Beastie has been very quiet since Tuesday afternoon, we thought it was due to vigorous exercise and the warm weather? It took me until Wednesday to really look at the enormous black hairy yak, I looked deep into her warm chocolate eyes and they were sad. Emily reckoned the Beastie had been dumped by her dog boyfriend, I didn’t realise she was dating but what goes on in dog parks stays in dog parks!
All of Sydney is now thinking “tick” but it took me till Wednesday to pat the Beastie down looking for blood sucking insects. We had just anointed the dog with preventative insecticide so I didn’t expect to find anything but I did find that the dog was tender as I examined her tail?
Signs of tick poisoning are: changes to the dogs bark, weakness in the back legs, vomiting – just for non Australians. As the poison goes through the body the effects worsen and the dog becomes unable to stand, breathing is exaggerated and difficult and death occurs quite quickly. None of these signs were displayed by our dog but she was tender along the vertebra of her tail? Being a nurse I am predisposed to leaving anything that is not making a mess on the floor, the dog was eating and drinking and not bleeding but those eyes.
I took her gently and discovered a pronounced kink in her tail, her hairy duster tail was not running smoothly but had an F1 chicane, her tail zig zagged, it was swollen and a gentle touch made her whimper. Vet appointment made ‘tout de suite’ and into the back of the car, all the while she looked as sorry and sad as a Beastie can.
Animals are just like children, as soon as the Beastie was in the car she perked up, she loves an outing, Beastie loves the Vet and so I was dragged into the building as she excitedly greeted everyone including the cats for sale. With her front paws on the counter the dog confirmed she had arrived for her 11o’clock appointment.
It didn’t take long to conclude an X-ray was needed to diagnose whether the injury was a dislocated vertebra or a broken bone. The Beastie was led down the corridor towards her sedative and examination, I was helped to the front desk, hyperventilating and preparing myself for the medical quote. The consent form asked while the dog was anesthetized if I would like to take the opportunity to have doggies blood taken for analysis, her teeth descaled or her toe nails clipped ? I was alarmed that this tail could set us back a substantial amount if I allowed this elaborate approach so I drew big black crosses to decline all unnecessary procedures, let’s just concentrate on the tail as that appears the bit that is broken so theoretically that’s the only bit that needs fixing?
It wasn’t long before the vet was on the phone telling me that the Beastie had indeed broken a vertebra in her tail, the doctor had manipulated the bones to sit in alignment and splinted the top and tail end. There were lacerations at the site of the break indicating an injury sustained by her tail being caught in a closing door? We all wracked our brains but couldn’t think that we had shut her pride and joy duster tail in a door by mistake. Whatever happened her tail is broken so we must now keep her calm for 3 weeks while it heals, give her copious amount of antibiotics which as a retriever she will consume happily.
I hope this is a happy tale as if the blood flow has been compromised the tail could go gangrenous and need amputation? We will nurture the appendage and hope that love and care will help her heal. Poor Beastie, just because she is big and hairy she is still vulnerable and poorly. Emily has allowed the Beastie to recuperate on her bed, not sure a cracked tail warrants such comforts but those eyes!