Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lawnmowers: 2, dogs of the world: 0

I don't know what it is with dogs and lawnmowers in this neck of the woods. For some reason, dogs in this area like to play with lawnmowers.

This week, I was presented with a dog that had its foot run over by a lawnmower. When he came in, he was wagging his tail, but blood was splattered all over him, his owner, his owner's car, the walls, and shortly, the ICU. His foot, from the carpus down, was dangling by about 3 shreds of skin and tendon.

We gave him a dose of fentanyl IV for pain and relaxation, then placed an extremely, extremely tight bandage and tourniquet to control the hemorrhage. Once we had addressed the bleeding, I went to speak to his owner.

She was distraught and moderately intoxicated. I explained to her that we would need to stabilize her dog, Dudley, with IV fluids, pain medications, antibiotics, and possibly a blood transfusion. Once he was stable, we would amputate his leg at likely the elbow joint.

Unfortunately, Dudley's owner had $100 to her name. She begged me to "work with her." I had to gently explain that the bill would be $1500-2500 for the night and surgery. She did not qualify for CareCredit. My hands were tied. In the end, she was forced to make the right decision for her dog.

By the time she had made the decision, Dudley was weak, his gums were pale, and he was weak. He did not resist as we gently injected him with the euthanasia solution.

1 comment:

moontoad said...

As a child, we brought my dog to the ER vet for what turned out to be some spinal infection that temporarily paralyzed him. A guy brought in a very young dog, maybe a year old, and he had lost his two front legs because the guy ran over him with his riding mower. I was young, maybe 11 at the most and it made such a massive impression on me, that we try not to even need to let our dogs out for a pee while on leash when the yard is being mowed. I do not understand why people mow their lawns with a dog running around. They wouldn't do it with their young children, why do it with a pet.