Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Dislocated Dewclaw

I finally put my fabric field-bandaging skill from undergrad first aid class to practical use.

I've used my baby-delivering training in the past., completely against my will. My previous dog had her last litter of puppies late one night, and every pup but the first was in breech position. To make matters worse, she'd had her pelvis broken as a puppy, so she wasn't able to push them out on her own.

I found this out the hard way, after the first puppy's delivery wore her out and the second got stuck coming out backward, and the poor little thing literally was strangled to death in the birth canal. I did call her vet, and he refused to so much as offer any advice over the phone. He said to let nature take it's course.

Nature had already traumatized me enough that night, to say nothing of what my poor dog was suffering through. I called my mother, and she told me that I would have to help her get the babies out, though she was also freaked out by the hollering my dog was doing through the phone lines.

So I played obstetrician. I put on rubber gloves, sterilized them as best I could, lubed one up, and went in after the stuck puppy. My dog wasn't a big girl -- she was a small Scottish Terrier / Cocker Spaniel mix. After the second puppy came out dead, I cried through the rest. Okay, i wailed. Every single one presented a furry butt and tail first. *sigh* I had to gently reach in and pull down on the front shoulders of every other pup to get them out, cradling their backs in the palm of my hand. It wasn't a good night for anybody. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that vet ever again. Well, at least I won't hesitate, the next time I have to deal with birthing babies. I hope I never do.

My Yorkie has a dislocated dewclaw that's been getting hung on everything and making him limp and shriek pitifully for a couple of days. It was actually poking out sideways from his leg horrifically, which made it even more susceptible to getting snagged and yanked.

I cut a wrap bandage out of a tee shirt sleeve and gently snugged his dewclaw back against his leg. (With his long hair I figured tape to be a Very Bad Idea.) It seems to have been a successful owwie preventer. For now. I may come home from work tomorrow and find the bandage missing.

As long as he leaves the bandage alone, at least he won't be able to injure it worse while it heals back in place or until I can take him to the vet. Poor little fella has had a bad couple of months. He was terrified I was going to hurt him worse than he already was.

Curses on lazy breeders who don't remove troublesome dewclaws at birth while they are still soft. This shouldn't have happened. They should have taken care of his dewclaws when his tail was cropped. Damn puppy mills. If you're not going to be a responsible breeder in EVERY way, you have NO business breeding animals.

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