Thursday, December 8, 2011

Blunt Force Trauma

It's been nearly a year since I added anything to this site, and the staff and I extend our deepest apologies to our loyal readership for being so lax. I will try to add bits and pieces in a more timely manner henceforth.

Now, on to a subject that everyone who runs gundogs, whether hunting the big woods, or in various FT games needs to be aware of, and prepared for, and that is the incidence of blunt force trauma. This point was driven home to me this season.
Dogs are quite prone to this injury, because of the speed at which they comb the woods, and the layout of their anatomy. The lungs are positioned very close to the front of the chest. If a dog running flat out encounters an object that can injure, this is the area that will take the brunt of the force.
My Sandy, the English Setter was running the grouse woods at high speed, as is her nature. This dog requires GPS, and luckily, she was wearing it. She was well off.. Out of bell range, but the Astro showed her at about 400 yards, and not moving.. Could she be on point? It was only our second day out on the season, and this would have been the first bird encountered. I started to make my way to her, but the GPS showed her headed back in, so I just waited.. She got back as close as she could, and collapsed on her side. Being only the second day out, I thought she just ran herself out... She was pretty tired when we quit the previous day.
But this was more than that... Her gums were gray. A touch showed poor capillary refill time. This was serious. I carried her out of the woods. We got back to the truck, I loaded her up, and headed for camp, where I called the closest Vet... 45 miles away, who said the bring her right down.
My wife and I wasted no time.. We were off immediately! We thought we might lose her on the wat down. Gums still very gray, and CRT very poor...
The Vet took her in immediately. The Tech started feeling her, asked her age?? 8 years, and stated she was starting to get "lumpy bumpy," which happens to many dogs as they age. I know this dog better than I know myself... My hands are on her all the time, and she had no bumps! But, here was a bump the size of a baseball on her chest! The area proceeded to get shaved to reveal a huge bruise. What happened was now starting to become obvious.
The Vet, a very nice gentleman, and very competent, confirmed our worst fears.. She needed to stay in hospital overnight, on IV fluids. He hoped that she would not crash overnight..
This dogs has not spent a night away from us in the last seven years, so it was a tough decision, but necessary.
We called about 9PM to check on her.. Contusions on her lung from blunt force trauma!

My wife and I obviously spent a horrific, and sleepless night!

The next morning we called.. She was alive and doing reasonably well. We drove down, not knowing if the Vet would release her. The staff was expecting our arrival, and brought Sandy out to us immediately. A consult with the Vet allowed us to bring her home, but three weeks rest was insisted upon. These folks had never had to live with a hard headed Setter that loves to run, and thinks she's in shape to do so..

So, in the end, it turned out well in our case. But, be prepared! Know what to look for and don't take chances. Know the location of the nearest Veterinary Clinic in the area you're working, and have the phone number handy... It just might save your friend's life...

Out thanks got out to Dr. Landenberger and his staff as Schroon River Animal Hospital in Warrensburg, New York... We're forever in your debt!

The photo shows the patient covering the woods at a speed that sometimes gets her in trouble!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A great one passes..

We all lose dogs... It just goes without saying.
We lose the great ones, the not so great ones, and the one's that just can't seem to get with the program, but they all earn a place in our hearts, and leave a huge hole in it when they leave us.
For dog folks, we're never very far away from the sad day that is inevitably to come. We enter the game knowing full well the outcome, but we do it time and again regardless!
I received the bad news this week that my friend Deb had lost her good friend, Finn McCool at the age of fourteen years. Now, that seems like a good run for a dog, but it's a two edged sword... Yes, we've held them close to us for a good long time, but that makes it all the more difficult to let go.
So, my heart goes out to Deb and Al in their time of grief... There's nothing to be said to ease the pain..

They have posted a great tribute to Finn on their blogsite, and I hope everyone goes there to read about, and honor the life in words and pictures, of a great gundog, and just as importantly, a fine and loyal companion...

Godspeed... Finn McCool

A Piece of the Purest Challenge

Rudyard Kipling said it quite well what losing a dog means to many of us..

The Power of the Dog
Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passsion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long--
So why in--Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?