Sunday, June 26, 2016

Red Dog

I think I wrote about Red a while back.

She's a four year-old Border Collie, quite a good cow dog, and just a very nice dog overall. In March she had an infection in the tissue of her chest. At that time she'd been sick for a month or so (or so we thought) and hadn't healed up on her own, despite an exam and wound cleaning by the vet and a big dose of long lasting injectable antibiotic.

She'd been in a fight and at the time we thought that that's how she got injured in the first place.

As it turns out, that probably wasn't it.

Anyway, we tried just about everything short of surgery. Antibiotics to the tune of about $700. X-Rays. Twice daily irrigation. She'd get better and the wounds would nearly heal, then they'd open back up and start weeping again.

On Thursday she took a turn for the worse. She was quite droopy and lethargic, had a fever, wouldn't eat. And the wound discharge changed color and gained a foul odor.

So she was starting to get septic, and that would almost certainly kill her. The only hope was surgery.

Which we did on Friday.

Yep, that's a five-inch stick. It was lodged in the muscles of her chest along the sternum.

Your guess is as good as mine. Obviously she ran into a tree branch and snapped the thing off in her chest.

Kind of icky-horrible to think about. May have happened as long ago as November.

In a way though I was happy as hell when we found that thing, because we'd found the problem -- gruesome as it was -- and now she would get better. I'd been afraid it was some mystery bug and that I'd have to put her down.

Oh, you should have seen her coming out of the anesthesia. I almost took some video but I just couldn't do it. But man, she looked a lot like a sailor trying to make the last liberty boat.

She's pretty sore and hanging out in the house a lot, but she's on the mend and will soon be back in business.


  1. A chunk of stick like that has lots of nooks and crannies for nasty stuff to hide in. Wood splinters were big killers in te age of sail, for just that reason. Surgery is so much tidier on TV, isn't it?
    Ya done good by the hound, sometimes it takes awhile to find the real problem. Soon she will be running around the ranch again, like a proper Ranch Dog.

    1. Pretty amazing all around. Shows how tough living organisms can be, and how amazing the life processes are.

      Television? Soda straw at best, most often pure baloney.

  2. Replies
    1. Red says: "Whoof, wag-wag-wag-whoof."

      I think that means thanks, but it might mean "do you have any hamburger?"

  3. So happy for you and Red that you found the source of the infection. Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

  4. That was a pretty darn big chunk of wood. Glad to see Red is doing well post op. Always hard when we can't find the cause, glad you kept after it.