Twice Bitten

It's probably inevitable that your dog will encounter some incident with another dog, either at a dog run, at home with multiple dogs or in Eti's case at a friendly meetup with other French Bulldogs. He had a minor puncture that drew blood but with little consequence from an unfriendly mutt at a dog run but his second run in at the previously mentioned meetup was a more serious matter. There were so many people and dogs at that particular meetup that I didn't even see or hear the incident and only noticed when I got home that he had a small puncture wound between his shoulders with the area around it aggravated to the size of a quarter.

It seemed to take a surprisingly long time to heal, and I may have contributed to this by cleaning it regularly with Hydrogen Peroxide, as usually advised by most articles about canine first aid. I have subsequently learned that hydrogen peroxide is in fact bad for healthy skin and mild soapy solution or sterile saline solution are much better alternatives.

I was reminded of this subject when reading this recent article about dog inflicted injuries. I was surprised to learn that 'When in predatory mode, dogs exert maximum, super-canid force in dispatching their prey. The key is to grab (with the sharp, canine teeth) and then shake the prey to enhance their crushing ability through the momentum of a brisk snap of the neck and shoulder muscles. The result is a devastating amount of tissue injury due to compression distributed over a wide area of tissue.'

Even more disconcerting, and this would be an issue if say the attacker was a considerably larger dog : 'Some animal behaviorists feel that a so-called prey response is common to small mammals and relevant to how we treat them. In this theory, prey will often respond to an overwhelming attack with a stress hormone-mediated, quick-death mechanism intended to limit the time of suffering. Complete circulatory shutdown (circulatory shock) often rapidly ensues.'

This really reinforces the importance to be mindful at dog runs of whats going on given that the behavior of another dog can be completely unpredictable. I have found that the presence of an obnoxiously dominant dog, even an overly submissive one can create a volatile situation where trouble can happen and is a good excuse to leave the dog run.

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