Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sister Bit by Rattler

Sister in chair_editedSister

Here's a wonderful story from my friend Dave. The hero of this story was initially mistook by me as a human sister. Silly me.

Sister is one of a pair of Spanweillers (spinger/rott mix - don't ask). She is built kinda like the largest of Spaniels, the Springer, but believes she is Rottweiller bad to the bone (except with friendly humans especially kids). Her sibling, Fearless, is short and stocky but is Springer through and through. Sister has survived two feral hog fights, a bout with a porcupine and numerous coons who, of the few who lived, never ventured 'round here again. However, the rattler damn near took her out.

It was one of the first days of the new snake season. Both dogs are very snake aware by nature - they will alert on a snake and hold position until they get direction from one of us if we are around. Otherwise they just steer well clear. However, Sister is developing cataracts. In addition, as it was early after coming out of hibernation the snake was il-tempered and likely struck without warning. She got hit in the area of the left eye. Fortunately I was out working (although that is what drew Sister out to the area where the snake was). I was able to determine something was bad wrong with her pretty quickly. I never saw the snake, deduced the bite from the rapid swelling, vet confirmed as soon as we got in the exam room about 30 minutes after the strike. She was in doggie ICU for 3 days. The vet thought initially that a fang had hit the eye ball. After 6 days in hospital she came home with a large scab below the eye. She was in good spirits and continued her recovery. After two weeks from release (3 weeks after the attack) she went back to the vet. He removed the scab, cleaned out the dead tissue (the venom cause necrosis) and stitched the face back together. In the process he discovered a hole just below the eyeball where one fang penetrated, missing the eyeball by, well, micrometers.

The lower eyelid droops because of pulling the skin together to cover the hole resulting from the lost tissue. It may be required that a little cosmetic surgery (laser) be done to pull the lid up closer to the eye. We are finishing up treatment for an infection of the exposed conjunctive tissue at the bottom of the eye socket that set in a week or so back. No big deal.

As you can see, we have one hell of a dog!

dave


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Sister (foreground) and Fearless

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