I was wondering some of the experiences the IDO pet owners have had with their dogs out in the field, duck blind, etc.
With my group of hunting friends, I have seen some pretty gnarly barbwire fence cuts, some even required staples out in the field, the owner is a vet tech and carries a staple gun with him in his dogs first aid kit. I also carry a dog first aid kit but am not comfortable performing that task. One broken leg, we took turns carring the 80 pound lab a mile back to the truck. Thankfully he is the calmest dog I have ever been around even when hurting so badly.
I have never personally experienced any dog injuries to my dogs until this past Wednesday.
We, the dog and I, were hunting a dirty field of corn, beans and summer wheat. Dash as always hunting hard with his tongue handing out like Micheal Jordan playing basketball. He is quartering back and forth in front of me, working the wind to his favor. He changes his strategy and starts to run straight away from me, jumping up to see over the cover. I can tell he is not birdy but just trying to catch any scent possible.
He ranges fairly close, something I have worked hard training with him as most german shorthairs cover ground quickly, efficiently and at some great distances.
When Dash realises he can no longer see me, he comes around and starts again searching for birds. This time as he busts through the vegetation I immediately see something is wrong. His tongue is not the normal pink color, it is red and I mean firetruck red.
I recall him to heal and as he sits next to me, the blood is pouring out of his mouth. I give him some water that he readily accepts, most likely to remove the taste of his own blood. I try and get a glimpse of his injury but can not see anything, still too much bleeding.
I need to lower his blood pressure, calm him down and slow down his heart beat, mine as well.., to slow his bleeding.
My hunt is over, back to the truck asap to access the injury.
The only issue is like most hunting dogs, Dash wants to keep hunting. He tests me every change he can as we return to the truck, healing vs hunting. It is a hard choice for a young pup.
Upon our return to the truck, I have him kennel after placing a extra blanket in his crate to catch the still streaming blood coming from his mouth. I unload, case the gun and recall the pup out of the truck to the tailgate. He jumps up and sits, I ask him to open and he obeys by opening his mouth, I now am trying to find the source of the blood. No luck, too much blood, looking like it may be multiple sources.
Another hunter in a pickup slow rolls past us and slams on the brakes, gets out and asks if I am alright. I say yeah I am fine, dog is busted up though. He said he stopped cause it looked like I was doing surgery on the dog. Only then did I notice I was covered from fingertips to elbows on both arms in dark red blood.
Damn mouth wounds can bleed.
I realize that I need some professional help and button away the gear and pup and start to the biggest town in the area. Call the wife and ask her to find the closest vets in my area, reassuring her that her beloved pet will be fine. She texts back three vets. I start calling and driving in their general area.
First two will not take new clients even though I have a wounded dog.
Third call is the charm, bring him in asap, we will be waiting for you.
I can hear Dash lapping and licking in his crate as I drive but that ended after about ten minutes, what is he doing now I wonder, as the noise quits and it gets quiet.
Should I stop and check on him, keep going to get to the vet.
I heard myself exhale a deep sigh of relief when I heard the next sounds, him snoring and sleeping as he normally does when riding in the truck. Thirty five minutes later, we arrive.
Open the rear door and Dash opens his eyes and immediately has the look of here we go hunting again.
Bleeding has stopped but the kennel and extra blanket look like it has seen better days and my liver and ticked GSP is liver and pink from his mouth to his front paws. I place him on the tailgate for one last peek, waiting for the vets to come out and meet me. I can finally see, what I believe is the issue.
Dash bite through his tongue, a small opening on the top but a .5-.7 gash on the bottom. The wound reopened with me looking at his tongue, blood flowed again, not nearly as much though.
The vet came out and into the first exam room we passed. Her assessment was the same, no other damage could be found and nothing could be done as mouth wounds heal quickly.
Her next words still haunt me, you need to keep him on strict no exercise, no running, no hard food, no rough play, no chew toys for three days.
I laughed and said I would rather have him bleed all over the place then deal with a hard headed, high strung, full of urine and vinegar, two year old GPS with no outlet of exercise.
She offered us some pills to calm him if needed.
We drove home, with him snoring in the kennel and me thinking how the day could have ended much worst.