Doggie Disaster and bleg

Yesterday we took the dogs out to the Indian ruin today for a run — all of them (except Lily, the ancient dachshund) together. They were so excited to be out. Before we even got down the hill to the arroyo we heard one of the dogs screaming in pain. We ran over and there was Irbis, lying down with an obviously broken leg…it was dangling from the rest of his leg, and he was bleeding where the bone had come through the skin. Best we can figure is that he stepped in an animal hole and it snapped like a stick. We carried him, screaming in pain, back to the car, rounded all the others up, and called our vet, who was not there, nor were the other Socorro vets (of course it’s the Sunday after Christmas). We went up to the emergency vet in Los Lunas, where they took two xRays, had us wait a long time, and told us that his leg was badly broken and might have to be amputated; they don’t do orthopedic procedures there, so we then (after they charged us $317 for doing practically nothing) went up to an Albuquerque clinic that is open all the time and where we know two of the vets through falconry. Ray looked at the xrays and told us that he thought he could pin or plate it together if there was no nerve damage; if the nerves are too damaged he thought it would be best to amputate it.

They presented us with an estimate of $2200 and said we would have to give them a deposit for $600 before they would even look at him further; and that the balance would be due when we pick him up on Tuesday. Luckily son Jackson and his wife Niki were with us, and they put the deposit on their emergency credit card. But we have to get the rest together. Libby’s 92 year old mother, who is in a nursing home, is going to see what she can do on such short notice — we don’t think her money is terribly liquid.

We’re feeling very depressed at the moment — we can hardly bear the thought of his losing a leg, especially as he’s just 11 months old. So we’re asking you, our friends, if you can help in any way, even with a small amount — they add up quickly. If you want to contribute, the best thing would be to call the vet’s office with a credit or debit card number — they expect to be paid IN FULL by Tuesday afternoon when we go to pick him up after his surgery. We need at least $1700(we have come up with loans of $800) to get him out, and need to repay Jackson and Niki, though they are infinitely patient. The phone number at Petroglyph Vet Clinic is 505-898-8874 — they’re a 24 hour operation. Ray Hudgell is the vet and the account number for Irbis is 4116.

I’ll be glad when this year is over! Meanwhile investigating pet insurance — this can’t happen again.

UPDATE: WE have reached our goal– thanks to all. Now we just pray there are no complications!

UPDATE 2: He is home after an exhausting day, & seems pretty good considering. He can walk to pee (though as yet hasn’t). There is no cast at all– just stitches. The plate is inside, and he has to wear an “Elizabethan” collar which he hates to keep him from biting them. But it makes it easy to observe the wound clearly.

The vets desk didn’t take down all the names who contributed so please if I miss anyone in the coming days let me know ( I will not rave on the stupidity of front desks— yet). We probably have enough credit to cover the next (3) visits.

We have amazing friends– I cannot say enough thanks, but will try.

35 thoughts on “Doggie Disaster and bleg”

  1. Hi Steve & Libby

    Waht rotten luck!

    I haev just returned from a great day's driven shooting with Petra, and Irbs's problems have taken the gloss off it a little !

    I have rung the Vets and made a donation by credit card,EASY!! so come on you guy's , lets get Libby & Steve out of a hole, and get the dog on the road to recovery ASAP!

    Make it a Happy New Year for poor Irbis!! – even the cost of a drink or two will help!!- TIME IS SHORT -JUST DO IT!!


  2. Yes, thanks John!

    If anyone's not sure about calling the vet directly with a card, please contact me. Niki and I can help more with credit if we know that we'll be able to pay it off before interest kicks in. So if anyone wants to send something by mail, please get in touch via frishmanphoto-at-gmail, and we'll figure it out.

    I've got a couple of other fundraising ideas as well, but they require time, so again it will be more a matter of paying back charges. In particular, if anyone would like to donate in exchange for a photographic print of various Querencia landscapes, contact me. I'll have details up on later today.


  3. Also, do any of you hunters and ranchers out there have advice for getting blood out of vehicle upholstery? I don't need it to look brand new, but I also don't want to be hauled off for investigation if we get pulled over for a tail light.

  4. This is terrible news, but it sounds like Irbis is in good hands. Perhaps you can take a look at a credit plan called 'Care Credit'. It is for emergencies and gives you an interest free time period to pay it off. Most vets take it as payment.

    Best of luck to you all!


  5. Kicked in a little. Not as much as I would've liked, but it's still a number > 0. Fingers crossed for a good recovery. Keep us posted, we've still got to see the Irbis vs. Kang rabbit showdown at some point!

  6. Thanks Stingray– every bit helps..

    Shannon: we have no credit cards and somehow doubt we'd be eligible. Also the interest looked pretty bad– we live more or less on the edge anyway. Finally, they told us they would have to delay the op for it– more chance of his losing the leg.

  7. Jackson – I keep a spray bottle of Nature's Miracle (PetsMart has it) on hand for all kinds of pet stains, including blood. Sadie cut her foot a couple of weeks ago (needed stitches), which Reid discovered when he let her in on the carpet – bloody paw prints all over the place. It will take a couple of applications and blotting not rubbing to get the blood out, but it seems to work pretty well. Otherwise, cold water, white towels, and lots of blotting will get a lot of it out.

    Steve and Libby – Sorry to hear about your poor pup. We had a similar incident caused by coyotes with an Ausie pup when we lived in Tehachapi so I know how upsetting it is. We will call the vet today to help.

  8. Hi Steve, Libby Jackson and Niki,
    Wow not so good news, Sydney and I also contributed over the phone, very easy process. We hope all goes well for Irbis – please keep us informed.

    Chris and Sydney Markle

  9. I feel your pain. I've spent $4k on 2 broken leg repairs in recent years. One in a year where I was laid off. One of the risks we run by owning dogs, especially sighthounds.
    The estimate seems high, but it differs regionally. it might be worth traveling out of state to have the leg pinned or plated elsewhere. As long as the leg is splinted, the dog should be fine for a few days for transport. I've never heard that a delay can lead to amputation and I don't know of any ortho who would delay surgery pending payment in full first.
    Also suggest you look into GE Care Credit. It is an interest deferred credit plan for medical and veterinary expenses. Usually can be eligible regardless of credit history.

  10. I chipped in what I could and will direct as many as can be persuaded your way as soon as I finish writing.

    Can either y'all or the O&P crew possibly put up a PayPal button? I find that for me especially when it's that easy and fast my cup o' generosity needs less emotional attachment to runneth over when it comes to individuals I only know through blogs and who have never licked my hands…

  11. So sorry Steve and Libby! You never know when bad things will happen with your dogs and it always seems to happen over weekends. I dread going to the E Vet! I called the clinic and donated. She told me the account #, so I asked if they were getting lots of donations, she said yes. I hope you get enough to cover the surgery for Irbis. Dan Gauss put it out on Facebook, that's where I saw it. we miss you guys on the Tazi list!

    Kathy Bentzoni

  12. I forgot to add… a little warning about Paypal… a few months ago I had $500 taken out of my account by a hacker who got my Paypal info. Not completely safe, so be careful!

    Kathy Bentzoni

  13. PM me if you need more. A (formerly) anonymous benefactor recently donated the money needed to do a couple of spendy orthopedic procedures on our foster dog Charlie, so I'd be glad to pay it forward to help Irbis.

    I'm at smartk9s (at)

  14. Here from LabRat and Stingray's blog – so sorry to hear about Irbis! I'll be keeping an eye out in case you need more contributions.

    As a note, when/if you set up a paypal account, you should encourage people to mark donations as "gifts." Paypal takes a small cut when people are sending money to one another, and that cut is much smaller if it's marked "gift" rather than something else.

    Also, seconding the hydrogen peroxide recommendation. Dilute with cold water and let it sit for as long as you can, then blot dry. That said, if a spot check shows that it'll bleach out the fabric, you might try "feminine stain remover" – stupid name, but since it's designed for use on undergarments and bedding, it's gentler.

  15. Thanks everybody! A big score for blogs and social networking here. Connie, the cold water and blotting went a long ways. I'll check it out tomorrow and maybe pick up some chemicals. My '87 4-runner will never be anywhere near spotless, but it needn't look like Lady Macbeth's sport-utility vehicle.

  16. Hi Everyone

    Great news that you have all been so generous – THANKS TO YOU ALL!!

    Let's hope that Irbis is "up and running " soon – the very best New Year present Libby & Steve could receive from all their friends worldwide!!


  17. Sorry to hear this about Irbis, I'm sure with good vetrinary care and plenty of rest he will come good, I'll keep my fingers crossed for him.

    I'm not sure whether you are still in need of help with funds? I will gladly donate.

  18. Just heard from Libby that the news from the vet is good. She said he was happy with the way the bone fragments fitted back together, and that the prognosis is good. I'm sure that any advice from anyone who's had a dog in very long convalescence would be welcome.

    Mark, I'll presume to speak for Steve and say that, while the immediate pressure is off, there will of course be follow-ups, meds, who knows what else. I'm sure your generosity will still make a difference.

  19. Can I simply phone the Vets Number and pay by card? I'm in the UK.

    Pay pal is an easier option for me if available?

    The resting is going to be the hardest part keeping them rested can be a nightmare but it must be enforced.
    Too much pain relief medication can make a dog feel better than it is thus encourage activity, pain on movement will make a dog rest, it's simply a case of getting the balance right.

    Portamags or cold lasers are also great to speed up the healing process. I have both and swear by them, contact your nearest greyhound track they might be able to help.



  20. Oh my goodness! What a terrible thing–I'm so glad to hear that he's doing okay now.

    My mom's dog broke her leg a few months ago–it's taking a long time to heal because she's fourteen years old, but on the other hand it's easier to keep her quiet than I'm sure it will be for you. Either way, it's no fun–I'm so sorry. We'll be thinking of you and will send something in the mail since your urgent need seems to be taken care of.

    Lots of love…

  21. Steve and Libby – We are glad Irbis is on the mend! That is great news. I am providing some lessons learned from previous wounds/broken bones we've dealt with for when he comes home.

    One of the issues we just had with Sadie and her stitched paw was keeping her quiet enought to keep the dressing on – she kept walking out of it because we couldn't keep her still. The other issue was that she was only bandaged for 2 weeks and still ended up with a nasty open sore on her leg from the dressing itself. You might want to borrow a large kennel cage if you don't have one – it's the easiest way to restrict movement.

    Also, have the vet show you how to change the dressings yourselves, especially since you are a long way from a vet clinic. This will allow you to monitor for dressing sores and make sure they don't become a medical issue too.

    When the coyotes broke Kate's leg at 15 weeks, she was in a cast wrap for 8 weeks. She ended up with a leg sore that was open to the bone from the cast, which they had to remove early because of the sore. That took as long to heal as the broken bones did. It was a nasty mess to deal with for several months.

  22. When I asked a trainer of my acquaintance who is currently rehabilitating a dog that blew out both of her ACLs, she said:

    "Marrow Bones…Kongs…. Clicker games (head down on floor, paw touches, look right/look left, nod etc)… massage… pen rather than crate (I have PJ in a 4 x 4 pen so she can stand, lie down, etc… but she's not a leaper)… meals from toys (forget dog bowls for now)…"

    I have a difficult time envisioning either of you with a clicker, but when physical work is impossible mental can help… tempted to get video. Recommended food-dispensing toy on the way. If nothing else it will entertain.

  23. I got some advice virtually identical to LabRat's: "Lots of puzzle toys, like stuffed kongs & buster cubes [whatever those are] are great ways to keep her occupied. Teaching tricks that don't require a lot of movement helps, too." Not sure tazis are exactly a trick-learning breed, but this would be the time to make a good, thorough experiment. The cookie-on-the-snout trick might be a good one, and their snouts are built for it.

  24. Connie– there is no cast at all– just stitches. Th plate is inside, and he as to wear an "Elizabethan" color which he hates to keep him from biting them. But it makes it easy to observe the wound clearly.
    LabRat & Mr P– I imagine there will be lots of toys as I doubt he can read!


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