It happened at about 2:30 a.m.
I couldn’t sleep so I was lying in bed reading a book. Yes, the rumors are true; I read. (Any other rumors you may have heard about me are decidedly untrue…) Suddenly I hear this loud shuffling noise, followed by the sound of scraping metal, and my dog yelping. Being the brave soul that I am, I immediately wake up my husband and demand that he go downstairs and investigate the noise. Although we have a house alarm, we don’t always remember to set it; our neighborhood is pretty safe.
My husband goes downstairs, and I follow him down a couple of minutes later. Sure enough, there are droplets of blood everywhere, and our basset hound is running in circles. My husband goes up to the dog and sees that he’s lost a nail, and that his crate has been moved. (Our dog often sleeps in his crate voluntarily.) Mr. Lunchmeat realizes that the dog must have gotten his claw stuck in the crate somehow, and that he tore out his nail when he tried to move his claw. First my husband wraps it in gauze, but it’s not enough to absorb all the blood. I suggest a diaper, which works surprisingly well. Then we call the vet, and the vet says as long as the bleeding has stopped, it’s okay to wait to bring him in until morning. We spend about forty minutes wiping up blood, and then head back to bed.
Today at the vet, the dog is decidedly stoic. Even though he’s limping, he doesn’t complain or whimper. During his exam, he’s literally shaking, but doesn’t make a peep. And this is a dog who is terrified of our garbage can lid! Because he was acting so brave, I have no idea until the vet examines his nail more closely. His phalange (the one that nail was attached to) is broken. After they took X-rays, they discovered it’s broken in three places. They had to shoot him up with an opiate in order to treat him, and he will continue to be on pain meds for the next ten days or so. However, the real issue is that this break is complicated; it might not heal, and the area is weight bearing. If it doesn’t heal, he might need to have part of his paw amputated for his own comfort.
Poor dog. Aside from his limp, we really thought he was doing okay. It’s amazing how instinctive animals are. He knows that because he’s wounded, he’s basically prey; so he was trying to act as normal as possible. Now though, between the morphine and the Elizabethan collar, he’s just shot. He’s hardly eaten or moved all night, except to come over to the desk while I was reading blogs. Hopefully, his breaks will heal and he will be okay.
Ever have a pet emergency in the middle of the night? Free t-shirts for those who comment. (Note that t-shirt may be gently worn, but hey, free shirt!)