TUESDAY TIP: Review the basics of first-aid every season! I mentioned that Kona was injured after our dolphin paddle last week so I wanted to share this story as a reminder that dogs will be dogs, stuff happens, and to always carry a first-aid kit.
After being on the water for quite a while Kona gave me her whiny bark – the I have to go to the bathroom bark. I was with ACA local SUP instructor, Holly Feltner who warned us about oyster beds and pluff mud. We carefully scouted all the banks and found the safest looking spot to let the dogs off. Kona hopped ashore and walked around a bend where I couldn’t see her. She came back caked in mud up to her shoulders, then I noticed the blood pooling under her paws. She must have fallen through the soft mud, and onto an oyster bed. I quickly picked her up and washed the mud off to find several deep lacerations on all four feet. I put her back on the board and quickly paddled back to the dock. As I paddled I reminded myself of two things. First, don’t make a big deal over this, if I get upset so will Kona. Second, I reviewed my first-aid: wash the wounds, apply pressure to stop the bleeding, dry the wounds, then wrap them with gauze and tape. I got this! However, then I realized I didn’t have enough tape or gauze for four paws. After talking to Holly (local knowledge is key) and learning about all the nasty bacteria that live in oyster beds I decided I’d just take Kona straight to a Vet. In case you’re wondering Riley has been by our sides the whole time, as cool as can be without a single scratch on his pads.
The staff at the Plantation Animal Hospital were wonderful. They used surgical scrub to clean Kona’s wounds, and neatly wrapped all four paws in multicolored tape. They did a much better job of cleaning her wounds than what I could have done with my small first-aid kit. I felt much better knowing her cuts were clean and properly wrapped.
I’m glad we were close enough to a Vet that this wasn’t a big deal, but if I hadn’t been, I could have used the materials in my small kit and cut up a towel for bandages until I found a CVS or Vet. Next time we paddle here I’ll be bringing the dogs @ruffwear
Grip Trek boots!