Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Puppy Toes and Winter Woes

Well, Michigan pulled a u-turn yesterday and warmed up to a bizarre and misty 39°. It was like the world around me was tossing and turning in it's wintery nap. Birds were singing songs reserved for spring, melted snow was pouring off the house and the horses were sweaty and hot after just minimal work. I'll admit there was a part of me that reveled in pretending it was early spring, despite knowing that today's high would plummet back into the teens.

With the strange weather came lots and lots of ice. The puppies love to play in the snow every morning and it never occurred to me that the snow would be icy when I took them out. We played for a while in the drippy, slushy, icy mess and then headed back up to the house. When Jeremy got up, he too took the dogs out but quickly returned. Basil had cut herself on (what we think was) the ice and was bleeding pretty badly. When we got her in the house and settled down, I found she had sliced into the pad on the back of her leg where the dew claw is. It was cut cleanly, and after a trip to the local drug store I managed to get it cleaned and bandaged. The location was a tough one, and I'm sure there was no way a vet could have stitched it so we settled for a soak in betadine and an application of EMT.

At first, we put the E-collar on her but it was obvious that she was pretty depressed by it and after a series of sighs and puppy-dog-eyes I took the collar off on a trial run. She quickly began to nibble on her bandage so I had to put it back on. Poor babe.

In the middle of the night, however, she discovered a way to get the collar off and I found her this morning, happily tromping around the house, bandage completely untouched. She hasn't touched it yet, so we're thinking that unless we have to leave her for any reason we will let her be collar free.

According to some reading I've done, an injury like this should heal in a week and a half. After only a night of healing time though it had a nice healthy scab across the wound and was looking very un-irritated. Until she heals, however, she is on leash arrest, and for a collie/german shepherd this is a huge bummer.

It wasn't until after we got Basil all bandaged up and the floor scrubbed that I realized there were new bloody paw prints appearing all over the kitchen floor! The source? Poor Connor. He has one toenail that he split and had to have partially removed a few years ago, and he had torn it off again. That darned ice! I soaked his foot in betadine and it had stopped bleeding in a matter of minutes. I can't believe my puppies are so well behaved. I administered a quick, harsh word when he licked it the first time, and he hasn't touched it since.

1 comment:

  1. Yow! When I worked as a vet's assistant years ago, we once had a dog come in who had caught her toenail between the boards of wood on her owner's deck while running. The vet put her under anesthesia and pulled out the split claw (it wasn't salvageable, I suppose) with a pair of pliers! Glad to hear your pups are so well behaved and recovering nicely (with some TLC)....and thanks for the link to the EMT gel! It seems like a very helpful thing to have on hand, will definitely have to pick some up.