…always carry bandaging supplies to the park!
Yup, that cleanly sliced toe belongs to Elsie. She came out with the group yesterday and we went to a park I had been to many times before. All the dogs were having a great time splashing around in the Humber River (with the exception of Maggie who is being treated for a [non-contagious] skin problem, poor pup can’t wade past her knees!). When Elsie bounded out of the water and I noticed a couple funny steps. Then she held up her back foot and shook it, spraying watery blood across the river bank. Luckily, Jen had come to the park with me so she could hold the rest of the dogs while I inspected Elsie’s foot more closely. It looks like someone tried to fillet the pad on her toe right off, and almost succeeded!
And, so, Elsie finally proved to me why it is that I have been carrying bandaging materials to the park these past number of years. I was able to rinse her foot in river water and bandage it to stop the bleeding and prevent further debris from entering the cut. When I got back to the car I washed it in drinking water, inspected more thoroughly and wrapped it more securely.
This is a relatively minor injury, though it is painful!, but it could have been so much worse. When I was working in an emergency vet, I saw a dog come into the ER that had badly cut it’s foot. The techs triaged it in the waiting room, cutting off the bandage an inspecting the injury. A huge pool of blood formed on the floor in that very short time between cutting off the old bandage and reapplying a new one. Looking at the bandages they removed, blood had soaked through many layers of cotton gamgee and vet wrap. That dog lost a lot of blood from arterial bleeding and I can only imagine what it would be like to experience an emergency like that in the middle of a park with a long walk back to the car. This is why first aid skills are so important – hopefully you’ll never need them, but keeping them sharp could save a life!
Elsie’s road to recovery won’t be too long. I think I can avoid a vet visit with a daily soak/cleaning and keeping it wrapped until it is resilient enough to be aired out. Luckily, Elsie isn’t chewing her bandage, though she does try to lick the injury when the bandage is removed. I picked up an IV bag to keep the bandage clean and dry outside, and I’m sure she’ll be back at it in no time.