Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Danger(prone) dog does it again...

Monday, Chandler and I went hiking. On the way out of the conservation area, Chan shot off down the trail and into Roaring Brook, just as he always does. He bounced out onto the other bank, and then came back looking like he was favoring a hind leg. I was afraid he'd messed up the "rear end suspension" again, so I kept an eye on him as we headed for the entrance, and his last favored pool for swimming. It seemed like his gait was ok, so I tossed a stick into the final pool, which he retrieved. Then he did something odd. Sitting down in about a foot of water, he tried to inspect his left hind paw...which was underwater. It turns out he'd cut the webbing between two of his toes on something.

So, we were off to the vet to get it inspected. They squeezed us in, and I was once again told how Chandler is such a good dog while he was attempting to skitter away from the vet and hide behind me. Turns out they really appreciate a dog that will squirm, whimper, try to escape, kick like a mule, but NOT BITE when a veterinarian is trying to inspect its painful, bleeding paw.

The vet was afraid Chan's webbing would rip more if they didn't suture it, so Chandler stayed to get some stitches and an antibiotic shot. I picked him up Monday night with instructions to keep the bandage dry, avoid exercise, and come in for a recheck on Saturday.

When we got home, Chandler immediately revealed his skills as a contortion artist, shoved his left hind foot forward, dropped the open end of his Elizabethan collar over it, and started ripping at the masking tape that held an old IV bag over his bandage to keep it dry in the minor monsoon that was going on outside. I took off the plastic Elizabethan collar and switched him to the soft-e-collar that I had bought two years ago. He had a harder time getting around that...although he just barely could, but he decided to leave his foot alone after I insisted that he should do so. Just in case, I slid a sock over the bandage to give it extra protection.

His "walk" Tuesday morning was a disaster. Mr. Fastidious does not like to leave any solid waste in his yard, so we had to walk down the street. I was planning just to go far enough to let him do his business, clean up, and go back. It soon became very clear that he really couldn't concentrate on much of anything but his paw:

(Obviously, this is my interpretation.)
Me: Go do your business.
Chandler: *sniffsniff* Paw hurts.
Me: Go do your business.
Chandler: *kicks bandaged paw straight backwards* Paw hurts!
Me: If you go do your business you can rest inside.
Chandler: Paw hurts!!! *tries to get at the bandage*
Me: Leave it!
Chandler: PAW HURTS! *starts moving frantically forward*
Me: Go do you-
Chandler: PAW HURTS!!!!!! *tries to get at it again*

I gave up, took him home, and called the vet for some painkiller. I couldn't pick it up until late in the afternoon because I had a library workshop. I also picked up some extra large Pawz disposable dog booties to cover up the bandage better than the old IV bags while we were outside. It turns out the Pawz work great...but Chandler does look like he's wearing a slightly deflated green balloon on his paw.

It seems that the Metacam or an extra day to heal has helped, because we skipped the frantic "hurting paw" routine today, although he does seem a bit uncomfortable at the end of our short walk down the street. The "don't lick your paw" arguments are shorter, and Chan is moving around the house a bit more. Hopefully the veterinarian will have good news during the recheck on Saturday.

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