Help on dog bites
I was very saddened to receive a message about a Silvestre Vizsla which had been savaged by another dog recently. This can happen of course to anyone and you do read how someone had walked their dog and suddenly it was attacked. The dog which attacked was a male, and the puppy was a female. Under no circumstances should this of happened.
Males can get tetchy with males. Females can get tetchy with females. But males never attack female puppies.
A skirmish with a dog is ruff, and usually thats it. You've got my bone, pee off and I want it. Done and gone. A dog which rips skin into muscle is a dangerous dog. With tears big as six inches is a dangerous dog. Please muzzle this dog and do not let it into public unmuzzled ever again. Do not trust this dog ever again. Not even for a second as it will come from nowhere the next attack.
What can you do when this happens? Very little unfortunately. So this is what you must do, and not do.
Scream loudly as Vizsla will react to noise, so scream the loudest you have ever done and this can deter dogs. If nothing get a bit of wood and smack it as hard as you can on an object close by to make a bang. Noise distraction. Anything to stop the locking that happens during a dog fight where they are transfixed on hurting another dog.
If it is happening in front of you our first response is to try and pull dogs apart. Thats human nature. But when you do then you risk more damage to the dog whose been injured as if a dog is holding on for dear life then you pull back, the skin tears. So do not pull the dogs backwards away from each other. Some people say grab the back legs and pull back. The dog can turn and bite you so not a good suggestion.
Look at whats around you first and if you are somewhere you can find wood, get the wood and push between the dogs. A chair, a ladder, a log, a walking stick. Anything. But do NOT put your hands anywhere near this as you will get bitten too.
Walking dogs in larger groups can cause fear in insecure dogs. Dogs also have known mental illness which if over whelmed attack as they don't know what else to do. You can not always see the problem building up unless you understand dog behaviours. We see autism in dogs, ocd, and so on. If you have a reactive dog then you must not put the dog in such a situation that it over whelms the dog. Some dogs get over whelmed by being in groups of dogs, and if your not watching the signals then you are going to have a problem quickly. Dogs can seem best mates one minute then BANG! Dogs are not friends! We need to stop humanising dogs. Dogs remember dogs they have played with before, they understand smells. But it doesn't stop a reactive dog hurting another dog.
Have a first aid box in the car always. Gauze, lint, melolin pads, saline wash, vet wrap. Pour saline wash over the wounds, dab dry with lint. pop melon pad over, and then vet wrap the area as best you can do. Even putting a tea shirt over the top. Any old tea shirt will do. Its to stop dog licking immediately. Cover dog with a space blanket for shock. You can buy them online cheap. Ring your vets asp. This is am emergency as the sooner the operation the better it heals. A vet needs to assess the wound. If you are with someone even better as they can sit with dog in the back comforting the dog until your at the vets. Vets may even sedate dog quickly so its not in pain.
Most people who work with animals have an insurance which will cover vet bills. If owner does not have insurance then they should offer to pay for work done by vet.
Vet will not close the wound totally and will leave a drain in as you can not seal in bacteria. Did you know that the worst bite in fact is humans and its bacteria that causes most issues. Then cats, then dogs. Dogs may not have the worst bacteria but the damage they inflict is worse than human or cat.
Antibiotics are issued to help with infection. Several vets visit will be required. Sometimes muscle is damaged under the skin, this will take longer to heal.
Buy arnica as it helps with bruising.
More often than not your left with a dog which is now damaged mentally. It may not become evident immediately, but over the next year you may find your dog fearful of other dogs, wishing to move away from other dogs, or actually bearing teeth to say "PLEASE GET AWAY FROM ME"!, it may even snap at other dogs.
I had this happen to me, I had a Vizsla which was attacked by a Doberman at 6 months of age, and around the age of 2 she showed problems with other dogs. She was fine with the dogs she knew, but new dogs that lunged at her she was petrified. It is difficult once this has happened, even for the professional dog owner. We have to be aware of it, and then try to help the dog where we can.
I would allow my dog to heal and then I would find friends with the nicest dog possible you could go and play with, have a coffee and let the dogs play together. Firstly a different breed of dog, allow your dog to become comfortable with this dog. Then after a couple of weeks find a dog of the same breed which has a soft temperament. Do it every week for a month. Then find a training school which is going to be understanding of dog bites. They will suggest which class is best for you. Because you need to build on the dogs confidence in and around the other dogs again. You should train the dog to focus on you alone when out, with rewards. Your training school will help. Because if the dog in the future shows a trigger moment, you can start getting the dogs focus to forget about it.
It is horrible for everyone concerned, the owner of the dog who got bitten and the owner of the dog which bit. Animals are a nuisance sometimes. Rescue dogs are worse as they get placed in homes and most likely something happened to them previous, that original owner is not going to tell you about, as you would not of taken the dog in. We always say its what happens to the dog in the first 18 months of life which really determines its temperament. It can be small things that trigger a dog. Working with a behaviourist now with the dog that has bitten is a priority. We always recommend T TOUCH practitioners and their are some in the area where this owner lives.
I wish you all well and please remember these are accidents which happen out of the blue. Its horrible for everyone. Some breeds of dogs are notorious for attacking others and Vizsla is not one of them. Lets hope the issue gets resolved quickly, and the poor little puppy gets better.
Im often asked how I can own 10 Vizsla and they all get on. Males and females alike. We call it management and also I am the top bitch of this house hold. My word is final. We do not let in season bitches to run with males. They are separated. I have an instinct with body language in dogs and know if I should remove someone from the gang if they are over whelmed.
Take care all
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Mrs Rachel Savage