When a Pet is Hurt

On New Year’s Eve, right around midnight, I noticed my Golden Retriever was limping.  (His name is Doc – like, what’s up Doc?)

At first, I didn’t think much about it.

As he’s gotten older, Doc’s become a little arthritic.

Sometimes he limps, but when he does – it usually stops pretty quickly.

The next morning his limping was much more pronounced and it was clear he had hurt his right, front, paw.

I spent a good deal of the day sitting with him, trying to sneak a look at his paw.

He was having none of it.

Doc runs with my husband, on a canyon trail, very regularly.  He’s done this for all 12 years of his happy dog life, and he’s never been hurt before.

I thought he might have a sticker or pebble stuck in his paw since I saw no sign of bleeding.

I took one of his favorite toys out to our pool and threw it into the water.

He immediately swam to get it.

We did this a few more times.

Our pool is a salt water pool.  Since Doc wouldn’t let me touch his paw, I thought the salt water might wash out any debris and/or clean any tiny cuts he might have.

(Also?  January 1st being a holiday, our vet was closed.)

Doc was very happy to be in the pool and would have kept swimming all day if I had let him.

(I didn’t, because I wanted him to REST.)

It killed me to see him limping around in pain.

In fact, I sat with him forever, petting him and trying to keep him still.

Briefcase told me I’m “ridiculous” for worrying so much about a dog.

(Don’t let that fool you though – Briefcase was JUST as concerned.)

Yesterday –

While I was at PT, getting beat up on and terrorized by The Neanderthal,

Briefcase took our limping pup to see the vet.

It turns out, while on a trail run, Doc must have stepped on a sharp rock.

He had a big tear under his paw pad (not visible to a non-veternarian eye), and he had a partially ripped toenail.

The vet had to muzzle and harness Doc in order to see what was going on because Doc was not happy about anyone getting near his injury.

(I know exactly how he feels!)

The vet also used “skin glue” (instead of stitches) on the tear under his paw pad.  Then he put Doc in a cast, gave him a shot of pain meds, and sent him home with 10 days worth of pain meds.

Doc, my Golden Retriever, resting after getting his cast on.

Poor guy!

The toughest part of our mini dog-drama will be persuading Doc to listen to the vet’s orders.

He’s not allowed in the pool for several days.

(It was 80+F at our house yesterday – do you know how hard it is to keep a water dog out of the pool on a day like that?)

He also isn’t allowed to go running for about two weeks.

Doc will cry/whine nonstop every time he sees Briefcase leave to go running without him.

(Is it weird if I make my husband sneak out of a window when the dog isn’t looking?)


The pain meds and cast seem to be making Doc more comfortable.

He limps less with his cast on then he did before he got it.

He also, already, seems happier.

Feeling a little better!

It’s so nice to see him smiling again.

(Although, maybe he’s just a little punch-drunk on his pain meds?)

28 Responses to “When a Pet is Hurt”

  1. Diane

    Sorry about the injury… I was glad, however, to read that it was not cancer or something life threatening… We have lost two pups to cancer in the past so I always freak a bit when someone says their dog is limping….

    Get well soon, Doc!

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Thanks Di –
      I know, it crossed my mind too. When a dog is getting on in years, it’s hard not to worry every time they make a trip to the vet!

  2. Suzanne

    I totally get it! We too have a Golden Retriever who is now 14 years old! The vet says she is in great shape for her age and isn’t even gray! However, in the last 6 months she has had a hard time getting up. I took her to the Vet yesterday and she is now on doggie Ibuprofen, and maybe even get doggie Vicodin for the pain.

    I feel especially terrible about this because we are going to Hawaii on Wednesday! (Yeah!) but we have to board her and the other dogs and I hate leaving her like this.

    I’d probably take a bullet for this dog so I know what you mean. So glad Doc is on the mend!

  3. Neeroc

    Poor little dude. I hope he doesn’t give you too much hell *g*.

    I just love the way their faces turn as they get older. They always look like such wise old souls.

  4. Pam

    Poor guy! It’s so hard to keep them inactive when they are hurt. Thank goodness that the vet found it and fixed it!

    Take care,

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      I think the pain medication he’s on makes him tired. He’s been very mellow compared to normal – which is a good thing. Hopefully he’ll heal faster that way!

  5. Jan's Sushi Bar

    I feel your pain (and Doc’s!) – since Scooter developed his autoimmune disease, I’ve been so worried about him. And, yes, have been spoiling him rotten, too…not many dogs get homemade dog food.

    I hope poor Doc heals well and quickly!

  6. Jill

    As a fellow dog lover (and former dog-mom), I chuckled when I saw the cast, for I remember all too well how long THAT stayed on before the lamp-shade collar had to come out.

    Sadly I read this post just prior to getting a text from my next door neighbor saying that her 6 year old dog had to be put down late last evening as cancer had invaded his sweet golden retriever little body.

    I needed a little time to pass before I could come back here and give my best wishes to your puppy … may he heal quickly and get back to doing what he does best!

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      I expected he’d pull at it – but he hasn’t even tried to get it off. I think it hurts less and he somehow understands why ….! So sorry about your neighbor’s dog. So sad!

  7. Kristin

    Good thinking on the salt water! It’s so hard to see our pups hurt. 🙁 i would have sat with him too for a long time. I’m glad he is doing better though! And I just wanted to add that I totally want to snuggle with him! He looks so sweet.

  8. dogmother

    I belong to a rural volunteer fire department. I was off yesterday and responded to the run we all dreaded…a 30-car pile-up on the Interstate that runs through our county. Thankfully, out of all those people, there were only four minor injuries….but one serious dog injury. I can take care of bleeding, mangled humans, but I was instantly sick when I heard of the injured dog. Wishing Doc a speedy recovery!

  9. Dorothy

    Do you need a live-in companion when the kids leave? I’m available. Anytime. Just let me know. 😀

      • Dorothy

        oh geez that is weird, I put this comment in the wrong spot!! Sorry! I meant this to go on your other post with the full house and such….sigh.
        Anyhow, your puppy makes me want to hug and kiss him….glad he is doing better!

  10. Nancy P

    I’m glad it isn’t too serious and hope he is back out and running soon. Also, ACK! the sweetness of his face!

  11. Hans Clairday

    Business is never so healthy as when, like a chicken, it requires to perform degree of scratching around for what it gets.
    When you end up along the side of many, it is time to pause and reflect.


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