I had to take Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle to the vet the other day.
After that frigid spell and a frozen backyard at the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood, my dear wife Karen and I noticed that our beloved rescue mutt hopped back up to the back porch and trotted back into the house with a bit of a limp.
Worse yet, we saw spots of blood where her paw landed.
The ice had done some damage.
So Karen called the folks that take good care of her at the Shop City Animal Hospital and scheduled a visit, and I coaxed her into the backseat of my Chevy Cruze.
There was a new veterinarian in the office this time, and he carefully looked at her rear left paw.
He winced, then explained.
It was akin to one of us having an entire fingernail ripped off, the vet said.
Ellie B indeed was having some pain. But there was nothing he could do. The pain would subside in a few days. The pad would grow back on its own. All of her licking at the spot actually helps the healing process. Do not walk her anywhere where she might encounter road salt.
Ellie B looked as pitiful as possible, wanting our attention.
Got it, Doc.
We keep her in our fenced backyard, no salt but that obviously risky ice, I explained. And the Eastwood skunks forever lurking in the shadows of dawn and dusk and darkness of night. Yes, he knew of the city stinkers, and suggested we hang some sort of noisemakers back by the shed. Skunks hate noise, he said, and wind chimes or even well-placed empty cans on a string will send them on their way.
Then he gave a somewhat startled Ellie B her scheduled bordetella shot — we were due to come in four days later anyway — and off she went to the other room so an assistant could trim her nails, the second part of that no-longer-needed appointment.
Has your pet ever suffered a winter-related injury, and if so, what was it and how did you treat it? What would you do to pamper your pet after this visit to the vet? What would you do after hearing this skunk story?