Its a dog owners worst nightmare...your dog runs off chasing a creature through the forest and doesn't come when you call, or they get in a tangle with a wild animal...or become injured. What do you do?
I have been off leash hiking with my dogs through our 400 acres of wilderness paradise my entire life and have never had an issue. This season, I had enough drama to last a lifetime all in one day. I have been fortunate enough to never have a tick on my dog, and only 1 episode with fleas more than 25 years ago. I found a tick on one of our dogs and freaked out...I'm pretty sure I removed it properly and sealed it in a jar in case it needs to be sent away for Lime Disease testing...and YES it was a black legged deer tick! You betcha I had 2 showers ripped the sheets off my bed and washed them in very hot water with bleach...can you tell my dogs sleep in my bed...and under the covers too!
But this wasn't the drama, that came later when my father "released the hounds" to go for a romp and do their business. My beloved rescue dog Semaa didn't come when she was called...and when she did come in, had a face full of porcupine quills!!!
When you live over an hour away from the closest vet and its the weekend, aka Closed...what do you do?
We decided to extract them ourselves...and let me tell you this is incredibly painful for the dog, luckily I have some vet tech experience. Still your heart breaks to cause your dog pain. I will forever keep on hand a medicine kit and long needle nose pliers. The quills were moving into her face as we were trying to extract them! I watched as the came up through her lips by her teeth, and had to put the pliers inside her mouth to pull them out. I had on hand Metacam for pain and inflammation, and we have begun a ritual of epsom salt soaks in the evening. She appears to be healing well...even though it took 3 people and 4.5 hours to remove the quills. MUCH LESS DRAMA WHEN DONE UNDER ANESTHESIA BY A VETERINARIAN. Yes...Im shouting...if your dog tangles with porky prickly pig...to the vet ASAP!!
Do you have a plan if your dog is injured while you are out camping or hiking? Do you carry a med kit "just in case"? Do you know how you would transport them if they cannot walk, or restrain them if they become aggressive from the pain?
I know that I want to be prepared...its essential due to our remote location.
Here are some links for classes and first aid kits
Walk N Wags Pet First Aid
Book: Field Guide to Dog First Aid, Emergency Care for the Outdoor Dog
The Ultimate First Aid Kit for Dogs via Outside Online
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