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Dog was attacked- now what?

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  • Dog was attacked- now what?

    Hi guys-
    I was at a horse show yesterday when my small dog (9.5lb JRT) was attacked, picked up, and shaken really hard by a large rottweiler. Luckily there was an intervention and my poor puppy was wrenched from his jaws quickly. She managed to get out of the situation with only a few puncture wounds on her torso, which were cleaned up, and my friend who is a vet tech verified that the punctures only went through skin not the abdominal wall. Puppy seemed pretty forlorn and sad for the remainder of the day, and was very, VERY sore, needing to be carried around taco-style in her bed and not letting anyone move her much. She was walking when prompted and used the bathroom normally.
    This morning she is still VERY sore. Same sort of deal- doesn't want to be moved much, but is a bit more bright eyed. She is walking but not much or very fast. Very resposive and ate like a mad woman!
    I spoke with one of my vets last night (horse vet---she's super nice and willing to take calls at any hour of the day) over the phone briefly last night, and she prescribed me Rimadyl for the pain and an antibiotic for the punctures She told me to look for pockets of fluid around the wounds in case the skin separated from the muscle. I'm just a super paranoid mommy and am wondering if I am doing enough by keeping her quiet and medicating or if I should take her to her normal doggie hospital for precautionary x-rays and the like.

    edited to add:
    I know it wouldn't HURT to take her in, and I am fully prepared to do whatever I need to do to help her, but I also would like to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on diagnostics JUST because I am a paranoid freak

  • #2
    Sounds like you are doing the right thing to me. Do as the vet suggested and keep an eye out for swelling or infection. But hopefully the pain meds and antibiotics will have her right as rain in no time.


    • #3
      Yikes! So sorry this happened.

      Bites around the mid-section can really injure a small dog. The large dog is able to bite from above, the teeth landing squarely on both sides of shorty's major organs.

      I immediately see drain tubes. Too many nights working e-vet. Glad your little one didn't get a punctured lung!

      Can you tell us how it happened? I have two small dogs and am still/constantly learning how to protect them from accidental or intentional injury. How did you break it up?


      • #4
        I agree that it sounds like you are doing everything necessary. As soon as she is not sore, I'd also suggest taking her to puppy training or somewhere else where she has controlled exposure to bigger dogs.

        Once something like this happens to a little dog it can make them quite aggressive towards bigger dogs - a sort of 'I'll get you before you can get me' attitude. I'd try and stem that as soon as possible by taking her to controlled socialisation/training sessions, I can't emphasise enough what a pain it can be having a little dog that is scared-aggressive of big dogs.

        Jingles for a speedy recovery.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
          Yikes! So sorry this happened.

          Bites around the mid-section can really injure a small dog. The large dog is able to bite from above, the teeth landing squarely on both sides of shorty's major organs.

          I immediately see drain tubes. Too many nights working e-vet. Glad your little one didn't get a punctured lung!

          Can you tell us how it happened? I have two small dogs and am still/constantly learning how to protect them from accidental or intentional injury. How did you break it up?

          Thanks guys- I am very glad it was not worse than it is- i know many of these stories do not end happily.

          As far as how it happened- I actually didn't see the whole thing. I had handed my doggies off to a friend who was headed to the car to take them with her to run an errand while I finished braiding a horse. Apparently the other dog was with a pack of four and what started with barking ended with my dog being shaken like a rag doll. I heard the melee and went running out of the barn- they'd already been pried apart, my dog was squealing and shaking, so i grabbed her to check her over and the other dogs/people left. It was so scary.
          There was a woman there who was crying after the ordeal whom i am pretty sure was instrumental in saving my dog's life-I think she instinctively put herself in the middle of the scrum and separated everyone- not the smart way to do things but luckily it worked out this time. She was crying because she had lost one of her babies in a similar situation, which is what prompted the heroics.
          I'm just so grateful she's basically ok. It could have been so much worse.

          Also, this dog is 5/6 years old. She is a rescue who has scars from got knows what so I'm hoping this doesn't add to her rescue neurotic-ness- I've had her for a year. She's pretty good as a whole, and I take my dogs everywhere and make sure they get socialized properly, so I'm hoping we don't have any emotional/behavioral setbacks because of this. My other dog is an 11 year old rescue (gotten at 8 y.o.) who was abused and is subsequently a huge wuss- when the fight broke out he basically ran for his life!! Lol.


          • #6
            This is one reason why the dogs at horse shows threads are always hot topics: loose dogs roaming and packing up. So they saw your little guy as prey? I'm guessing.

            My Joey became hypervigilant after being jumped by off leash dogs on our very doorstep twice in about an 18 month period.

            Now I am hypervigilant and using Control Unleashed to break down the negative associations and build positive ones. It's working!

            Fingers crossed for your little JRT.


            • #7
              Did the owner of the Rottie offer to pa the vet bills? they should. Idiots. I hate when big dog people let their dogs off leash and think everyone is going to be ok with it.


              • #8
                ugh! im thinking the owner of the Rottie must pay. did you find out who they were? Id DEFINITELY take them to court. they need to learn to NOT let their dog loose in public or it could cost them. and perhaps you will save a life of another little doggie in doing so.

                I had my 115 GSD/St. Bernard at a park this summer. she was tied on a long line to the camper for a sec, just as a tiny little monster of a Chihuahua ran over and attacked MY dog, on OUR camp site

                this little thing grabbed onto my dog, and my dog just gave her a funny look, shoot it off, and walked away... the little dog didnt hurt her,,, good thing cause THAT would have been embarrassing for me to take the Chihuahua 's owner to court for vet bills


                • Original Poster

                  Nope- big dog owners gathered their dogs and ran as soon as they saw my dog wasn't dead! Luckily my vet bills aren't that much so far.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                    Did the owner of the Rottie offer to pa the vet bills? they should. Idiots. I hate when big dog people let their dogs off leash and think everyone is going to be ok with it.
                    I hate it when people let ANY dog off its leash at a horse show. My horse is not afraid of dogs. But he has been startled by them, and his first reaction is to kick their blinkin' heads off.

                    For their own safety, pooches should be crated or on a leash at shows. OR leave them home. Now there's a thought ...

                    PS: It doesn't take a BIG dog to cause problems. My 35# mutt will take on ANY comers -- she doesn't care if they're 2-3 times her size. Needless to say, I don't take her to shows and she is not allowed off leash on walks. EVER.
                    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                    the best day in ten years,
                    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


                    • #11
                      I agree that its not a big dog versus little dog off leash thing. I know PLENTY of ill behaved little dogs who would snap at little kids or provoke fights with larger dogs and are just general terrors off leash.

                      BUT...I am glad that your dog is doing okay. Could have definitely ended badly And if your dog was on a leash and attacked by this larger dog off leash then if you can track these people down to get them to reimburse you, I definitely would. Hoping for a relatively easy and speedy recovery!


                      • #12
                        As I was reading your OP, the words I was waiting for were 'rimadyl (or something for pain) and antibiotics.' I was just as glad to hear that the vet friend said to look for pockets of fluid, and be observant.

                        My 15lb poodle/schnauzer mix was attacked in June by another dog. She had lacerations all along her neck and required e-vet attention (mainly fluids and antibiotic drip), followed by surgery 24 hours later when she was stable enough. In the initial surgery, they inserted a tube on the right side of her neck for drainage. She stayed 2 more nights at the vet. Some 5 days post-op, that side looked great (OK i thought it looked grotesque, but in vet-speak it looked 'awesome' if you know what i mean!) but the other side of her neck was puffing up. Took the original drain out, put a new one on the opposite side. Took that one out abt 5 days later, had to remove some dead tissue on that side, stitch her up again....
                        After all that she healed up really well, but she has *no* 'scruff' on her neck! We call it Lulu's neck-lift.

                        She was separated from the other dogs and kept out of the dog room into a cleaner, quieter environment. I fully expected her to be terrified of other dogs after that incident, but nope... Either she's got no self-preservation, or she's just part-schnauzer hehehe... However, she was a bit tense and defensive with dogs around her neck or playing too rough for a few months after she was completely healed. Even still she gets a little tense with some, but honestly I think that's pretty much how she was before the attack. I was more worried than she was, but i worked hard at not babying her around the other dogs- like swooping in when not needed, or picking her up, getting tense myself... Sometimes i'd just have to leave MrB out in the yard with the dogs if everyone was rowdy (and *I* was getting worried!!) I definitely did not want to be the negative energy influence.

                        My parents' dog was attacked by another dog when she was a puppy (a dog scaled its 6 foot privacy fence out of its yard as my mom and her dog walked by), and unfortunately my parents' dog has become really nervous and anxious. Truly though- I think her current state many years post-attack is due to a combination of my parents' dog's natural inclination to be a bit spazzy/anxious PLUS my mom's initial reactions after the walk- babying her, cooing and petting her when she was afraid (basically rewarding the fear), instead of ignoring the behavior and/or distracting her. Even if we tell my mom to relax, loosen up, be more confident when she sees a GSD (the type that 'got' her dog), my mom is really not good at faking it, and i think her dog knows that!

                        All the best, op!
                        Last edited by bits619; Nov. 21, 2011, 10:09 PM. Reason: pronoun clarity :)


                        • #13
                          Good luck with your dog. I hate hearing stories like this, and can get radical when it comes to off leash/uncontrolled dogs.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks everyone- my little girl seems to be feeling a little better- she even barked at the food processor while I was cooking dinner, Lol.
                            Thanks for sharing all of your experiences!


                            • #15
                              Your poor dog. Glad to read she is doing okay. Reading your experience makes me want to own a tazer- zap the dogs that are attacking then zap the clueless owner who let their darn dog roam. So irresponsible of them!!!


                              • #16
                                Ow, poor dog! I'd always take an attack victim to the vet, if just because it can be hard to asses a bite just by eyeballing it, and because the trauma of even a minor bite is quite high and the dog's likely to be in pain that night and would benefit from painkillers. And in the case of a small dog being seized and shaken, I'd be worried about internal injuries that aren't visible on the exterior. I've heard too many stories about cats and small dogs being killed by large dogs without even having a mark on them - the pressure of the large dog's jaws crush them without the teeth even penetrating deeply. I'm glad that wasn't the case here. So frustrating, too, the big dog thing - the attitude of so many people with large dogs is "Big dog, little dog, it's a Darwin thing." Which makes no sense at all - they went out and bought the large dog and brought it into contact with others, it's on them to control it, not act like the law of the jungle applies to a horse show.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                                  Did the owner of the Rottie offer to pa the vet bills? they should. Idiots. I hate when big dog people let their dogs off leash and think everyone is going to be ok with it.
                                  Was the Rottie off leash? Was the JRT off leash?
                                  "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen


                                  • #18
                                    Did the horse show management have a "no dogs off leash" policy? You might want to contact them about the vet bills - that's the kind of thing that makes them ENFORCE these policies so there aren't any more "loose dogs at horse show" threads.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                                      Did the owner of the Rottie offer to pa the vet bills? they should. Idiots. I hate when big dog people let their dogs off leash and think everyone is going to be ok with it.
                                      Not sure that's fair to the big dog people! My parents have a big dog who is wonderful on/off leash, my sister has a small dog who's s holy terror on & off leash. I can't stand the small dog.

                                      To the OP, it sounds like you're doing everything right, keep a close eye on pooch for a few days. If it's eating, drinking and going potty ok, I'd say it's probably mostly just badly bruised & sore. Antibiotics are a good idea.

                                      I'm another who thinks dogs should be left at home on show day, for exactly this reason. The last thing the person in the ring needs is the distraction of dogs fighting/barking during their ride.

                                      Hope your puppy is feeling better soon!


                                      • #20
                                        my now deceased jrt (she died of old age at 19, not from any injuries) was attacked and shaken....same thing as previous posts, punctures, tubes, pain meds,antibiotics.....
                                        HOWEVER, one more injury that we hadn't expected, but it makes sense...............she had something similar to whiplash, and after about 3 days she acted as if paralized..i was frantic, but vet said she was in a lot of pain, had other sore muscles for compensating for the sore areas......she had muscle relaxers and a neck brace...........so, just be aware of something else that may be affecting her......

                                        good luck and gentle hugs to your baby........