Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Terrible Accident - Please Go Check Your Fences

Before I write about this, I'll tell you the ending first - Bugs is absolutely fine now, and will recover from her accident with no ill-effects, except for, perhaps, a scar on her side, which should be covered in hair and not visible.

So I will tell you this story now, from the very beginning.

Bruno and Bugs can't be outside together due to Bruno still having his stitches in, so Bugs was out in the yard by herself. It's cold here, so she wasn't out long - maybe five minutes tops.

I went to the sliding glass door and she was facing me, waiting. I gave her the "sit" signal but she wouldn't listen (which is pretty much what she does every time, stubborn girl) so I opened the door a crack to give her the verbal cue. When she sat, I noticed what looked like a tuft of fur on her right side, behind her ribs and just in front of her hip.

I brought her in and sat on the floor with her to look at it and realized that it was a very deep, nasty cut. It was the size of  quarter perhaps, and I could see the fat layer. It did not seem to bother her in the least, but I could tell by the depth of it that this was nothing to be messed with, so I called the vet.

I could not bring her in immediately, because the kids didn't have school that day and I didn't have room in my car for five kids and a bleeding dog. Fortunately Nate was on his way home from work, so we didn't have to wait long. I immediately put Buggles in her crate and then went out to see what she could have done.

I found the culprit right away.

We have a "drive-through" gate - two gates put together, so a truck can get through if needed. There is an L shaped rod, maybe 3/4" in diameter, that slides through a hole in the gate and down into the ground, to stabilize it and keep it from moving. The short end of the L serves as a handle to pull it up out of the ground when you want to open the gate. This piece is normally flush with the gate, but somehow it got turned around was pointing inward, and Bugs snagged her side on it.

We got to the vet about 3:45, and we immeditaely took her back into a holding kennel. I had to leave her there and wait for the vet to call me with the update. I told them just fix her up, I don't care what it costs, the price is not going to change my mind about whether to treat her or not.

The vet finally called me. Bugs needed 6 internal stitches, to repair the muscle, and 6 external stitches. She has a drain tube in place because the skin separated from the muscle and the visible wound was less than 25% of the actual wound. All of that will be removed on Tuesday, if she heals properly.

She had to spend the night because she was so groggy from the anesthesia. She was SO happy to see me when I picked her up - all wiggles and joy!

As luck would have it, I am completely broke this week, so I busted into my Porcupine Mountains jar and counted out all the change - $29. The vet took that and then put my credit card on file and will run it Friday when I have money (thank you God for this wonderful veterinarian!) Altogether this cost $168.

She is home and happy and the injury is still not bothering her at all. She has a cone and can't fit in her crate so I've used babygates to close off the breezeway for her at night.

I am asking you now - if you have a fence, go check it TODAY. Check it frequently, because your kids or dogs could be injured in a split second. I found several other questionable areas on the fence, and I am covering them so no one gets hurt. The rod that hurt Bugs is now zip-tied to the fence so it can't dislodge and turn inward again.

Bugs is going to be just fine. She is on antibiotics daily to ward off infection and aside from a scar she is going to be okay. But this all could have been avoided if I had been more vigilant. So please go check your fences and gates. Make sure your yard is safe for dogs and children.

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