So, the very beloved farm dog. LG and I came home midday a couple of weeks ago to find Winchester sitting in the yard looking just off. Instead of his usual bounding over to the car, happily greeting us, he just stay in place, looking flat and off (I know I already said that but it's the word that best describes it).
So, we get closer and can see that he's shaking and covered in drool and he's got these expressive eyes that are saying "help" and not really moving. We aren't sure what's happened because he's not talking. Given his, um, impulse control problem with food I'm wondering if he's been poisoned by something he's found or compost or... ?
So, then the diagnostics start: head to toe assessment. He's defensive around the face and head, and no we're thinking that he may have been hit by a car. We notice there's some blood in his drool. LG, the ever growing/ever hungry teen goes in to start cooking himself something to eat and I go in to phone the vet to see if they'll fit us in. They tell us to come right away. LG shuts off the stove and, in spite of teen pangs of hunger, helps me lift the injured pup (ok, older man) in to the car.
We get to the vet and he's no more interested in the vet (a stranger to him -we'd never seen her before) looking in his mouth than he was me. She's seen a bit of abrasion when she could get a little peek and suggests sedating him to get a better look. Of course, we do that.
Even under sedation, he's aware of where we are and if he's people are around. How do I know? He was sedated with his head in my lap, as soon as I moved away, he squirmed and started moving again. I came over and patted him, he'd slightly wag his tail. Vet patted him, no tail wag. That's how attentive he is.
Or regular vet leaves the surgery he's in the middle of to help out. Finally we get his mouth open wide enough to see inside and there's a massive tear, at least 4inches long. The theory - he's torn his throat open on a stick.
It's nothing that can be mended - to wide, poor location, and not much that can be done. They ensure there are no splinters in the wound (there weren't, thank goodness) and tell us that they can reverse the sedation in about 20mins but there's not much they can do for him. So, we go feed the teen and come back.
When we get back there, Winchester is groggy but ready to go and cannot wait to be home. We collect the anti-inflammatories and antibiotics and head home. Now, I'm not a big fan of prophylactic antibiotics but my goodness, I couldn't be more grateful for them in this case.
So, we watch him closely the first night (I might have slept on the floor with him). He's pretty tragic:
but he's alive. With an injury like that, it's not a sure thing that he would be.
Now, two weeks later, he's come through and out the other side. Some things have certainly changed for him, it's clearly still painful to lick and the barking's been cut down to a minimum but he's thriving and mostly back to his old self. Which includes trying to entice us to throw sticks for him (I bought soft frisbees - never again with sticks!).