Punctured: A Snowy Sunday Story

We had our first real snowstorm of the winter today. I woke up this morning and looked out the window to find several inches of accumulation and lots of large, fluffy snowflakes falling.

I got ready for church, bundled up and then took Havana out. She loves the snow and I like to take her out when it is snowing because there’s usually no one around and I can let her run around off leash. That’s what I did today.

After about 10 minutes, I called her back to me and we headed toward the house. When we got to the entryway, I looked down and noticed red paw prints in the snow. It looked like one of her feet was bleeding a bit.

As soon as she stepped through the door, I saw that it wasn’t just bleeding a bit, it was gushing blood. Being a young lab, she ignored my command to “stay” and within a few seconds, there were large puddles of blood everywhere. As she moved around, more blood splattered all around, both from the growing puddles as well as from her still bleeding foot. I grabbed a bunch of paper towels and the masking tape and crafted a crude bandage so I could stop the blood from spurting everywhere. Already, the tile by the front door looked like a gruesome murder scene.

As the roads were snow-packed and icy, I was relieved to find out that the emergency vet was only a couple miles away. I taped a couple more layers of paper towels on her (the blood was soaking through her “bandage” at an alarming rate) and headed out.

Considering how much blood she had lost, she was surprisingly animated when we arrived. As she investigated all the new smells, she tracked bloody footprints all over the lobby and exam room. After a short examination, the vet said she had a deep puncture wound in her paw that had hit an artery (thus the massive amounts of blood.) She would need to be anesthetized and need emergency surgery to fix the wound.

Several hours later, I called the vet and found out that, in the process of fixing her foot, they had discovered a gash several inches long on her chest (the result of an encounter with a barbed wire fence last week) which they also stitched up. They were still having trouble stopping the bleeding, and thinking she might have hemophilia, gave her a blood test, but thankfully it was negative.

I picked her up with strict instructions to keep her off her foot as much as possible, to restrict her activity and to keep the Elizabethan Collar on her for two weeks.

The surprise barbed wire injury.

Here is her paw, which I am supposed to keep dry. With a foot of snow on the ground. Right.

When I put the collar on her, she won’t move. She just sits there with a pitiful, forlorn look on her face …

Poor sweet Havana.

8 thoughts on “Punctured: A Snowy Sunday Story

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  1. Aw! Poor Havana! That’s crazy. Who knew dogs had arteries in their paws! Aren’t you glad you got wood floors with the blood-gushing incident?

  2. I am now envisioning this happening to Malu on some snowy St. Louis morning. Yikes! Hope it wasn’t too traumatizing for you…and that the recovery won’t be even more so!

  3. My dog had her dew claws removed when she was spayed last year and both her feet had to stay dry… we used 2 plastic bags around each paw then covered it with a sock so that the noise wouldn’t distract her. It worked. Poor Havana, I hope she feels better soon! My little Nola sends puppy hugs! 🙂

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