Freia’s had a rough few days.. and so have I as a consequence.
About 10 days ago Freia got bit by another dog at the park. To make a short story long.. Freia was romping around with her friend Fergus, who was walking with a group of other dogs. There was a Ridgeback in the group that was also wanting to play with Freia so I joined the group as they walked around the perimeter of the dog park. One of the owners straight off warned me about another dog in the pack, Rudy, and to watch him with Freia. I responded that they’d met before, and Rudy had checked her, so I thought it would be OK. Within about 100 yards Freia had gotten too close to Rudy and he tumbled her, she yelped and tail between her legs ran off a ways. I thought, hmm.. ok, maybe she’s really learned her lesson.. Well, we got another 100 yards and dumb stubborn dog that I have, she got in Rudy’s face again and this time it was more serious. Freia was immediately submissive but Rudy was having none of it. She managed to get away, and I got her to me. I checked her over and it looked like she’s lost a clump of fur on her rump, and there was a scratch from where the fur had been pulled out.
The other dogs (all friendly) tried to check on her and make sure she was ok, but she was way too shaken at that point, so we ended up going our own way. I searched out some friendly dogs to get her out of her funk and we met up with Riley, this tiny little barky funny terrier that Freia adores.
Within a few days the scab from the scratch had healed, but then one day after that, the area swelled up to the size of a golf ball. I looked closer at it and could see a clear puncture mark. Not good. It didn’t seem to bother her, it didn’t feel particularly hot and there was no oozing (sorry to be gross) so I thought I’d wait a day. Next day the area was a bit bigger, so it seemed I might be having to pay a visit to the vet. Not good.
During this time, I’d deliberately avoided going to the park at the same time as Rudy’s owner as I didn’t want to risk the dogs meeting again. Fortunately, the incident did not make Freia aggressive, in fact it had the complete opposite effect and has made her more submissive and less attached to tennis balls. Considering she’s a notorious thief, this is not a bad thing.
I spoke with an animal control officer who happened to be at the park one day and he told me that a dog bite was like a gun shot wound and I had to report it. Wow.. well, I didn’t file a report as it just seemed like a bigger step than I wanted to take. There was a puncture wound but the skin wasn’t ripped. In all fairness, Rudy had warned Freia on numerous occasions to back off, which she stubbornly ignored.
I put in a call to my vet and she told me to bump up the antibiotics to quadruple the dose she’s already on (for the mystery bladder infection) for five days.
She’s on day four of the meds now and is considerably better. I did finally speak to the owner and told her about the bite, how it was worse than we all thought at the time, how I felt she needed to look at better managing her dog – warning, barring teeth, bite inhibition is all expected, a bite that is an actual puncture wound it not, and is trainable to extinguish with serious commitment from the dog owner. (And I mean beyond keeping the dogs mouth occupied with a tennis ball, which is the current managment effort). She was very nice, and of course apologetic, and even checked back with me the following time we crossed paths to see how Freia was. She offered to compensate me financially for costs, to which I told her there was basically no costs since I already had the meds at home, and spoke over the phone to the vet rather than having to take the dog in.
Sadly, Rudy does have a history, and when I would mention to others at the park that Freia had been bit, pretty much everyone said: “oh, was it rudy?”. This is a dog that maybe should not be at an offleash dog park, or at least kept on leash… Almost everyone said, oh yeah, Rudy’s had a run in with my dog or bit my dog. I guess Freia was the first puncture wound.
A world of hurt continued…
So a couple of nights ago, I decided to trim Freia’s nails. I muzzled her, got out a handful of her favorite treats and did the nail clipper dance. I finally got one nail in the clipper and “snip”. Oh, did she ever let out a yelp. I felt bad, but then a few seconds later I felt even worse when the blood came.. oh boy.. a lot of blood. Poor little girl. I didn’t clip off more than 2 mms of nail, but it was 1 mm too much. My advice: styptic powder, and clip off less than you think you need to if at all. I’ve now figured given that Freia gets a couple of hours a day outside running, and is also a digger that she really doesn’t need her nails trimmed. So much for trying to be a good mom. Luckily she holds the clippers entirely responsible for the whole incident. It took a good hour to mop up the mess though. I tried to keep her still for about 15 mins and kept a paper towel and pressure on her nail to stop the bleeding, but then she would run downstairs and open it up again. what a mess.
Today, her nail appears to have finally healed up a bit, it bled yesterday at the park, but so far seems OK today, and the golf ball on her rump is definately shrinking.
A dog’s life ain’t all it’s cracked up to be sometimes….