A lesson in preparedness....avoiding a tragedy while bird hunting

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Jmills81, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Jmills81 The Dude Abides

    Posts: 1,903
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +146 / 0
    I learned a very long strong lesson in preparedness today.

    With a few short days until my son is born,good buddy Marques and I got Murph ( my lab ) and his GSH Rex to chase quail near Spokane which allowed me to get back just in case in under 20 minutes.

    Nearing the end of a productive hunt which included a surprise rooster and 4 very nice covey's of quail, we had one more draw to hit up

    No sooner than Murph Dog and Rex dove into the cut did the ground explode with the biggest covey of quail I have ever seen. 50-60 birds where spraying everywhere, interspersed with a big set of pheasants. The dust settled and we set in to get the dogs on the downed birds.

    Down at the bottom of the draw, I saw Rex and I knew instantly something was wrong from his body language. Blood was covering his back leg, his head was down, and he wasnt coming to our calls.

    Being the closest to him, I got to him as fast as I could. Upon closer inspection it was plain as day, Rex was in a world of hurt.

    The biggest gash I have ever seen on dog was wide open on his chest, from top of the breastbone to underneath his front legs. A solid 6-8 inches long and 2-3 inches wide and spewing blood.

    Instantly I grabbed him up and sprinted up the draw back to Marquess and we then sprinted back to the truck.

    Here's the lesson of the day that will effect what I bring with me bird hunting for the rest of my life.

    We needed to tourniquet his wounds ASAP or he was going to bleed out there on the spot. Marques busted out his triage first aid bag for Rex and as we bundled him with a t shirt and a towel, a simple roll of athletic saved the day. Read that again... a simple roll of athletic tape saved the day

    That tape allowed us to firmly affix the makeshift tourniquet well enough to stop the bleeding until I drove at mach 9 to Spokane's emergency pet hospital. Lets just say a ride that normally takes 25 took us 10 minutes.

    Only after we handed Rex over to the kind vet did the situation hit us. It happened so fast that we just reacted in the best manner we could at the fastest rate of speed that we could. Amazing what happens when you just have to do it and GO.

    Two hours later, the vet emerged from surgery and informed us that Rex was on the mend. The details of the situation became more hairier with information from the vet. As to how Rex was cut, we're pretty certain now that he impaled himself somehow in that last draw and the cut was dramatically worse and more serious that we originally thought. More like 10-12 inches long by 4 inches wide and he just missed puncturing his breastbone by about 1/8th of an inch. If that would of happened, this story probably would have ended in a much different manner.

    Rex is now out of the game for the season, but he should recover well. Thank god.

    So what's the lesson here? I will never hunt again with dogs without bringing a first aid kit specifically designed for our 4 legged friends. I've always thought I should have one, now my first trip of the week will probably be to a local sporting goods store to pick up the biggest kit I can find.

    You better believe it will have athletic tape, that's for sure

    If you're hunting with dogs too, go find a first aid kit and make it part of the required uniform. It's best to have it and pray you never have to use it. Our dogs hunt so hard for us, crossing barbed wire fences, running through bogs, swimming through nasty swamps that we owe it to them to protect them as best as we can.
  2. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,524
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,499 / 9
    Tall one. Sorry your friend got hurt and glad that you and your other friends efforts got him the attention he needed in the field and then from the pros. Best wishes to his speedy recovery and to the arrival of your new blessing. Great lesson to be learned here by all who enjoy the outdoors with other two or four legged companions.
  3. floatinghat Member

    Posts: 294
    near enough to Seattle
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Sorry to hear about Rex but glad he is on the mend. I have been searching for a good skidplate for my lab for that very reason. Your story will also get me to upgrade my first aid kit.
  4. Dustin Bise Active Member

    Posts: 3,088
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    Im very glad he is going to be ok. First aid saves the day again.
  5. Troutrageous Active Member

    Posts: 424
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    Sorry to hear it happened, but glad to hear you guys kept the dog alive. Thanks for the report.
  6. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,836
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +716 / 0
    Glad that Rex is going to be OK and you guys were able to cope with the situation. And a special thanks for the story and the warning it provides for those of us with hard charging hunting dogs.

    As a long time owner of labs I have long realized the injuries are going to happen and I need to be prepared to deal with some of those in the field. Have dealt with several gashes (mostly from fence encounters and discarded wire/glass, and variety of foreign objects in the eyes or ears, a punctured lung, torn ACL, porcupines, etc. To help to be prepared to deal with those kinds of emergencies I have put together a first aid kit. It fits in an old shaving kit bag and it stays in my truck. Some of the items I have in the bag incudes a pet first aid book, a variety of bandages/pads, tourniquet, tape, eye wash, saline solution, antiseptic, chemical ice pack. forceps, scissors, surgical staple gun, super glue, and several other misc. items including some meds. There are a variety of commercial kits on the market though I found that I wanted to add a few items to most that I saw. I also always have extra water, blanket, food and high energy dog treats and the current hunting dog (Sauk) always travels in a crate.

    I also think that taking human first aid classes are also important. Staying more or less current in first aid not only help prepares you mentally so that you can act with less panic it also puts in a position to aid either your 2-legged or 4-legged hunting/fishing partners. While we all hope that we never have to deal with the kind of emergency above the reality is that in a long career in the outdoors most of us will encuonter a variety of emergencies. In thinking about this I have to deal with a pretty scary list of human and dog emergencies over the decades thankfully they all have ended more or less OK.

    Tight lines
  7. Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Posts: 2,171
    out of state now
    Ratings: +219 / 0
    Very glad to hear your pup is okay. I had a similar issue with one of my Labs though not nearly as acute. We were quail hunting and, unknown to me, Sadie had briefly empaled herself on a branch or other object. The wound was 10 inches long extending under her skin on her chest and didn't penetrate her abdominal cavity. I didn't find the injury for over 24 hours since the dog did not exhibit any change in her behavior and there was no bleeding. I found it while petting her the next night. A quick trip to the vet ER on the night of wound discovery, examination, cleaning, etc. along with hefty vet bill but Sadie is still the sports car she's always been. Now I examine the dogs ever time we've been afield. A vet friend game me an emergency kit he made up and some directions on use. It's always in my truck. Thanks for the reminder.
  8. ganglyangler Bird Dogs and Fly Rods

    Posts: 465
    Port Gamble WA
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    Wow, glad he's on the mend, pretty scary story there! Made me go through my first aid kit and update some things. Thanks for sharing that!
  9. Kaari White Active Member

    Posts: 827
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +31 / 0
    This stuff is almost an emergency kit all in one tube. http://emtgel.com/ It works wonders on open cuts, hanging flaps of skin, etc. I even use it on my dog's feet where they've been worn raw from a few days hunting.
  10. Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Posts: 2,413
    Columbia Basin
    Ratings: +692 / 0
    Thankfully the pup is okay & you guys were prepared & able to handle the situation. I have always carried a canine kit & they can save the day. My Labs also wore chest protectors . . . just plain old good insurance. Well done. Give Rex a scratch behind the ears from me . . .
  11. fifafu Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Nice call on the tape.

    I am a golf pro and carry a roll of athletic tape in my golf bag for blisters, cracks or cuts. Two years ago I started carrying it in my bird vest in case my shorthair ran into wire.

    Nice job taking care of the dog.
  12. Jmills81 The Dude Abides

    Posts: 1,903
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +146 / 0
    just found some of that today! Good looking out!
  13. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,901
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    Great advice.

    Glad all turned out well for Rex.
  14. CaddisSunset Member

    Posts: 30
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Good advise on the tape you might want to look into getting a "skid plate" chest protector for your dog, it's saved me several trips to the vet!
  15. jcnewbie Member

    Posts: 854
    Kent, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Good job with the dog.....but I'm struggling with one little detail; how the heck does one "tourniquet" a massive chest wound like that - or any chest wound for that matter? I can easily visualize a "compress/pressure" bandage using athletic tape, or a belt, a T-shirt of towel or something to hold a compress bandage in place - but a tourniquet?

    I know a fella that always carries 3 or 4 Maxi pads in his first aid kit and have used them effectively myself a couple of times after bicycle & motorcycle crashes.

    Not trying to discount your experience in any way, just trying to understand....


  16. ribka Active Member

    Posts: 1,432
    E WA
    Ratings: +169 / 0
    Good reminder. Always carry a kit and if hunting in a new area do the research before hand and make sure you know where the nearest Vet is and carry a contact number. Call ahead of time and find out what Vet is on call after hours on the weekend. Learned that lesson hunting in Montana when my dog cut himself on a piece of old fence. Spent over 6 hours trying to locate a Vet in the area on the weekend

    Thanks for sharing and congrats on the baby
  17. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,336
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +895 / 0
    great reminder here guys, as I head out next Monday for some chuckar with my hounds. I'll make sure I have the kit with me, as well as some electrolyte hydration for the hounds as well. I'm very glad your pup is on the mend!