An Injured Dog and a Lesson Learned

Yesterday was a fairly typical Sunday in our house for the most part.

I spent most of the day reading the Sunday papers ( I get both the Tampa and ST Pete papers each week) clipping coupons, laundry and whatever moms generally do during the day.

My husband Jim took 5 of the kids to the International Auto Show.

Then it happened.

I was cooking dinner at about 7 pm and Zack opened the back door to let our dog, Thor, out.

Thor saw something outside of the screened-in enclosure and for some crazy reason decided to jump up and out of the screen.

I think he spotted a possum and was just chasing it away. He was just in front of the house.

On a fairly quiet residential street.

But a motorcycle was out there.

 

I didn’t see or hear anything but 2 of the boys immediately went after the dog when he went out the screen and they were right there when it happened.

He ran right into the motorcycle.

Matthew said the dog was trying to stop himself and skidded into it.

As near as I can figure out from the injuries he sustained, his collar got caught on the motorcycle somehow.

It whipped his head pretty sharply and then it was over. The biker fell in the accident but was more concerned for the dog.

My son asked if he was okay and he said he was fine.

Thor seemed fine in the dark as well. Having a very dark colored dog. it can be hard to spot injuries in the dark.

His collar was gone.

and when Matthew went to reach for it, he felt blood.

Thor wasn’t acting out of the normal at all. Was wagging his tail and acting kind of apologetic like he usually does when he knows he did something he shouldn’t have.

We brought him in the house and that’s when I saw how bad it was.

At first I thought he was only missing a few layers of skin about 3 inches long.

That would have been bad enough.

But when he shook his head a little the skin flapped back. (gross, I know)

Instantly my mind goes to whether of not we have enough money for the Animal Emergency Vet.

I’ve had the unfortunate luck to have had to go there a few times over the years and it is usually between four and five hundred dollars per visit.

Upfront

As in no money, no care.

He was running on adrenaline and not feeling much pain yet. But I knew he would be in immense pain in about an hour.

We loaded him up in our new car. (which now sports a few blood stains) and headed off to the vet.

And then I saw the extent of the injury. I’ll spare you the gory details but it was a LOT bigger than I first thought.

He was surprisingly well behaved with strangers and they evaluated him fairly quickly.

The estimate for treatment was $524 and I signed for him to be treated.

I sat in the waiting room for over an hour and a half as they sedated him and surgically repaired his neck.

I tell ya, it was nerve-wracking sitting there hearing the machines beeping and pulsing as my 8th kid is being worked on.

I paid for his treatment ¬†which was “only” $475 and waited while they prepared him to leave.

 

Getting him back to the car and into it was quite a challenge. He was still very drugged and confused. He wanted out of that car desperately and it took 4 of us to be able to get him in and the door shut.

Today, I’m glad that we have tile floors. He has 2 drains in his neck that are dripping on the floor. I’ll be running the floor steamer quite a bit this week.

The girls made a bed for him in the middle of the living room using lots of blankets. I was kind of funny watching him stagger around on it last night . He seemed pretty drunk. Today he is obviously hurting.

IMG461

He’s on antibiotics and pain medicine and will be for about a week. He’ll get the drains removed by Friday and the stitches will be out in about 2 weeks. All together the injury is about 8 inches long.

Stitches across his neck. the white thing is a drain. The blue is turtleneck type covering so he doesn't scratch
Stitches across his neck. the white thing is a drain. The blue is turtleneck type covering so he doesn’t scratch

IMG465

I’m very thankful that his injuries weren’t worse. He could have been killed.

 

I learned 2 very important lessons from all of this.

 

1. We should have an emergency fund set up for instances like these. Yhis was not my first rodeo. I should have done this after my first visit to the emergency vet with my beagle. But when it happens I don’t have the extra money. and then my memory fades and I forget to do it. Emergencies happen and everyone should be prepared

2.I really need to make some decisions about collar styles for my pets. If he had been wearing a breakaway collar like this one, this would not have happened.

I have always shied away from this type of collar because I like to feel that my dog is able to be secured and controlled at a moments notice. I’ll really have to give that opinion some thought this week. It was a freak accident. What are the odds of it ever happening again? What is the better choice?

Lastly, I may consider pet insurance. Accidents happen. Paying for them should be the least of anyone’s worries.

 

I welcome your comments. Let me know what you think…

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4 thoughts on “An Injured Dog and a Lesson Learned

  1. OMG! I’m so sorry. I know pet emergencies all too well. We never seem to have the extra funds to set up an emergency account. I am lucky when I took our dog in he was a still a pup and had pneumonia, and it cost me $1500. The vet griped but I was able to make 3 monthly payments. We were totally and 100% drained for 3 months.

    I’m so glad you were able to get care for your furbaby! It’s so hard to see them in pain or distress. While I know the breakaway collars are considered safer I’m not so sure that they are. Our dog is a Basset Beagle Mix and he seems to trash every breakaway collar with in a day and I find him running around the yard unattended, so I have resorted to the old fashioned kind. (He goes out on a lead for his potty jaunts).

    I’m so sorry and it’s going to be a rough next couple of weeks but atleast Thor is going to be ok!
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  2. My dog was in an attack over 1 year ago and luckily the owner of the other dog paid me for the injuries and vet bills. But like your dog she was ok initially, my dog has very thick fur. I initially only felt bruising and saw some hair had been messed with (my dog is part Chow). But after looking around I saw a huge gash in her skin. Once the vet shaved her it was much worse. Of course they wanted their money up front … It’s so sad because these are our babies. So I can definitely relate to your story.
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