The measures we had to take to stop Bree from licking her wound.
Bree never ceases to amaze me…
Touch wood! I’ve been incredibly lucky when it comes to Bree’s health. Aside from eating odd things and throwing them up where she’s not supposed to, she’s got away with things, despite being an active working dog. Two years after having her, we were walking through some bushland not far from home. As usual, Bree went everywhere, sniffing every plant, bush, flower, odd garbage. You name it, she would have to inspect it with her nose.
When we returned home, we noticed she was sitting on her bed in the loungeroom, chewing at her front left foot, above her paw. We couldn’t see anything but obviously, something was irritating her. We cleaned it up and decided to watch her, hoping it would get better. By that evening, it did not. Her leg was soaking wet where she had licked it, and she was walking funny on that front paw.
The next morning, I woke her up, and a small patch of her leg was completely missing any hair. During the night, she had chewed all the hair around a spot the size of a fifty-cent piece. When this was discovered, the only thing we could do was to take her to the vet. What they discovered was a small grass seed had lodged itself in the skin. They removed it easily, but there was another problem. Dogs will clean just about anything. Bree couldn’t resist licking her leg where they had removed the seed, even though the leg was bandaged. The vet suggested Bree wear a cone for a few weeks. This would prevent her from getting at the sore.
Bree is an expressive dog. Her face and her body language tells you when she’s happy or sad. The expression I registered after putting on the cone (and you can see from the photo above) was absolute humiliation. The tail went between her legs and the head was drooped down. She was not happy. What also made it difficult for her was not being able to eat normally. I did remove the cone when she had her morning and evening meals, but she couldn’t forage for food. This was especially useful because she knows she’s not supposed to do this.
What made it more humiliating for her was, I still had to go to work, and I couldn’t leave her home alone. Reluctantly, and perhaps embarrassingly, she went along with me to work with the cone for two weeks.
I have never seen a happier dog, when after two weeks, the leg was healed, and I was able to take the cone off her head permanently.
So, what did I learn?
Dogs do have a sense of pride, and Bree was embarrassed bumping into other dogs while she wore the cone.