Thursday, April 5, 2012

The dog that was shot

This week has been extremely crazy. Between trying to figure out what to do about my boyfriend's dental issues, pet sitting, my own pets, and work--I've got my hands full. One of the most insane things in my career as a veterinary technician happened two weeks ago, Wednesday evening. It was about 4:45pm and we got a call from a frantic owner; their dog had been shot and they were on their way to our clinic. They rushed her inside and lifted her onto the exam table. I immediately went over to her and cradled her head to soothe her but also to allow the doctor to examine her without her being able to bite. Which she never tried to do once. Her wounds were horrifying, I was completely shocked. Honestly I've never seen a gunshot wound in a dog. Her was shot at two times, or they fired off two rounds. One bullet grazed her head, slicing through muscle and leaving a 6 inch long gash down the back of her head. Any deeper she would have been dead. She also had two huge wounds on her chest and upper leg. She was bleeding a moderate amount when she came in. We began working on her immediately. 

After talking with the owners we come to find out the dog was shot by police officers responding to a domestic disturbance call at their home. I guess the dog became aggressive with them when they entered the home. I'm not sure exactly why pepper spray or a taser wasn't used first. Or even why they didn't ask the owner to confine their dog. She weighs less than 50 pounds. I wasn't there so I don't know the exact circumstances but it just doesn't seem right to me. When the dog came in she wagged her tail for us and never complained when examined. She never once snarled, growled, or attempted bite.
We placed an IV catheter and gave her pain medication. While we were placing the catheter she would lift her leg up so we could rub her belly. Sweetest pup. We took xrays to determine the extent of her injuries and found out she still had a bullet lodged her in chest. Also that the one that went into the leg area had broken her front left leg so badly that it required amputation or a visit to the specialist. 
It took the owners a long time to decide but eventually they authorized us to go into surgery and repair the laceration on her head. While she was under anesthesia we did a pressure wrap on her chest and leg as the owners were planning to take her to the specialist in the morning when they opened. We went into surgery at 6:45pm and didn't leave until 9pm.  The next morning they took her to the specialist and last I heard she was doing well but the doctors weren't 100% certain the leg would heal and everyone is aware that amputation cannot yet be ruled out. We are all thrilled! When they weren't sure if they were going to treat or euthanize her every staff member at the clinic looked like they wanted to cry, so so so glad we were able to convince them to give her a chance!
Update: She went to the specialist and they repaired the leg with a pin and an external metal cage to stabilize the leg. The specialists aren’t 100% sure if the leg will hold and she still may need to have it amputated but so far she is doing well!!
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