Twas 2 nights before Christmas a couple of years ago, all was settling and nicely quiet. The dogs were in bed and the cats hunting mice.
Well not exactly. The bull mastiff decided that he would go for a pre bed yippee round the garden. The house was mid repairs and part of the garden held big 5ft+ re-bars. (reinforcing bars)
How Bruno succeeded in getting one through his thigh area no one knew but he was now in big trouble.
I had to go on the call out to sedate Bruno and give him a nice dose of pain relief and sedative, then help get him moved and back to the vets. I went with a now long gone driver called Sam.
When we got there Bruno was lying in his plastic dog bed in the kitchen. The leg sticking up in the air, supported on the bar. The owners were not kidding about the bar. Even though he appeared friendly, I passed the owners a muzzle to put on Bruno. With the way things were l did not want to go trying to upset him more, and I am too old for heroics. I drew up a dose of sedative and pain killer.
While this was going on and the drugs were taking effect there was a regular “thud” followed by digging then snarling and other fearsome noises coming from behind the locked door. This was their other bull mastiff who hated everyone. Apparently if she had got spiked then even the owners would have had problems handling her. And we would probably never have got a muzzle on so she could be sedated or handled. I guess there are some small mercies then, she was not the one spiked, and that sounded like a strong enough door to hold her away from us.
Sam wasn't really in the right job. He was scared stiff of all animals and was staring, like a rabbit caught in headlights, at the shaking door. I sent him out to dismantle all the cages in the back of the van. There was no way would we get Bruno and his bar in any of the cages, or in the back of the van with the cages up in it. The owners of Bruno were following us in their car and the cages were loaded in there.
Getting Bruno out of the kitchen to the van was not the easiest of jobs. First we had to get him out of his plastic bed, without causing him any more pain, he had had injections but even so it hurt. The bed was too wide to go through the door. We could not get him on the stretcher either as the bar was sticking out. Also he would have slid on the stretched as we would have had to tip it to get dog and bar through the door. In the end we got him on a blanket, sort of bending him around the doors and furniture in the tiny lounge.
Once he was loaded l sat in the back of the van to keep an eye on him, and try and support the leg to stop to much movement. This was not going to be fun l am prone to carsickness and was locked in the back of a smelly van. Bruno was very good with just the odd whimper if we hit a bump. It took what seemed like forever to get back and by then I was almost as green as Bruno felt.
The vet and l debated the fire brigade coming out and cutting the bar. We could not x-ray the leg to see where it went, due to the bars position. In the end the vet decided that he would try and pull it through slowly. If it was jammed then fire brigade would be called to cut it off, we would get our x-ray and take things from there.
That dog had to be the luckiest that night. The 5ft re-bar pulled smoothly out of the leg. On it’s way in, the bar hit no major blood vessels, no bones nothing, it just slid through the muscle like the proverbial “Hot knife through butter” and came out the same way. Bruno went home the next day.