Monday, December 09, 2013


9 am: there is a rush in the door.  “My dog has been shot with a paintball gun!”  Blood was streaming slowly from her face as Reyna, a 66 lb. Staffordshire Terrier, is carried in by her emotional and worried owner.  “She had been inside, the garage door had been shut, I was doing target practice, I don’t know how she got out…”  Reyna’s owner was beside himself, and seeing his dog like this, he could hardly speak.  Reyna was calm and as sweet as could be.  But we knew we had to do something. Her eye had apparently taken the paintball squarely across her cornea.  The blood was thick and it was difficult to discern where normal tissue, if any, still remained.  Reyna was so calm. We put a numbing agent in her eye and tried to apply a cold compress to slow the bleeding and swelling down while we got more information.  Her gums were nice and pink still, and her heart sounded normal.  Reyna had to have a headache but she was calm and let us examine her.  We got permission to give her some pain relief and identified that the top layer of the cornea, the protective layer on the surface of her eye, seemed to be torn.  It was unlikely we could save the eye.  Colored paint adorned her face.  It was now clear to all of us why goggles and other protective head gear are important…

Soon Reyna was resting more comfortably and the bleeding subsided.  She went into surgery shortly after that and her eye was enucleated (removed).  This was the only reasonable choice, both from a financial and a humane standpoint, to minimize her trauma and get her back to her normal happy life as quickly as possible. 
Two weeks later, Reyna is a happy dog again! Despite having spent two weeks in an E-collar, she is wagging her tail and getting around as if nothing had happened.  The forgiveness and unconditional love of a dog is truly remarkable.  The love of a family that had to find the unexpected funds to take care of her accident is also remarkable.  We must be careful out there, even when we are just having fun!

No comments: