Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Dangers of a Dogpark

The day I posted my blog about Benny, he was bitten at a dogpark. I had already written the blog some time ago and didn't feel I wanted to mention the bite in that blog.

The bite itself occured during play while he was running. The wierd part was the owner of the 4 St. Bernards he was playing with who's one dog bit Benny. She said "He rarely breaks the skin. They always yelp when they get bit. His teeth are all ground down from chewing.". At the time I'll admit I was comforted by the comments because he seemed fine. He kept playing and didn't appear to have broken the skin. I left shortly after because he was drinking muddy water.

That night while petting him in bed, his slobber at that spot felt sticky. Didn't think much of it until late the next day when I realized he did break the skin. The "sticky" I felt was probably blood.

The next morning he was not himself at all. Before calling the vet I figured I'd check his temperature. 103.8!! I wasn't too scared until I realized the whole 20 minutes or so he hadn't moved. He's always the first one up out of bed, or second one depending on the cat. So with coat on keys and leash in hand I approached him lying in bed and had to coax him along. He moved soooooo slow and weakly, he urinated right where he was walking on the concrete outside instead of attempting to reach the grass. After that he stopped competely and I had to carry all 60 pounds of his limp body.

At the vet I relayed the story and the fact that he had been drinking mud water there too. We shaved his hair around the wound and investigated further to find that the lower tooth marks that I couldn't find were far under his chest with a large pool of blood collected under the skin. The lower bite mark had not broken the skin but caused a pocket for the pus from above to drain into and mix with the blood causing a seroma. They took him back to open both wounds, clean them out and place a drain. It was so hard to say goodbye seeing him like that, but it did help that I really love my vet and all the personel there.

When I picked him up he was so drugged and sick that he was just as weak as before. When I got him home he began having diarrhea instantly and woudln't go inside. There he stood in the 16* winter weather stubborn every time I tugged to go in. Every step I made away from home he relaxed and would squat to have more watery stool. My poor baby would rather freeze outside weak, dehydrated and sick than go in and risk an accident on the floor. After about 35 minutes I forced him and he laid right there. I picked him up and placed him in his dog bed where he laid for the next 9 hours, 6 of which he was lifeless other than his breathing. As he slowly came around I to hand fed him boiled chicken and rice while spooning water into his mouth in between.

Thankfully the next morning he was more like himself again. Perky and playful.

The vet said "dogparks keep us in business". Be aware of the risks that a dogpark holds. Dogs may not even be fighting and get seriously injured because another dog is not dogpark appropriate. The force in pounds of pressure behind the bite of a St. Bernard due to their size alone is enough to cause a bad injury when they are just playing. My dogpark has a second fenced area for dogs 25# and under, but what about dogs 100# and up? The average St. Bernard is 120-170 #. They also said because Benny is a big runner his skin will be more taught if bitten while running and then pulled away from his body. Needless to say I will be tracking down the dog owner for the bill. I'm just glad he is doing well :)


  1. I'm glad he's okay. I'd definitely make the other dog owner pay the bill - I hope that they are receptive and easy to track down.

  2. I went by once already. Benny hated walking past along the path. He wanted to go in and play soooooo bad. Lucky thing is I know alot of people with dogs. He can have a playdate anytime. Now I just have to be patient til he's healed. He is the most social dog I have ever had.

  3. So glad he is ok:)That is scary when they don't act like themselves..
    Thanks for stopping by my blog on my SITS day!

  4. Poor puppy. I'm glad he's OK now! Dog runs are really scary sometimes; I barely take my Angel there anymore, just because of the safety issue.