Before I go into this: Both dogs are alive and well! So please don’t worry reading this. I wanted to share this story as often dog owners always say how well things go and how wonderful it is to have lots of dogs etc. Well sometimes things are far from peachy and if we don’t talk about these things, we can’t share ideas and experiences and learn from them.
WARNING! There is a graphic image in this post.
So I had lots of cute pics to post about our usual adventures however, on Thursday night, while Zeph lay at my feet, Echo chose to pick a fight with him. I saw Echo trying to coax him into a fight from across the room and as soon as we see them staring at each other we move them. Either we go to the biscuit tin as a distraction or we split them up for 5-10 minutes and both of those actions are enough to return everything to a calm normal. At the very most both dogs usually have a bark and a growl and a lunge at each other and we grab one each and that’s the end of it. I would like to stress that these ‘fights’ are very rare thankfully and often the boys end up lying together and grooming each other afterwards.
On Thursday night Echo had brought his food bowl through to his bed in the living room and I didn’t think anything of it. He left it lying, took a pillow and settled down on the floor. Zephyr lay down near me but his bum was near the food bowl, it’s the only thing I can think of that might have set Echo off on his “Hey you!” foot stamp and eye contact. We spotted them about to fight and we moved from the sofa to intervene as we have always done. Unfortunately on this occasion we weren’t fast enough.
Both dogs went for the fight with Echo throwing himself at Zeph from across the room. Ben and I waded in and we always grab a dog each. However, on Thursday we didn’t manage the seamless break up we usually do. As I went to grab Zephyr, I somehow managed to get my hand in the way of teeth (I’m ok, just some bruising and a few surface scratches), the fact I don’t have a proper bite shows that the dogs were not trying to kill each other. There was a lot of noise and males in particular do a thing of snapping at each other, it’s the equivalent of them going “Look at me! I’m bigger and stronger than you, back off!”. However, obviously if B and myself get involved it escalates the fight so we have to move fast. Anyway, as I got a bite I lost grip on Zeph just as B grabbed Echo and pulled him away, this unfortunately left Echo open to Zeph lashing out. The noise was horrendous and I grabbed Zephyr and forced him into the kitchen while B moved Echo into our porch to safety.
So despite Echo picking the fight, he doesn’t seem to realise that Zephyr is almost 50kg (Echo is a mere 19.5kg), sadly he is never going to win against the big guy. Well Zeph has managed to get his teeth into Echo’s side. We went straight to the emergency vet.
On the night, the vet gave Echo some pain killers and antibiotics and put a patch over the worst of the wounds. As it wasn’t life threatening they asked us to bring Echo back the next day for anaesthetic, wound cleaning and stitch up. It is safer to wait for routine hours to use anaesthetic if it’s not life threatening so there is a full team around for support. Well come Friday he was put under, patched up and he currently has a drain in the wound as he has a subcutaneous emphysema (air trapped in the wound) so he is at risk of infection.
Thankfully it’s not any worse. I have no idea what got into Echo’s head that he thought this was a good idea. Both of them are feeling sorry for themselves. I don’t think they know what’s going on. They’ve had kisses through the bars of the baby gate as Echo is currently resigned to the kitchen as he’s leaking over the floor.
The wee guy is on a course of antibiotics and pain killers but after two days of feeling sorry for himself he’s starting to be his usual self. He’s got his appetite back, the chicken gravy helps!
So we have to have a think about how we deal with this all once Echo has healed properly. We are back at the vet today for a check up and hopefully they’ll give Echo a wee clean up as well.