A Walk in the Park
A walk in the park. That’s all we were out for. Just a quick walk before dinner. On the way past the park, we happened to see a couple of pooches we hadn’t seen in the neighborhood before. Both looked pretty excited and Buddy and Hope were both at attention. So I kept walking, waiting to make eye contact with the owner to see if they wanted to say hi. He seemed a little hesitant to say anything (not common in our dog-loving neighborhood, just blocks from the biggest and best dog park in town) so we decided to keep moving.
As he was cleaning up after his Weimaraner, his little French Bulldog wiggled free of his leash and bolted over to say hello. Of course we stopped and let everyone sniff. I waited for the owner to come over and leash up his pooch since we were now standing in the middle of the street. I noticed he seemed to be struggle a bit to keep the Weimaraner from hustling over as well while he finished picking up.
In the blink of an eye the complexion of the afternoon changed drastically. The Weimaraner’s leash broke and he darted straight for Buddy. Already afraid of his own shadow, Buddy didn’t move much. Hope, of course, swung around like a slingshot making sure her back side was clear of any oncoming doggy traffic. Just as I looked up I caught a glimpse of the big guy sinking his teeth into Buddy’s upper leg. I yelled and tried to pull Buddy away, finally grabbing the other dog by the back of the neck and jumping between the two. Buddy rewarded me with a chomp on the forearm, still in the heat of the moment.
The other owner rushed over yelling at his dog. I looked down and noticed Buddy had taken care of his evening business in the middle of the street.
“I’m so sorry,” he said. “Is your dog OK?”
“I’m not sure,” I responded, still not really positive had just happened. I took a closer look at Buddy, who seemed to be favoring his leg. It was tough to tell with his long, black fur, but sure enough, he was bleeding.
“I think we are going to have to run to the vet,” I said to the guy.
“I’m so sorry, is there anything I can do?” he asked.
“I don’t think so. I think we just need to go to the vet,” I responded.
“Well I live at XXX Walker,” he shouted as I started to walk away, “let me know if there is anything I can do.”
“OK, we live just on the other side of the street, XXX Walker,” I hollered back. “I’ll let you know what we find out.”
Buddy limped the block and a half home. As I shot through the front door, I yelled for my wife, “We need to go to the vet, Buddy got bitten.” And off we went. We were only in the car for 7-8 minutes. Buddy sat on the floor the whole way as he winced when I tried to set him on my lap. He was clearly in pain, and looked up at me most of the ride as if to ask, “Why did this happen to me? Where are we going ?”
One of the assistants greeted us as we came through the front doors. They checked his weight to know the appropriate dosage of anaesthesia, then walked us into one of the exam rooms. The assistant checked his leg and tried to comfort the poor guy while we waited for the vet.
After a quick look through, the doc gave us the good and the bad news. Buddy was going to be OK, but he needed to have the bite on the outside of his leg closed up. They would have to put him under and his recent bout with heartworm meant there was some risk with general anaesthesia. Although he received treatment for the heartworm the second week after we adopted him, he still hadn’t been to his six month check-up to ensure the treatment was effective. The vet said they would need to do the check before they could put him under to minimize the risk of heart problems.
We were told to review the paperwork, sign a release form and say our goodbyes. They would call us when he was out of surgery, likely in 2-3 hours. All we could do then was wait and hope.
So that’s what we did. We waited and we hoped, with Hope. Less than 2 hours had passed when we got the call. Things had gone better than expected. Not only was Buddy heartworm-free, but they were able to avoid using general anaesthesia altogether. He had 5 staples on the outside of his leg and they found a total of 3 more puncture wounds – two on the inside of his leg, near his stomach, and another on his neck. Fortunately, they were able to leave all three untouched so they could continue to drain.
They sent us on our way. Buddy, with his pain meds, antibiotic pills, cleansing solution, and cone, was ready to get some rest. He looked pretty rough that first night. He didn’t leave his big, fluffy bed until we picked him up and put him between us in bed (we are suckers and typically let both our pooches sleep in bed with us). He didn’t move all night and wanted nothing to do with his food or water.
The next morning, he was still pretty rough. He wasn’t very excited about getting out of bed and still wouldn’t touch his food. He did wander over to grab a drink, but when we carried him outside, he just laid in the grass, not wanting to walk around to find the perfect spot.
My wife took the morning off of work and laid with him in bed. I spent much of the morning at work worrying about the poor guy and taking notice of the ever-growing pain in my arm, which was now red and swollen. At lunch, I made the decision to run to the doctor. Of course, my arm was infected. Apparently, dogs, by nature, have bacteria in their mouth which is in no way harmful to them, but is bad for us simply due to the fact that we are not exposed to it.
So much like Buddy, I went on my way with my own set of antibiotic pills and an antibiotic ointment with an arm wrap. I relieved my wife of her duties and while she went back to work, I spent most of the afternoon lying next to Buddy’s dog bed, which we pulled out into the living room. Hope was perfectly content to cuddle up next to me and keep an eye on her brother. We were quite the sad site.
As evening rolled around, Buddy started to get a little more spunk back. He hopped out of bed and crept toward the back door to meet my wife after work and finally gave in to eating some dinner. He even managed to mark the tree in the front yard when we carried him out for a potty break.
When the sun rose, I think Buddy thought he was all better. He jumped right off of the bed (a big no-no according to the vet) and was excited to go for a walk. I took him out, but came back in as soon as he took care of his business. He looked frustrated with the short walk and was quick to jump up on the couch. We’ve since had to keep a pretty close eye on him, frequently reminding him that he has to take it easy.
His puncture wounds have stopped draining and slowly closing up. The staples, while looking horrificly painful, are fully intact and the wound looks to be healing quite well. Bubba is scheduled to have them removed next weekend, before his fur starts to really grow back.
My arm, after continuing to swell, is also on the mend (thanks to some painful releasing of underlying grossness). We’ve since bumped into our neighbor who is extremely apologetic and graciously paid our bills, and he mentioned that his pup is currently in the witness protection program
All in all, things are looking up. Buddy is now confirmed to be heartworm free and I think his first 6 months with us have prepared him for just about anything life can throw his way (except thunderstorms, of course – he will always be in the closet for those!).
Apologies once again for our absence, as you can see, we’ve had some excitement in our lives
Do you have a dog attack or dog bite story? Let us know! We’d love to share your story and feature some information about how to handle those situations (like, get to a doctor if you get bitten!!). You can post your comments below or email us at email@example.com! You can also see the full photo album of Buddy’s injuries and recovery on our Facebook page!