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Fur-Tunately: Stories of Animal Survival | Episode VI: Every Small Dog Owner’s Greatest Fear

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*WARNING: This blog contains graphic images. Please continue at your own discretion.*

A larger dog picked up Bentley, an 8-year-old Yorkie, by the neck, and shook him. 

If your eyes are wide, chest feels tight, and your pulse is racing after reading that, then you may be a small dog owner! Having your beloved pet attacked is truly every small dog parent’s greatest fear. Whether on a walk, at the dog park, at a dog-friendly patio or event, it can be an ever-present concern.

Fortunately, the larger dog released Bentley, but he was not unscathed. Bentley suffered extensive wounds, including a laceration nearly that reached almost all the way around his neck, like a collar. He also had deep puncture wounds that tore through the muscle layers on his left side. As you can imagine, upon arrival at AERC, Bentley was in pain and had some blood coming from his nose. But somehow, through all of this, Bentley was still breathing comfortably!  

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Trip to the ER 

It was late at night when Bentley’s family brought him to our ER. Without wasting any time, our emergency team assessed his condition. We gave him pain medications and bandaged his wounds while diagnostic testing was performed. Chest and neck x-rays revealed a large amount of soft tissue trauma, and free gas was noted in his chest. Despite his extensive wounds, luckily, Bentley did not sustain any damage to his lungs, windpipe, or esophagus. His bloodwork revealed mildly elevated liver enzymes, but other than that, everything looked normal! 

Bentley stayed in-hospital and had his neck wound repaired overnight. Some of the deeper muscle and connective tissues had to be removed because they had lost their blood supply and would die, anyway. Two drains were placed on either side of his neck, and the wound was sutured. Bentley remained hospitalized throughout the day to recover from anesthesia and for pain management.  

Throughout the next day, Bentley continued to impress us all! He did amazingly well and was able to go home later that night with three pain medications and an antibiotic.  

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Road to Recovery 

After going home, Bentley’s wound culture results grew two different types of bacteria – once of which showed resistance to the antibiotic initially prescribed. Therefore, a second antibiotic was added to Bentley’s treatment plan.  

A few days after having his drains removed, there was another minor setback to Bentley’s progress: A small area of skin on his neck broke open due to necrosis, which is when cells or tissue die prematurely. With frequent bandage changes though, Bentley is getting back on track!  

We are so pleased with Bentley’s progress and continue to wish him a speedy recovery!  

For additional information on dog bite prevention, click here 

Our “Fur-tunately: Stories of Animal Survival” series feature real pets treated by our team at Animal Emergency & Referral Center of Minnesota. All images and information have been shared with the owner’s permission. 

 Case content provided by  Geoff Gieni, DVM.  


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