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Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

"It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..."

Hermann Hesse

Friday, October 1, 2010

The $350 Squirrel (No Rally for You!)

Denali is our official Squirrel Chaser Extraordinaire. And she is VERY effective. Unfortunately, on Wednesday night she put a little too much enthusiasm into the chase. I looked out the window, saw her streak out to the back corner of the yard in pursuit, then emerge from the bushes...limping!

I rushed out, picked her up, brought her in and examined her. She had a cut in one of her pads, and some abrasions on the same toe. Home remedies took care of the cut, but by this morning her toe was very swollen.

The vet was puzzled by the swelling, so an x-ray was in order. We went back in the exam room to wait for the x-ray to develop. Even before the doctor returned, the vet tech brought in the pictures. She put one up on the screen, flipped on the light, turned to me and said, "Well, I bet you can see the problem!"

Looking at the slide made me wince. Denali had severely dislocated one of the middle toes on her front, left foot. It looked really painful! Due to the swelling, the vet was only able to partially relocate the toe. She had to use the other two toes as splints to hold it in place and pack the whole thing in a ton of bandages. Toss in some antibiotics and some anti-inflammatories, give it about five days and hopefully the swelling will go down and we can fully relocate it next week some time. At least, that is the plan.

Denali is very upset about having to wear all this stuff. She has strong negative opinions about wearing bandages and is better than Houdini at getting out of them, thus the need for the Cone of Shame. My poor girl!

So, take a good look! This is what we got for $350 and two-hours at the vet while they fit us in between other appointments. 

Oh, and did I mention that THIS Sunday was to be leg #10 of her RAE level Rally competition in Hayward. That's right, we were on track to get our RAE title this Sunday! Sigh...not this time! Disappointed, yes - but Healthy Dog trumps obedience competition any time!

 And, just because he always wants to help, and doesn't really understand why his interactive toy and best friend isn't able to play with him, Sage took his stuffed squirrel out to the yard this evening. Evidently he was showing the real squirrels what might happen to them if he got ahold of them. Here he is, scanning the terrain for rodent invaders.

Thanks for the help Sage. We can use it about now!


Taryn said...

Poor Denali! That sounds VERY painful!

Wilson had one of those squirrel misadventures as well, but fortunately not quite as serious or expensive. He actually managed to catch a squirrel, and the poor thing fought back, not wanting to die w/o a struggle. He got a hold of Wilson's lower lip and just held on for dear life! Wilson whipped his head all over, squirrel still attached! Blood was flowing and it wasn't the squirrel's! Wilson's chest was covered in blood, I was freaked out, and I took him to the emergency vet to get him looked at. It was just a puncture wound so no stitches, just antibiotics and the reassurance that squirrels very rarely have rabies!

Sorry your Rally plans got derailed!

Elbeepem said...

Uggg...Denali has caught and killed several squirrels. Fortunately she's managed to kill them quickly. It has always been a fear that she'd have an experience similar to Wilson's with one that was injured. Just hoping that we can get the toe properly relocated next week. Naturally she's also signed up to do a two-mile walk for a K-9 charity fundraiser on Oct. 10th too!

Traci said...

Ko hopes that his sister is feeling better soon so they can sniff and play together during our visit! Poor 'Nali! Feel better soon, sweetie!!