Friday, August 12, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Let Your Dogs Wear Collars Unless You're Going Somewhere

It's taken me over a week to be able to sit down and write about this without getting upset all over again! We had quite the scare last week-our sweet puppy Oscar came way too close to dying on us. Spoiler: He's alive and very well!

Last Tuesday night I was sitting on the couch watching TV. Ryan was in the master bedroom (on the main floor) watching TV on his laptop, and both dogs were outside playing the yard, like normal. All of a sudden I hear this awful screaming from the back yard. I flew outside, and saw the dogs in a corner of the backyard. I knew that something was v

ery, very wrong, but I got upset so fast and couldn't figure out what was happening - it looked like a ball of panicked dogs thrashing around. I thought that maybe Ninja had seriously injured Oscar? I stupidly tried to break them up from what I thought was a totally-out-of-character-vicious fight, and Oscar bit the snot out of my left hand. Apparently I was screaming this entire time because I turned around and Ryan was vaulted off the deck and running towards me, asking me what was wrong.

I was sobbing and shaking and panicked and I had no idea what was happening. Ryan was crouched over the dogs at this point, and he yelled for me to go and get the scissors. I dashed in the house and grabbed them, then ran back outside and handed them to Ryan. At this point Ryan tells me that Ninja somehow got Oscar's coll
ar wrapped around her back teeth and Oscar was choking. He couldn't g
et any slack on the collar to cut it off of Oscar, after attempting this for 10-15 seconds. Then Oscar passed out and went totally slack, and Ryan cut the collar off.

I was across the yard losing my mind while Ryan was hunched over Oscar trying to get him to wake up. He was 100% unconscious and nonresponsive. Ryan picked him up and carried him inside and laid him down on the kitchen table. This was my worst moment..Oscar's head was flopped back and his eyes were wide open, with the pupils rolled back in his head. I thought he was dead. We laid him down on the kitchen table and Ryan is yelling at Oscar to wake up, to start breathing. Ryan rubbed Oscar's ribs and did some light chest compressions, and after 30-60 seconds of being out, Oscar raised his head up and wagged his little tail.

2 minutes later we were in the car with both dogs on the way to t
he emergency vet. Verdict: Fluid in lungs. After puking up blood and other gunk, and an overnight stay with pain killers, we picked Oscar up 7 hours later and brought him back home.

It was the absolute worst night of my life. I have never been so out of my mind scared. I didn't know what we'd do with poor Ninja if anything happened to her brother...we adopted them as a pair from an animal shelter, they've never been separated. They were kept in the same kennel at the shelter from day 1.

So yeah. If I get that worked up over my dog, how am I ever going to handle kids? These dogs are my babies, we were entrusted with their care

and well-being. If Oscar was a 12 year old dog who had had a good long life, that's one thing. But he's only 9 months old, I would be devastated if anything happened to him. And what would poor Ninja do?

What gets me the most about the whole thing is the fact that that is a scenario I never dreamed of. I've imagined them running into the street, or something, but strangled by his own collar in his sister's mouth? Now every time I come home and let them out of their crate I think "how could they have fatally injured themselves while I was gone, what if they aren't breathing, what did I not think of?" I check on them every 5 minutes, now I'm psycho mom. Also what hit me hard was how quickly I lost it, and how worthless I was. If Ryan hadn't been home, what would have happened? On the way to the emergency vet, Ryan told me he hadn't heard the dogs making all that noise at all, that he heard me yelling and that's why he ran outside. So maybe it really was a team effort. How sweet is he to be trying to comfort me on the way to the vet when all that had just happened and Oscar is laboring to breathe on my lap?

Anyway, moral of the story, please take your collar off your dog(s) unless you're en route or on a walk. Our dogs are micro-chipped, so if they somehow get lost, they are easily identified. I remember the vet saying how puppies will bite at each others necks, but I never dreamed something like this could happen. I wish I could say it was a fluke, but the vet said it's happened to her dogs before.

Quite the reminder that everything can change in an instant. Now every time I let the dogs out, they get petted and told how much I love them.

Puppies in March, when we first got them

Family Pic, May 2011

Whew! I was reeling all last week from this, it took me this long to chill out enough to write it down.

Any freak accidents ever happen to your pets?


  1. Oh my goodness! I am pretty sure I would have been totally useless in that situation too. I'm so glad Oscar is ok!

    We haven't had any total freak accidents but both our dogs have cheated death before. One dog somehow got out of her collar while my husband was taking her for a walk. She had seen me get home and was running to come see me. As she was running toward me I saw a car coming from the opposite direction. It was like slow motion. I heard the awful thump as the car hit her going about 20-30 mph. She just bounced off the bumper and kept running to me. I rushed her to our vet and they checked her out and said she was perfectly fine!

    My other dog got really, really sick and we had to have a bunch of tests run (MRI, spinal tap, etc). They discovered she had an autoimmune disorder but it took so long for them to make a diagnosis that we almost lost her. She stopped eating and would just lay down and stare into space. My husband would stay up at night with her because he didn't want her to die alone. Luckily, both my dogs are doing well today.

  2. Sheesh, how scary!! Glad they're okay.

    Nothing's happened to Roxie, although I remember the vet saying that we should leave her collar off when she's home alone during the day. Apparently he's seen cats jump from one thing to another, and their collar gets caught on something, essentially hanging them.

    Could you imagine coming home to that? Ugh.


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