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.