Would you know what to do in a pet emergency?

A few weeks ago my husband was working in his home office (also known as our living room) which overlooks our street. We live on a pretty quiet street. We're on a cul-de-sac with 11 houses total. 10 kids live on our street, and 5 dogs. A few of those dogs are well behaved and their owners allow them to go off-leash.

You all know we have our Matthew. Matthew is our 4 year old yellow Labrador. We NEVER let Matthew off-leash. NEVER. Sure he may dash out of an open door, but he immediately heads to our back lake, and I can easily get him back by holding up his ball.

So, back to my original story. James was in his office when he witnessed something that no pet owner ever wants to witness. Heck, I doubt any human being would ever want to witness it.

Our neighbor's dog was hit by a UPS truck.

Yes, she was off-leash. The UPS truck scares her, and normally she doesn't leave her grandma's side, but this day was different. In a blink of an eye, the sweet dog (y'all she truly is the sweetest dog ever) decided to run in front of the UPS truck. James saw the whole thing happen.

Poor puppy went down and James ran out the door. It was not a pretty site. Both her back legs were severely broken, and one of the legs was a compound fracture. Her grandma was in tears and James scooped the pup up, placed her on some blankets in the bed of his truck, grandma climbed in the bed with the pup, and she told James which vet to drive to.

They get to that vet office and they refuse to help. Grandma instructs James to another vet. That vet office also refuses to help. They finally end up at Tampa Bay Veterinary Emergency and at first that clinic refused to help too. James had to get pretty vocal, throw down the gauntlet and demanded that they at least get her stable. They agreed. This is where James left as the dog's owner had shown up. So on to the rest of the story....they stabilized her and then transferred her to another pet hospital. She ended up at Blue Pearl Emergency Vet on Busch Blvd. She ended up being in the hospital for nearly a week, and had to have multiple surgeries on her legs. Her one leg was actually scraped way down to the muscle. It was bad, folks. Real bad. Edited to add this comment made by my husband: Jen failed to mention the arterial bleeding. That was why we were in such a rush. There was about a gallon of blood in the bed of my pickup that I had to spray off with a hose once I got home. Blood was everywhere. 

After this accident happened it really got me thinking about my own dog. Would I know where to go if something like this happened to Matthew? It just so happened that I had a vet appointment for Matthew the next day for his rabies vaccine. So I asked them. They told me rather than driving around from vet office to vet office, if I needed emergency vet assistance I should immediately head to Blue Pearl.  I had never heard of Blue Pearl before this horrible accident but as long as I have a pet, they will be on speed-dial in my phone.

The sweet dog is home now and is expected to recover. We don't yet know if she'll have full use of her legs, but what I do know is that if my husband hadn't been home the ending to this story would have been very different. The pup's grandma told me that no other neighbor's were home that day and the dog weighed too much for her to pick up. And pup was bleeding so heavily she would have likely bled out before her owner could have made it to the house to take her to the vet.

A tragic story that taught us a lesson, and thankfully has a happy ending.

Do you know what to do in a pet emergency? 

Comments (4) -

  • This story makes me so grateful that we adopted our pets at the MSPCA and that's where the animal hospital is housed in Boston too. If we had adopted them any other way, I'm not sure I would know there was an animal ER there (or even how to get there quickly). I'm so glad the dog finally got help.
  • Jen failed to mention the arterial bleeding. That was why we were in such a rush. There was about a gallon of blood in the bed of my pickup that I had to spray off with a hose once I got home. Blood was everywhere.

    You are not a vet if you cannot stop to help a medium sized dog that is bleeding to death. I was rather disgusted with the treatment we received. I also realized, there needs to be an emergency pet ambulance. Great idea for some aspiring entrepreneur. You probably aren't getting rich with it but you will get by.
  • I had to take my dog Ruby to Blue Pearl 4 years ago.  They were the only vet that would blood type and give transfusions.  I have never been so grateful to a vet clinic in my life.  Without the transfusions I would not have been able to get her to the surgeon who eventually saved her life.  Unfortunately she died a year later but without Blue Pearl I would never have had that wonderful year with her.
  • It never even occurred to me that I might not be able to take one of my pets to our regular vet in an emergency. I'm super glad you wrote this, I'll be looking for the closest emergency vet to me and making sure that the family has the correct information!
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