During hunting season dogs can get hurt even though hunters may take every precaution.
Most hunters are trained to know the dangers, but that doesn’t mean all accidents can all be avoided, especially for your loyal companion.
“Lucille was out hunting with her dad and she came up lame on her left rear leg,” explains Dr. Rose Lemarie of Southeast Veterinary Specialists.
What her owner couldn’t see was a puncture wound hiding on her leg.
“He continued to hunt despite the puncture wound, so she’s been swimming around in some dirty water as she was duck hunting.”
It’s something Dr. Lemarie says is common this time of year.
“It’s reeds from the duck blinds. They actually have large reeds that they cut at a point, and those reeds will actually impale into the dog.”
If that’s not dangerous enough, the infection that follows can be even more so.
“Unfortunately, there is a lot of bacteria and a lot of organisms that live in our water, so any time you get a puncture wound like that it inoculates the underlying tissue, and you can end up with some very severe infections. And these organisms can be very resistant to antibiotics and they can be very hard to treat.”
Doctors will surgically implant a drain into Lucille’s leg to help clear the infection.
“This has quite a bit of puss, so what’s happened here is the reed or the penetrating object has gone into the thigh muscle here and you can see all of all of this bruising and swelling and edema down in here leg because she’s got basically puss that’s underneath there and all that tissue is damaged.”
Can it be prevented? Not always, but Dr. Lemarie says hunters can take action: “If they see the obvious wound, do not continue to hunt. Get the dog out of the water, get the dog into a safe environment. They can continue to hunt but without the dog, and then get them to a vet as soon as possible.”