Saturday, June 22, 2013

Barbed Wire Tears Them Up!

I've encountered barbed wire practically everywhere I hunt.  Most places are along fencelines, where it belongs, but sometimes it's just sticking out of the ground, waiting to snag the loping bird dog.  I have two scars on my right leg, one from Texas and one from Nebraska, where I got hung up crossing a tight barbed wire fence.  (The one in Texas is the worst one, but Bo was pointing a large covey 100 yds. on the other side and I figured could stitch it up later.  EMT Gel works great on humans, too- that's all I'm going to say about that.)

Waiting for the Sedative

The stuff is ubiquitous.  The dogs learn to avoid.  The dogs (and hunters) get cut.  It's just part of the landscape.  Sunday, I went for my afternoon constitutional around the pastures and took Ace, my main dog. I walked and pondered while he ran and pondered.  He would get out a hundred yards or so, cut in the woods, come back out, check my position and stay up front on the trail.  I looped back to the barn a few times and one time I noticed Ace wasn't with me.  I called and whistled and got a little annoyed, since he knows better.  The time came for me to leave for church and half way there my wife called that Ace was home. "Awesome!", I thought.  "Is he OK?"  "Well, not really.  He's bleeding pretty badly out of his mouth and I don't see where the problem is." I checked him over that night and noticed some blood seepage, but figured it would stop.  The tongue has a lot of blood and bleeds like crazy, but will heal itself quickly.  The next morning, he was still bleeding.  At 0700, I was at the vet's door, and by 0720, we had him sedated and were stitching up his tongue/mouth. 

12 Stitches Later

We found fresh metal chips in the wound and near his molars.  Apparently, he hit the fence and the wire went under his tongue and got caught up and he chewed on the wire to free himself.  Finally, he did and came home, bleeding all the way.  It took 12 stitches under the tongue to re-attached the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. My vet (Kevin Barlow) said Ace was extremely lucky to have avoided puncturing one of the huge arteries supplying the tongue and bleeding out while hung in the fence.  Chilling thought.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: A Cooler for the Bears? Engel.

I've been hearing rumblings about these "super coolers" that keep food cold for 10 days. Right, I'm thinking, 10 days in Alaska, in the shade, in the Fall.  I did some research with my friend in the research business, Google, and discovered several coolers make the claim of keeping food cold for several days, some even up to 10 days.  Yeti, Engel, Coleman and some others are making super insulated coolers for fishing boats and camping. Yeti, from what I hear, is the benchmark of the crowd- and the most expensive.  The size shown, by Yeti, might run to $350+, depending on where you get it. 
I did like my kids and went to YouTube for a little investigation and found an interesting video comparing four high end coolers side by side for an "apples to apples" comparison.  At the end of the day (or week), the Engel Cooler (shown) did as well or better than any of the others.  It wasn't the cheapest, by far, but it maintained the temperature near or at the top of the rankings and was about $100 cheaper than the others.  I got it off Amazon and got free shipping, as well. 
You can see the stickers on the cooler informing you that this thing is airtight and to not put live things in it and expect them to live.  Also, it has the added benefit of being "Grizzly Bear proof", just in case you have a Grizzly Bear problem near the soccer and baseball fields where you are tailgating.  Actually, I find that to be a good thing, since I will be in bear country hunting Ruffs and Blue Grouse. 
I will test this one extensively this coming season and will let you know of any problems.  I'm looking forward to keeping my birds frozen for the two day ride home this year!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Awesome First Aid Kit for Dogs in the Field

Hunting & Trialing Safety, Shawn K. Wayment, DVM

Birddog Doc’s First Aid Kit for Bird Dogs

Thanks to Shawn K. Wayment, DVM for putting this First Aid Kit together for us!
FA_First Aid KitThe following is a list of the things that I personally carry in my field dog first aid kit. Rarely have I needed more than what is listed below. If I needed more than this, I would pack up and head for the nearest veterinary facility. Field trial bird dogs are faced with numerous perils in the field, so it is very important to carry a field first aid kit and know a few basic bird dog first aid procedures. Another important item is to choose a family veterinarian that understands field trial dogs and the rigors that they are challenged with while in the field. Contact your veterinarian and have them help you get a good first aid kit together for your days afield.
1. Ointments: Neosporin, Silvadene Cream (for cuts and burns), triple antibiotic eye ointment, Panolog/Animax or some other topical antibiotic/hydrocortisone ointment.
2. Betadine Solution: Povodone/Iodine 1% solution mixed with H2O to weak “iced tea color” for cleaning out wounds (punctures or lacerations). I typically use a syringe and an 18 gauge needle to flush wounds. This gives enough pressure/force to clean off debris and bacteria.
FA_Peroxide3. Hydrogen Peroxide: I only carry this to induce vomiting if my dogs ingest something they should not have eaten. It also can be combined with baking soda and Ivory dish soap to aid in de-skunking your bird dog. I never use hydrogen peroxide on a wound because it is more damaging to the tissue due to free radical damage than beneficial.
4. Saline Contact Rinse/Solution: Used to clean the eyes out/rinse the eyes. Rinse the eyes from medial to lateral.
5. Clavamox (Antibiotic): A good all around antibiotic for cuts and infections, etc. 250 mg for a 40 lb dog twice daily for 7 to 10 days is a typical dosage.
6. Metronidazole (Antibiotic): Great drug for treating Giardia and general diarrhea.  The dosage is about 25 mg/kg or 500 mg per 45 lbs of dog twice daily for 8 days.  Don’t leave home without it!
7. Ear Cleaner or Wash: Any good quality one will do the job.
8. Benadryl: For allergic reactions. The dosage is 1 to 2 mg per lb of bird dog or one OTC capsule per 25 pounds every 8 to 12 hours as needed for allergic reaction.
FA_EMT9. EMT Gel: Or some other form of collagen gel for rapid wound healing.
10. Rimadyl or Other Dog Approved NSAID: For swelling or pain. Rimadyl is giving at 1 mg per lb twice daily as needed.
11. Syringes of Various Sizes: I like the 12 cc curved tip one for cleaning out debris from wounds. A 12 cc syringe with an 18 gauge needle can give enough force to clean out a wound. You may want some 3 cc ones as well for injectible Lidocaine (2%) if you are going to suture some wounds. Can use a plastic case from a 20 gauge syringe for tip of the tail protectors (especially for pointer/setter people).
12. Gauze or Store Bought Muzzle: To prevent from being bit by an injured dog. Learn how to make a gauze muzzle—it is easy and can prevent unnecessary harm to you.
FA_Bandages13. Bandage Material: Vet wrap, Elastikon, Telfa pads or other non-adhesive dressings, gauze and cotton padding for support wrap. I always carry duct tape! 2 x 2 or 4 x 4 gauze is also very handy to have around.
14. Dog Boots and Athletic Padding and Zonas Tape: These also work well for wraps of the feet.
15. Lidocaine (2%) Injectible: If you are going to suture wounds.
16. Cotton Tip Applicators: Q-Tips work fine. These can be used to help remove things (grass awns, fox tails, etc) from the eyes.
17. Kaopectate: Works very well for diarrhea. I usually give 10 mL (1 mL is equivalent to 1 cc) every 6 to 8 hours to an average sized 50 lb dog.
18. Suture Material and Stapler: I use Nylon to suture most skin lacerations. A stapler is a very effective method for closing up skin gashes. I would clip the hair around the wound and flush it using a curved tip syringe or a syringe with a needle prior to stapling it.
FA_Nutrical19. NutriCal Gel: This is an excellent, quick source of calories for a working filed dog. You can order this from Drs. Foster & Smith. I always have a few tubes in my pack.
20.Proparacaine Ophthalmic Topical Eye Drops: This is for numbing the eye if you need to remove a foreign object.
21. Tuff Pad/Foot or Copper Tox: This will help cut pads and protect the feet.
22. Needle Holders: Suturing wounds.
FA_Hemostat23. Hemostats or Leatherman Tool: For quill or cactus needle removal.
24. Digital Thermometer (Normal Dog’s Temp is 100 to 102.8 degrees F).
25. A Good Dog Brush
26. Space Blanket
27. Tissue Forceps (Tweezers)
28. Matches
29. Head Lamp: or other light source.
FA_First Aid Guide30. A Good Dog First Aid Book: (Field Guide: Dog First Aid Emergency Care for the Hunting, Working, and Outdoor Dog, Randy Acker, DVM).
31. Caloric Dense Canned Dog Food: I always have some cans of dense calorie canned dog food or GI canned food just in case.
Here is a pdf version of this information: Field Dog First Aid Kit_Shawn K Wayment DVM

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bird Dogs in the Heat

Georgia.  Summertime.  Heat, humidity, sun, heat, fleas, ticks, humidity, heat, afternoon thunderstorms. Still air, blowing rain, double humidity.

There is nothing more pitiful than a high powered bird dog with nothing to do.  We've all (hopefully) got one in the kennel.  The one you go to when bragging rights are on the line, when you've been driving for two days and the country opens up and it's time to put the main man on the ground.  He's the MAC Daddy, the Cover Dog, the Big Dog.....and, now, he's out of a job.  It's just too hot and humid, the training birds aren't available and the pasture is grown and full of ticks!

I still work my dogs every day.  I road them in the morning (on very hot, humid weeks, even before light) and we play and do light yard work exercises in the evening.  When I take my evening 2.5 mile walk, one of the dogs goes with me so we can practice working together.  Of course, to them the evening walk is just a boondoggle with me interrupting every so often.  I think this type of work is important to a dog- they can remember it's a team effort. 

I use the Dog Den 2 in my kennels.  With the door up and the insulation all around, the inside of the kennel stays cool.  I often enter the barn to find them in the Dog Dens with paws and heads lying on the lip.

I change the water daily in the bowl.  That will keep it clean and cool. Bacteria will grow in the water bucket and cause problems with the health of the dogs.  So, I dump and refresh the water every day, and dump and clean with bleach and refresh once per week.

On really hot days and nights, have an oscillating fan blowing over the kennel. They seem to enjoy that, as well. 

One thing I do not have is a water-mister.  With the high humidity, I've always been dubious at the efficiency of the unit.  Other kennel owners, even here in the South, swear by them.  I may take a look at what they are doing.

I guess the bottom line is to keep them occupied, cool and well-hydrated....and have opening day marked on the calendar!