April 29, 2014

Toby And His Tail

Posted in: Dog

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Last Monday, Andrew and I went out for dinner with friends. After dinner everyone headed off to a bar while I went home as I had to get some things done for work the next day. I drove home, parked the car and realised I still had a few bits and pieces from Adelaide in the back seat that needed to be taken into the apartment.

With my hands full I waited for the lift in the car park basement, it arrived, the doors opened and my neighbour was in there. We spoke and as the elevator door opened to our level we said bye, he made a funny remark and I laughed as I put the key into the lock and opened the front door. I pushed the front door open with my body as my hands were full and walked in and said, ‘Hey Toby!’ Because Toby heard that I was speaking to someone, he ran through the door to see who it was only to have the door slam shut onto his tail. The door was closed completely and I could see tail! I felt like vomiting.

We have a horrible front door, it is so heavy and slams shut, very quickly behind you, automatically. I always think, if anyone ever got their fingers caught in that door, they would lose their fingers.

Half of Toby’s tail was in the apartment and the rest of Toby was on the other side. The screams that came from Toby made me feel sick to my stomach. I dropped everything in my hands and quickly opened the door. There was defecation everywhere, Toby had soiled himself from the fright and pain and I started to panic, big time.

As I picked him up I started to feel dizzy and was terrified to see the damage. Toby in my arms, I walked to the couch to put him down and inspected him. At this stage Toby was silent, he was staring at me with his tail between his legs. I tired to look at his tail but didn’t want to touch it or move it in case it was broken. Instead of calling the vet I went to the freezer and grabbed Toby’s favourite icy pole flavour, raspberry and gave it to him. I wanted to access how he was feeling, if he ate it that would tell me he was OK. He licked it once and just looked at me.

I quickly called Andrew to tell him what had happened. He said, ‘Do you need me to come home?’ I replied with, ‘I don’t think so, he seems fine, do you think I should take him to the vet?’ Andrew said to have a proper look at his tail and when I did, I realised there was blood everywhere and that’s when I started getting hysterical. ‘Call the emergency vet, I’m on my way.’

I started panicking not knowing what to do. I’m not good at thinking in emergency situations, my mind shuts down and all rational thinking or acting goes out the window. I ran to my laptop and looked at the Google toolbar and thought, I don’t know what to write, what do I type in? I don’t know what to do! I ran back to Toby and kept saying, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.’ At this stage he was shaking and the blood wasn’t stopping. I called Andrew and said, ‘I can’t call the Vet, I don’t know what to type into Google.’ Andrew replied with a very supportive, ‘Seriously, get it together, call the vet! I’m almost home.’ I took a deep breath, focused and searched for the number. I finally got it, called Malvern Emergency Vet and as soon as the nurse answered I started to explain what I had done. All of a sudden everything started to slowly go white, the nurses voice started to fade, knowing I was about to faint I said, ‘Hold on, I’m going to faint,’ and quickly tried to lie down before I collapsed.

When I came to, I grabbed the phone and asked if she was still there. At this point the nurse started to panic, asking if she should call the ambulance for me, whether I was alone, where Andrew was, if I had my legs up, that when I feel strong enough, to wrap a towel around Toby’s tail to stop the blood and go ask my neighbour for help and to bring Toby in as soon as Andrew got home.

Andrew arrived a few minutes later and we drove off to the vet, the whole time I was cursing myself for what I had done to Toby, I felt sick the whole way thinking, what if I have ruined his tail, what if it has to be amputated.

The vet looked over his tail and said that he couldn’t tell what was wrong with it until he shaved the hair around the wound to see the damage. He went through all the possible scenarios that could happen to Toby, he could lose his tail, he could have nerve damage, it could get infected and need operating on. As the tail is the continuation of the spine, tail injury can be very serious and it can take an extremely long time to heal.

Toby was given an injection to relax him and the vet shaved his tail to access the damage. He said that by the looks of things, it is just a deep cut and hasn’t hit any nerves. He was stitched up, given pain killers and we were told we would need to keep an eye on it for the next few weeks and monitor the healing process. Because tails are such mobile things, that never stay still, the healing process takes much longer than a wound else where on the body.

Toby was feeling very poorly for a few days but luckily Andrew was at home to monitor him and keep him company. He is fine now and I am hoping his tail will be OK too. He is back to himself, although yesterday I came home to find that his bandage had fallen off and he had licked his wound to the point where it was bleeding again.

So, that’s the story of Toby’s sore tail. I still can’t believe I did that, my poor little boy trapped in that door, helpless. I am so thankful it was nothing too serious in the end, considering what could have happened, Toby is very lucky.

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