It was after hours at our veterinary centre in India when a dog in a critical condition was rushed through the doors. It was a pet French Bull Mastiff, and he'd been attacked by a bison only an hour before. Even as a large and powerful dog with a muscular body, he was no match for a bison, who can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and stand 6 feet tall.
Our expert team got to work immediately. They found a laceration wound to the dog's groin, about seven centimetres in length, and further lacerations to his abdominal muscles, resulting in the intestines being exposed.
Further tests showed his capillary refill time (CRT) was within the normal range (less than two seconds) and his mucous membranes were a healthy pink and moist. Whilst his heart was sitting at 160 beats per minute and his respiratory rate was at 33 breaths per minute. To stabilise the large dog, the vets gave him normal saline (warmed) at shock dose, as well as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and strong pain relief (buprinorphine, amoxicillin, metronidazole, and meloxicam).
After his heart rate stabilised at 110 beats per minute, the veterinary team took a series of x-rays to rule out spinal damage, before sedating the dog and preparing him for surgery.
In surgery, the wound had to be extended cranially up to the last rib to assess and repair the damage. The team then flushed the abdomen with warmed normal saline, before closing with sutures.
Preplaced sutures with 2-0 pds were done and care was taken to include the fascia of all lacerated muscle layers.
Subcutaneous was closed with simple interrupted sutures using 2-0 pds to bring the skin edges closer.
The skin was closed with simple interrupted sutures and cruciate sutures using 1-0 nylon.
The dog recovered amazingly post-op, supported by more pain relief medication and antibiotics. He was able to finish his recovery in the comfort of his own home, under the watchful eye of his owner, and returned to our veterinary team for follow-ups.