That’s a true story. The only other time we’ve had a veterinary emergency was when Boris ate the ibuprofen and nearly died. And that was over a Memorial Day weekend. This time, it was Helo’s turn, and it was on Thanksgiving. We spent all day at my in-laws’ place prepping food, eating, merrymaking, etc. When we got home around 6:30, I fed the dogs the front legs of the deer that Craig shot, and noticed that Helo’s seemed particularly bloody. His bed(he takes his food over to his bed to eat it) had gotten splotches of blood on it, but that’s not too out of the ordinary, some pieces of the deer that ended up earmarked for the dogs tended to contain a bit more blood than others, so I didn’t think twice. But when I went into the bedroom to change the sheets, I noticed that there were some new bits of blood on the dog bed that Helo had just laid down on (sans deer leg), and investigated further.
His dew claw was bleeding, quite a bit. He wouldn’t let Craig and I touch it, but otherwise it didn’t seem to be bothering him too much. But the bleeding also wasn’t slowing down, and since we couldn’t get in there to do any first aid, it became clear that we probably needed to pay someone to manage his toe. So after 20 minutes on hold with the 24 hour vet clinic, they finally gave us the “yeah, you should probably just bring him in.” So we did. And poor Boris. We had been gone for 8+ hours, came home for 45 minutes, and then promptly left, with his only buddy in tow. He melted the heck down. But unfortunately, Helo needed to get handled. So we loaded him into the car and went on our merry way to the clinic. And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. After Helo had bled all over the floor of their lobby, they showed us into a private exam room to wait some more.
And I got bored and took photos to post on facebook. If you look in the photo above, you can see Helo’s dew claw bent out at a 90 degree angle to the rest of his leg. Not a great look. We eventually were able to get a close up photo of the dew claw and zoom in to determine that he’d torn the nail off of the quick (that’s the nerve bundle that bleeds if you cut too far on your dogs’ toenails), but that it was still kind of hanging on. They eventually came in and brought Helo to the back to get him some painkiller, and hopefully sedate him enough to get him to let them manage the toe. And they eventually got him drugged up enough that they could hold him down and deal with it. Helo is surprisingly strong and capable of escaping your arms when he puts his mind to it. They got the toenail removed, and then had a heck of a time stopping the bleeding, but with the aid of some clotting agent, a compression bandage, and some time, it eventually slowed to the point that they let us take him home. At 1am. The added bonus was that our bill was surprisingly inexpensive, just $250. Beats the pants off the $1800 that Boris cost us a few years ago!
The next morning, Helo was pretty high. Based on the paperwork from the vet, they gave him a pretty high dosage of the doggy version of dilaudid, which I can attest to being a pretty awesome painkiller. So the entire next day, Helo laid on his bed, making this exact face. I deep cleaned the floor that day, so I eventually had to make him get up on the sofa or into the bedroom, but if he didn’t have to move, he didn’t. He just sat there, not blinking, with his tongue partway out of his mouth. It was ridiculous.
And a couple days later, I took off the bandage, and his toe looks… OK!