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Dog Gate Warning

Behind bars...

Thank goodness, Chris Barrett came home from the gym on Monday, 25 June an hour earlier than usual. He had forgotten his swimming gear. What he saw made his heart sink. There was Tizzy, their dog, hanging upside down from the high dog gates on the doorway. Chris felt so strong that it was worth warning other people of the danger that he wrote this 'better safe than sorry' article.

We have some of these high dog gates in some of our doorways to contain the dogs and stop them running around the bungalow, hopefully keeping them safe and secure. As I came in the front door, I was greeted by the sight blood everywhere and wood chippings all over the place. Tizzy had tried to jump over the gate and got her back legs twisted and woven into the upright bars of the gate.

She was in deep shock and making no noise whatsoever. She was utterly exhausted. She must have been hanging for an hour or more. The blood was from her mouth. She has lost several teeth from the centre of the top and lower jaw where she has tried to chew her way free from the metal bars and also the wooden door frame. (See picture.) Most of her teeth had been pulled right out, including the roots.

I picked her up to relieve the weight but could not untangle her legs and hold her at the same time. So, I had no choice but to re-hang her from the gate while I got help from our next door neighbour. I took her to Parks Vets Pet Hospital at Sidcup. They kept her in until late Wednesday afternoon.  She has some nerve damage in her legs but the extent of the damage won’t be known until all the massive bruising and swelling has completely gone.

We were told that Monday night that she could loose a leg but the vet is now much more optimistic that she should make a better recovery than was first thought. She is still in pain and very sorry for herself. Who can blame her? It was a miracle she didn’t break her legs. It does look as though her agility days might be over but that is the least of our concerns.

The moral of the story... don't leave your dogs unattended behind dog gates.

Update...
Following Tizzy’s 'adventure' with the dog gate ,she is now doing very well. The vet has been 'astounded' at her recovery.  She is happy, wants to play and bearing weight on both legs. She’s off all pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs (Metacam).

Unfortunately, she still has very badly impaired reflexes on the knees of both back legs. If she has a long walk or a good play in and out of the river and overdoes it, she does get a bit lame and sorry for herself. It does look like that she won't be returning to agility but, at least, we still have her. It’s still early days yet - and the vet did say it could take six months for the nerves to improve - so we shall see.

With regard to her teeth, the sockets from her missing teeth have healed very nicely but her two big canine teeth are cracked right through and will need attention at some point (baseball bat, rubber mallet, she’s cost enough in vet bills).  Thanks to everybody who has enquired after her.

Chris & Chris (09/08/07)