I took the dogs out for a little hike today to burn off some energy and so that we could all get out and enjoy some fresh air, nature, and solitude. The majority of the hike was indeed great. However, when we topped one of the hills that we were climbing and took a break for some pictures, the dogs spotted a deer. Not a big deal at all. We see deer all the time when we go hiking. Bess likes to chase after them initially, but she's usually sure footed enough and agile enough that the most she comes away with is maybe a scratch or two. Usually she's unscathed. Not so this time. We were travelling along an old logging road and had topped a hill where there was a pretty well cleared area. There was a fair amount of underbrush and debris that was left over, but nothing that would otherwise be a big deal for either dog. The dogs saw the deer bounding away on the next hill top. Heffner was excited, but also not about to go down our hill and all the way up the next for something that was already running away. Bess had other ideas. She went down the hill and dropped out of sight for a brief period. Again, not something that I would normally worry about. When she came back up the hill it was obvious that she was favoring her front right leg. The reason, became readily apparent. My best guess is that while going down the hill she either misjudged a leap, tripped, or just moved wrong and cut herself on an old exposed limb of some sort. And when I say cut, I do not mean a minor abrasion. This was a fairly major laceration. I did take a picture, and I will warn you that it's fairly graphic. If you don't want to see just rapidly scroll down. I didn't have the camera in close up mode, so the laceration is actually not the part that's fully in focus. This was also taken in the parking lot after having to walk all the way back down the hill. Bess was able to do this on her own, but it obvious that it was causing her a fair amount of pain. It would have caused her a lot more pain if I had try to carry her down though. She also did not lose much blood, even though the wound looks like it should have bled a fair amount.
I had been wearing a sweatshirt when we started the hike and I'm glad for that. I rolled it up and tied it up and over her shoulders with the bottom section supporting her chest and trying to keep the area closed while I transported her from the trail head to the ER vet. Thankfully I knew of another ER vet other than Dove Lewis who was closer and I felt totally confident that they could handle taking care of the stitches that were very obviously needed.
Thankfully when we got there, at that point there were no other emergencies coming in and they were able to see Bess right away and start cleaning things up. They commented on how incredibly sweet she was being considering the extent of her injury and that most dogs would be trying to bite the technicians. Yes, my girl is a sweetheart even when she's in a fair amount of pain. After looking at her and inspecting things, they decided that the laceration was just that and would need a few different layers of stitching. For the stitching, she was going to need to be sedated. I explained to the vet about the pneumonia that we were already taking care of and the fact that she had already been sedated on Wed. for some chest x-rays and that my vet felt that based upon on how slowly she came out of the anesthesia, that she was more sensitive and could use a much lighter dose than was normal. They were taking that into consideration and were going to use gas anesthesia instead of injectable so that she would be able to wake up faster and also not need a reversal injection. So I dropped Bess off and they're going to stitch her up and observe her for a little while after she's done to make sure that she wakes up okay and that everything is going well. We are just waiting to get the phone call to go and pick her up. Obviously I'm trying to keep myself busy until then so that the time passes quickly. We apparently are not having very good luck this month and Bess seems to be the primary recipient.
In order to get that ghastly image out of your minds, I will relay the enjoyable part of our hike to everyone. I was pretty pleased with some of the pictures that I was able to take! It was a fairly overcast day and not terribly warm. It thankfully didn't rain on us though. There were some beautiful views along the way!
There were some hills to climb that gave us a great work out!
At the top of the primary hill we took a much deserved break and I snapped some pictures of the dogs in various spots trying to get different scenery and different poses in each one. I like the results!
Other than the ending, it was a nice outing and Bess was definitely enjoying being able to get out and stretch her legs after being so restricted with her pneumonia diagnosis. The vet did say that there was going to be a fair amount of chest bruising and Bess will be on Rimadyl for a few days to help with the pain management. It's looking like it's going to be another week before she can go back to getting some exercise. I will definitely be happy to have her home again though!