Last night Ryan and I were watching old episodes of Undeclared on my laptop when suddenly CRASH!!! It sounded like a car hit the side of our house. The windows literally shook with the impact.
Ryan ran to the window and yelled "HEY!!", then ran out the front door. I sat there on the couch like a slow-ass idiot. "What...? What's happening?"
"GET OUT OF HERE, GO ON" Ryan yelled.
I got up, thinking a bunch of teenagers threw something at our house or something. I got up and went outside. Tank was standing, looking kind of ashamed, on our porch. His back was all wet and Ryan was fuming mad. He said that a gigantic black dog had been there, standing over Tank and biting his neck.
We checked Tank for signs of abrasions or blood and he had none so we thought he was ok at first. Ryan went to the neighbor's place and ... let's say "gave him a piece of his mind" about keeping his dog in the yard and being a better pet owner.
All night Tank acted weird. He seemed disoriented and in pain, he was limping and couldn't look up. He couldn't get comfortable and he yelped when Ryan tried to lift him up. He was definitely hurt.
It was late in the evening when this all went down so we decided to give it a night and see what happens, maybe he just has some strained muscles and will feel better in the morning.
This morning he was still walking very slowly and not moving his head at all. So we decided to take him to the emergency animal hospital. And we were there for four hours. Poor dude.
He was shaking, he peed on the floor, he was panting like a crazy guy, all the while standing with his neck bowed down towards the floor and walking extremely slowly. He did not want to be there. It was really sad to see. And then I had a panic attack. Of course. I had to go outside for like half an hour. Thanks so much, body. That was not helpful. Good thing Ryan was there.
They gave Tank a physical exam and then he got some x-rays done. We asked them to email us the images so we had proof of his injuries to show the neighbor, and these are them. The top one there doesn't show much as far as injury goes but it looks pretty cool. This one below is a top view, with his head at the top.
The bit I circled is his "right wing atlas", aka his first cervical (neck) vertebrae. It's cracked, you can see that dark line going through it. That big black dog literally broke my dog's neck.
So he's in huge amounts of pain because every movement he makes with his front end (walking, stepping up, turning his head, etc) moves the muscles attached to the broken bone. We got SO MANY drugs for him. Antibiotics and ear drops for an ear infection he had previously, and NSAIDS and morphine for the pain.
Now we just have to manage his pain and let him heal naturally because there's nothing else we can do.
We've been keeping an open line of communication with the neighbor who owns the dog but it's a complicated scenario. Hopefully he steps up and compensates us for the thousand dollars the vet cost and hopefully he also learns to keep better track of his dog.
A couple other things happened:
- They had Tank's records transferred over from the vet he's been seeing since before we adopted him (we got him as an adult dog) and when we were checking in the receptionist told us he was born in June of 2006. Um ... we thought he was six years old. He's EIGHT. What a shitty surprise.
- Ryan accidentally stepped on my bare foot with his shoes in the middle of all the craziness last night and I'm pretty sure my toe is broken. It's a weird color and KILLS today. It was totally an accident but he feels terrible about it.
- If you love animals try and never spend time in an animal emergency hospital waiting room. I brought down the entire tattoo shop afterwards by telling them about just one scenario I witnessed, I won't type it here but it's a very sad place to be. I don't know how anybody could work there. Really.
About twenty minutes after we got Tank to take his morphine he was just standing in the middle of the room staring at nothing, wagging his tail. haha dogs.
Right now he's snoring, half on the carpet, half on his new bed.
It's so hard to see an animal in pain, and even worse when you love him. :(
Any advice? Recommendations? Commiseration?