Last week, Danny spent a long time in the back yard, playing and sniffing and harassing squirrels. I let him in, gave him a snack, and went back to my upstairs office. When I came down a couple hours later to take Danny for his afternoon walk, there was blood all over the floor. In the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room — big, red blotches. I knew who it had to be, but I checked the kitten’s paws first, because he’s easier. It wasn’t him.
Danny had cut one of the pads on his back foot. A little cut, but it was a bleeder. He wasn’t limping or licking or acting in any way that would suggest he was injured in the slightest. He whined and danced around while I called the vet, leash in hand, to ask how to bandage it. The answer? Do the best you can. My best turned out to be not very good, but it was good enough to take Danny for his walk.
The next morning, he seemed fine, so we went for a 4-mile hike. When I cleaned his paw off afterward, the cut opened up a bit and started bleeding again, so I rewrapped it in my half-assed way. He seemed fine the next day, so we went for a 3-mile run. Again, when I cleaned it, it bled a bit. I called the vet again, and we made no decision. Classic me.
The next morning, though, the cut still looked pretty open, so a trip to the vet was in order. Not that Danny minds — he gets treats for sitting on the scale (he’s a pro), letting them check his temperature (stoic), and submitting himself to an exam (tail wagging the entire time). Our vet said she’s only had about a 50 percent success rate when stitching pads, since there’s so much pressure put on that area, especially with a very active dog. The stitches have a tendency to pop. So she wrapped Danny’s foot with some ointment and gauze and a bright yellow length of self-stick vet wrap and gave me a plastic bag with gauze threaded through the top to keep the whole thing dry for three days.
Every time Danny went outside, whether for an epic walk or a quick piss, he had to have that awkward bag tied to his back foot. He withstood the indignity, but it did tire him out pretty quickly to drag that thing around. Late on the second day, he wore through the heavy plastic and the bandages got wet. No good. The whole thing had to come off, much to his relief. The wound seems to have closed, but there’s a notch in the pad. I don’t know if it’ll heal that way or close together.
So ends this episode of “The Athletic and the Accident Prone.”