Monday, December 28, 2009

Most readers of this blog have probably already seen the Bodios' dog disaster that happened yesterday. It really was a freak accident. I hadn't even left the car, was still messing with a camera lens, when I heard Irbis yelping. It was the most gruesome injury I've ever seen, and I've seen quantities of blood and broken long bones before. I'm extremely glad that we were there to help, and that it happened so close to the car; it would have been even more of an epic if we'd had to carry him a mile.

How would you splint a dog's rear leg, anyway? Human limbs have the advantage of being able to go straight; I'd never thought about it before, but that's really convenient for us wilderness medicine types. My best thought for the dog was that if necessary we could sort of sling-and-swath the back leg up against the torso, basically wrap his whole rear half in padding. But he crawled with much yelping from the far back of our 4-Runner into the back seat. Libby got in with him, and he seemed relatively comfortable wedged between her and a box that happened to be there. Since he was fairly calm, it seemed best to let him be and get driving, rather than agitate, hurt and terrify him with temporary first aid.

Anyway, the outpouring of generosity in response to Steve's bleg has been really wonderful and touching. They have more or less enough now to collect him after the surgery tomorrow. No one has taken up my print offer from the comments, as everyone has proved too altruistic (or I was damn slow with this post); but some people will certainly be getting gifts.

My silver lining from this weekend is this shot from near Magdalena Saturday evening. Coming right at the end, it's one of my favorites of the year. Enlarge!


Cat Urbigkit said...

Wonderful shot, rich colors and textures. You do such great landscapes!

Peculiar said...

Thanks Cat! I really need to get back up your way again. Some of the best shooting I ever had was in the Gros Ventres, but it's a case of "If I knew then what I know now..."

Anonymous said...

I've been teaching pet first aid and CPR classes for a few years now and I used to be a ski patrol officer.

Because, as you noted, dogs' legs are articulated differently than ours are; and because we can't rationalize with a dog about why we need to have him stay still and calm while we splint his leg - all pet first aid programs now recommend against splinting.

For an injury of this type a sling is your best bet. You can make a very nice impromptu sling for a large dog out of a tote bag or "green" shopping bag. Just cut vertically along the two narrow (non-handle) sides of the bag to create a long, wide band of fabric with handles on both sides.

Slip the sling under the dog's chest or belly (depending on the leg affected) and one or two people can use the handles to support the dog's weight on the affected end.

Allowing the dog to use his other two legs to move helps alleviate his stress.

I'm not a large or strong person and I've successfully moved an injured 130 pound dog with a sling like this.

Peculiar said...

Thanks, smartdogs, that's really helpful! I wouldn't have thought of that approach.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the plug in your follow up post!