Today was a bad, bad day for Dud. I mean, it started out well enough; it was cold last night, so I had him under the covers with me, and he was toasty warm. At 3am I woke up with an upset stomach, so I let him out while I had some ENO to settle my stomach, and then let him back in. I noticed that he now had a small, soft lump near his nose that hadn’t been there when I let him out. It didn’t seem to be hurting or bothering him at all, however, and it wasn’t affecting his breathing, so I decided to wait and see. Not worth calling the vet out about something like that.
At 8:30am I woke up and let Dud out, took my pills and went to the loo (as usual), and then served up Dud’s breakfast. As I got to the back door and saw his upturned face, however, I realised something was off-kilter …
“Dud, your face!!!”
So I rang the vet, he said to bring him in at 9:10am (normal business hours for a change, yay!), and I put Dud’s breakfast away in the interim, just in case his throat was also swollen. No worries, we got him to the vet, vet gave him an antihistamine shot, and Dud’s okay. It was just a bee sting or something, nothing to worry about. Vet said the shot would make him a little drowsy and that he wasn’t to operate heavy machinary for 24 hours, and we took him home.
Mum’s friend “S” has a property just out of town, where she allows people to agist their horses. “S” is away for a few days, so Mum and I go out there to feed and exercise her dogs. To give Dud a treat, we took him out to meet Tank, S’s dog. No worries, they got along great and had a play, and I pooper-scooped Tank’s run. I then put Tank back in his run, tied Dud to the back of Mum’s ute so he had shade, and went into the shed to prepare Tank’s dinner. I was just getting the wet food out of the tin when Mum yelled out that some of the agisted horses were loose.
I put the food down, went through the side gate, and began to round up the horses. As I did so, several more got out of the gate I was attempting to herd the original two into, and next thing I knew, all seven agisted horses (who had apparently been left to roam the exercise ring) were loose. So I grabbed some hay and a length of rope and went the long way around to herd them all back into the exercise area. When I saw a gap in the fence leading to the road, I called to Mum to head them off there so they didn’t get out onto the road.
I managed to get them over to the hay bales in a nice little group, safely away from the road. I heard Mum calling out, and saw that two of the ponies were headed her way, and I ignored her. She could manage to head off two ponies, I reasoned, and continued to keep the bigger horses in a group. I heard her calling out again, and started to get angry; I didn’t want to yell back and spook the horses who were calming grazing on weeds and grass.
A few minutes later the wind must have shifted slightly, because I heard her yelling “Dud’s hurt!” So I left the horses and went over to where she was.
It turns out she’d driven the ute around to head off the horses as I’d told her to, but she didn’t know Dud was tied to the back. The poor dog had been dragged about 100 metres down the down, and he was holding his hind leg up close to his ribs as he did when he dislocated his knee. I felt sick, but swallowed it and checked him over. His legs were fine, his ribs were fine, he was basically okay, but his pads were torn and bleeding. Mum was sobbing and apologising and trying to explain that she hadn’t seen him, she didn’t know he was there, she felt guilty as hell. So I hugged her to reassure her, told her it wasn’t her fault (which it wasn’t, I was the one who had tied him there for shade, and hadn’t told her he was there), and then lifted Dud on to the back of the ute.
Anyway, the RSPCA finally came out, and with their help we herded the remaining four horses into the exercise area (I’d gotten the three ponies into their stalls in the interim; one of them got ready to buck me and I stared him down and said “don’t you dare!” and he backed down and walked placidly into his stall), secured them, and THEN the owner of the horses got around to showing up. The whole thing started because she hadn’t closed any of the gates, and I let her know in no uncertain terms that I blamed her for Dud’s injuries. I told her I wouldn’t be taking any action against her, but she MUST latch the gates from now on. If there had been a vet bill, I would have gotten her to pay it.
Thankfully Dud’s paws aren’t too bad, considering, and I could treat them at home with betadine and gauze pads. I did have to snip one loose piece off, but they should be just fine in a few days, the injuries are shallow. His claws are ground right down on two feet, though, and I’ll have to keep an eye on those.
But yeah, what a day!