Case of the Month: Gunshot Wound

DogOne Lucky Dog

This Pitbull was found by its owner late one night after it had escaped from their property.  The dog had been shot, but remarkably had made it back home safely.  The wound looked grievous; though the bullet appeared to have gone straight through, it was very close to the spine.  The dog did walk into the clinic on its own, which was a good sign that the spinal cord had not been seriously damaged.

DOg2Radiographs were taken to verify that the bullet had indeed gone all the way through and that the spine was intact.  They showed that the bullet had clipped the very top of the spine and shattered.  Some of the fragments had gone straight out the opposite side of the dog, while others had lodged near the dog’s shoulder.  None of the fragments were located near any vital organs, so rather than subject the dog to the long surgery that would be necessary to remove them, they were left in place.

The hair around the wound was clipped short, and the wound was flushed and cleaned.  Rather than suture it closed, the veterinarian chose to tie a loose bandage around it.  Leaving the would open allowed bacteria to drain out of the wound instead of being trapped inside. The dog was then sent home on antibiotics and pain medication.

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