-staple the wound (this time with 25 staples). The emergency visit and repair work cleaning and reclosing the original surgery site ended up costing more than the original ACL surgery.
We picked up our boy today, and have a larger e-collar on him this time (it's one we had from his first ACL surgery three years ago), so we're hoping it helps. I'm afraid to leave him until he's healed, for fear he'll tear out his staples again. During the first ACL surgery (to his other knee), our vet glued the surgery site closed, but with our current vet, staples are the method used (we live in a different state than where we lived during the first ACL surgery). We had no problems with the glue.
Any suggestions on what we can do to keep him from fussing with the staples? We got some of that stuff from the vet that you put on wounds to make them taste awful, to deter your dog from messing with them. Also, I know that with this same larger e-collar, Runt was able to get all of his bandages off his leg in the past (three months ago he had a tumor removed from his other leg, and removed his bandages with the e-collar on), and the vet wasn't able to get Runt to keep his bandages on during the last day of his visit there either. I'm adjusting my work schedule for the week (working only half-days), and getting my mother to come over to our house and dog-sit Runt if necessary. The vet suggested putting him in a small kennel or confining him to a small room, but we've tried that in the past and it hasn't worked. Otherwise Runt is a VERY well behaved dog. He just hates sutures!