A mystery

So, we are in the middle of what might be a crime drama. We are waiting for the evidence tomorrow.

In brief, we came back in from checking the ‘paca Tuesday night to find Jake with a nasty laceration on his right front leg. He must have sustained the wound in a 30-minute period, and fairly close to the house (a few hundred meters). He was bleeding pretty freely, and didn’t want to put weight on the leg. We called the after-hours vet clinic, and based on the description of the wound they said he could wait for his normal vet in the morning.

In the morning the leg was badly swollen. I took him to the vet. Over the course of the day I had a number of phone conversations with our young but very helpful vet. An examination under anesthesia showed that one of the leg bones was broken. An x-ray showed that it was a nasty compound fracture, and that it was the bone-edge with probably ripped the skin. Ick. She also found a second puncture wound on the bottom of the leg. Theory at the moment- dog bite. After futher thinking and examination and the theory turned into “hit by car”.

Later that afternoon she consulted with a more senior vet who had arrived for his shift at the practice. Due to the nature of the break the prognosis was not good. Internal pinning of the bone would not work, so she was talking about either tricky-expensive external pins, or amputation.

We went in about 4 PM to have a consult and bring a drugged-up Jake home for the night. Theory update- the dog attack does not seem to make sense as Jake had no blood or fur on his razor-sharp claws (defensive wounds). The hit-by-car theory had a problem in that usually the claws are scuffed as they dig into the pavement at the moment of impact, but his were clean. But there were a number of radio-opaque objects in the x-ray, objects which might be bullet fragments.

The hopeful news is that a further analysis of the break means that a bandage-cast may work, it will just need frequent changing while the wound heals because he has both a break and a bad laceration which cannot be entombed in a cast. He goes back tomorrow, when he will put back under anesthesia and have the wound cleaned, and then wrap-set. I hope they can get some of the larger fragemts out, because if they are lead we know the cause.

If it is a bullet wound I will do a mailbox drop on the ~8 neighbors within 300 meters, the distance he could have come injured like that in that amount fo time. Hopefully they can provide some helpful info.

And needless to say, we all wish this had never happened. Jake is now living in the dog crate we got for Greyhound fostering, and is miserable. And we could really live without the vet bills right now. Sigh.

5 thoughts on “A mystery

  1. Holly says:

    Oh no! :(!!!!!!!!! That’s awful — poor little guy!

    It does occur to me that Jack is the most… rabbit-colored of your cats. I wonder if that makes it more likely that someone shot at him by mistake? I hope the vet’s able to verify whether it’s bullet frags in there, and if so, that you’re able to clear that up. (Is it odd that you guys didn’t hear a gunshot when you were out with the ‘paca?)

    [forwarded by Tam]

  2. Tam says:

    Ehn, we hear gunshots all the time. And yeah, I reckon someone could have mistaken him for a rabbit or possum. It’s even conceivable, if somewhat of a big coincidence — that he got hit by a shot that missed whatever the shooter was actually aiming at.

    Given *any* of the scenarios — shot, bitten, run over — he’s actually *incredibly* lucky to have gotten of with *one* broken bone and no other injuries. (Even if he doesn’t feel especially lucky at the moment — boy, is he unhappy !)

  3. SteveR says:

    Actually, when I first heard the news I thought gunshot wound was the most likely. Then my next thought was evil-neighbour.

    I hope I’m wrong, and I hope Jake makes a full recovery.

  4. Emily says:

    Oh, poor Jake. And I feel for your wallets as well. I hope you get to the bottom of this mystery – I’ve always worried about Northey being mistaken for a possum and coming to harm that way.

  5. Jude says:

    Oh, poor furkid! I hope the bandage-cast works out for him and that the bills aren’t *too* awful. We can certainly identify with vet bill issues right now.

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