Crisis at 6:30 in the morning.

I was awakened by a puppy crying. Now, this isn’t an unusual thing – this particular group of puppies includes a few big time whiners. But the sound of this crying was different. There was a sense of urgency and of pain. I ran downstairs with my pjs still on, and thank god I did. Fritz, the male, was in trouble. He had gotten the upper part of his front leg caught between the barrier we have (had!) up to keep the young but still sort of mobile pups in the sleeping section of the room. It has never been a problem before – 5 litters for a combined total of 40 puppies and never a problem – But somehow he’d figured out how to get himself caught.

Fritz on October 30, 2010


The trouble was that after his leg got caught he clearly had tried to free it and had somehow done a summersault so his leg was twisted in a very unnatural way. I was absolutely certain that the leg was broken. There was swelling but not blood. I knew it had just happened but it was wedged in there tight. I couldn’t free it. I tried removing the barrier but we’d tacked it in good so that wasn’t an option. I kept staring at the terrible angle of his leg and he kept on screaming and it was difficult to think straight. Finally, I decided I had to untwist him. I began to lift his body up and over but that only increased his screams. I held him there, slightly elevated and began panicking for real when out slide his leg! “Ok,” I thought, “now let’s see if it is broken.” I started at the paw and worked my way up gently squeezing and moving his leg at the various joints. I listened close for an increase in his painful vocalizations, (which had thankfully decreased at this point) and never heard anything. I worked my way all the way up to his shoulder and all seemed fine. I put him down and he began whimpering again. So I held him for about 15 minutes. Then he began licking my arm and wagging his tail and clearly feeling back to his old self. So, I tried putting him on the floor again and this time he allowed the leg to carry weight. At this point, he seems fine! Needless to say, that wooden barrier was removed immediately.

November 12, 2010 • Tags: , • Posted in: fostering dogs, Greta, health, pups

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