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My dog was bitten by another dog today - need advice ASAP

August 6th, 2007, 11:21 PM
My little Pom was attacked (on her leash) today by a German Shepherd that came running into the street. My husband was walking her and he said it happened so fast - all he remembers is that the larger dog had her in his mouth by her rump area and was swinging her around before my husband wrestled it to the ground and ran off with my Pom in his arms to bring her to the vet. He heard the owner say sorry and that he'd pay the vet bill. After almost 4 hours waiting for her at the St-Hyacinthe vet hospital, it seems she is shaken but Ok, with only what they think is a minor bite wound on her rump but they have told me to watch her for the next few days because the other dog's tooth may have hit a blood vessel and we will only know later. They also told me to check if she has pain urinating because they were not able to see from an ultrasound if a tooth may have penetrated her bladder (but they don't think so because they couldn't find any other wounds). The x-rays showed nothing but her rump muscle is inflamed and bruised and she has to take antibiotics and anti-inflammatory for a week or so.

She's a tough little girl and I think she will be fine, but my question is this: should we just ask the owner of the other dog to please pay the bill (as he offered) and to please keep his dog on a leash at all times, or is there an additional course of action we can take? Can we "press charges"? What would that involve? I think this dog should be labelled "aggressive", but if I call the police will he still have to cooperate and refund the vet bill? Since this is a neighbor up the street I don't want too much trouble (last time I complained about something, someone slashed my tires) but I am afraid this attack may happen again and the next dog or toddler may not be so lucky. Maybe just paying the $300 bill will make him more careful in the future but I can't be sure. Even paying a fine to the municipality is not a guarantee. Nothing and no-one can force a person to act responsibly.

I have tried searching for dog laws in Quebec on the internet but I haven't found much about a dog attacking another dog. Maybe I should call my municipality or local police for info? Any advice and opinions would be appreciated.

Another question: what can I do to make sure she isn't afraid of other dogs now (especially the big ones)? She is dominant and can be snappish but now I am afraid she will become more aggressive because of the attack. Should I invite her poodle friend over tomorrow to show her that not all dogs are mean? I will definitely avoid that street for a few months....

Baby Jessy's Mom

August 6th, 2007, 11:44 PM
IMO you should definately hold him to his promise of paying the bill, also after you talk to him call animal control (if you call A/C 1st he may refuse to pay) report the situtation in detail to them, in BC they can only write a report & keep an eye on the dog if it is dog on dog attack, but at least they will have a history on file should something else happen.

Several years ago I was walking my Cally across the street from a school yard & a neighbors dog ran from the school, across the street, very nearly got hit by a car & attacked us. The dog was roughly the same size as Cally & I was also bitten on the elbow, my arm shaken like a toy, the owner lives on my mum's block, I had her call my Vets to pay the bill directly over the phone. AC came wrote a report spoke to the owner, & basically have her "on file", they told me directly they couldn't do anymore even though I was bit, emergency room documents & stitches (which AC saw) because my dog was present at the time, only if the dog attacks a human with no provocation (such as another dog present - which is stupid in my case we were across the street & totally ignoring the other dog) can they do anything else.

As for your friends dog coming over it might be best to wait a couple of days - your dog is likely still shocked by the situtation & she may react first before realizing this is her friend, plus if she is happy to see the poodle & has no aggression she may still get bumped the wrong way (while playing) on the tooth wound or the poodle may try to clean the wound & upset your dog.

perhaps wait until the anti-biotics & anti-inflammatories are finished, then have her friend over to play, unless you can get them to go for a short quiet walk together w/no play

August 7th, 2007, 09:29 AM
I would make the owner pay, it's only natural. And I would report him , who knows , maybe this dog has bitten before ? Authorities need to know this stuff , before a child gets bit. I also think it would be a great idea if your friend would bring her dog to your place , the sooner , the better. I hope your little dog recovers asap without any problems. :fingerscr

August 7th, 2007, 10:05 AM
I hope your dog's rabies vaccines are up to date ! If you have already paid the bill, then I would as others have suggested present the owner with a copy and request immediate cash payment. If you haven't have the GSD's owner call the clinic with their credit card #. A call to your municipality's Animal Control to ask what their procedure is would be worthwhile as each Municipality can determine specific protocol's above and beyond the province's. At the very least you should write the owner a civil but clear (just the facts !) letter confirming that their dog was unleashed and without supervision, attacked and bit your dog in an unprovoked manner causing XXX damage to your dog. You can end the letter by thanking the GSD's owner for paying the Vet bill and stating that you hoped the dog would be leashed or confined and supervised in the future to prevent future incidents. I would send a copy of that letter to Animal Control.

As for "getting back into the saddle", I would wait a few days but not much longer before ensuring your dog has contact with other dogs, specially large dogs. You don't want too much time to pass.

August 7th, 2007, 10:40 AM
I have already typed up a letter, as suggested, reiterating exactly what happened on the street and telling the owner what the results of the examination/treatment at the vet hospital were, along with "please find the bill attached". We had to pay it on the spot so we are looking for a reimbursement and giving him 7 days. I have stated that since his dog is aggressive (without adding expletives - &$%#@#$! - which I would love to do), I ask that it be kept on a leash at all times, even if he is just going to get something from his car. I also mentioned that I have not called the police (YET!) because I trust that he will pay the bill and that he will take all the necessary precautions to make sure this never happens again because my dog was lucky she was not killed. Even though he lives just up the street, I am sending it by registered mail in case legal action is necessary later on, and to show him that we think this is a serious matter.

I will also make a call to my animal control agency and the municipality to see what else can be done in case he is not a gentleman. He did apologize and say he would pay (as my husband was running back home with the dog in his arms) so I think it is fair to give him a chance. Honestly, I would like to go to his house and bite him but I am trying to be diplomatic.

As for little Jessy, she is looking better today - less traumatized. I will wait until tomorrow to invite her toy poodle friend over (I will protect the wound with a gauze). They play gently together so I am not too worried and I think it will be good for her. I almost had a party when she urinated normally this morning without apparent pain (there had been a fear that her bladder might have been touched by the other dog's tooth). She is taking her meds (I hide the antibiotic in a small piece of cheese and sprinkle the liquid anti-inflammatory on pieces of cooked chicken) and now we are going for a relaxing walk on a forest path where there will be no other dogs on a weekday morning. At least this happened while we are on vacation and can spend the necessary time with her to ensure a psychological recovery too.

We are all still in shock - we will need our own "psychological recovery"; I can't believe anyone could be so irresponsible.

Thanks again for all your help,

Baby Jessy's Mom

August 7th, 2007, 12:44 PM
Honestly, I would like to go to his house and bite him but I am trying to be diplomatic.

At least you've kept your sense of humor. I'm sure that the vet has already cautioned you to watch for any swelling. This type of injury will sometimes cause the skin to be pulled away from body and there will be fluid that needs to be drained. Give her kisses. Den-Den is very cautious around large dogs since he was attacked 3 years ago. I've found he's defensive (and a bit snappy) when my brother brings his Akita for a visit. I've found leaving his leash attached and just trailing gives him the sense of security that he needs around Sage.

August 7th, 2007, 04:01 PM
Thanks for that tip. The vet did mention swelling and but I didn't realize that drainage might be required. Well, I hope that doesn't happen because her skin was pulled rather savagely but so far everything looks OK and it has been 24 hours. I hope there are no complications but I guess we are not "out of the woods" yet and the owner might have to shell out more money for my dog's health expenses! $300 so far! I am hoping all these expenses will teach him a lesson!!!! Isn't it sad that so many people only learn by reaching into their pockets....

I have warned all the small dog owners on our street to be careful when they go near that house and we have made a pact to let each other know if that dog is seen loose around his house again. Just once and the police will be coming to see him for a friendly chat...I am giving this man only 1 chance! :mad:

August 7th, 2007, 04:07 PM
$300 so far! I am hoping all these expenses will teach him a lesson!!!!

He is lucky ! Think how much he could pay if you would sue him :shrug:

August 7th, 2007, 04:33 PM
The GSD owner should be extremely relieved you were so diplomatic. I hope he is the type of person who truly was horrified at his dog's attack and does everything he can (i.e. heavy duty training, leashing, and muzzling if necessary) to make sure it doesn't happen again. You might want to talk to a trainer once this all settles down, to see what you can do to prevent 'emotional scars' for your dog. You wouldn't want him to become fear aggressive and end up on the other end of this scenario one day! Hang in there...:grouphug:

August 7th, 2007, 04:38 PM
Yes, I was almost disappointed when I saw the bill was only $300 - I had been hoping to smack him with at least $800.

In Quebec could we really sue and expect much? I know that in the USA people can sue left and right but here in Canada it's not so easy....what do you think? If you think there is a chance for victory, I will keep that in mind if he turns sour on us, which is a possibility...... :thumbs up

I get shivers thinking how close she came to death. If my husband hadn't reacted so quickly and pushed that bigger dog down to the pavement she would have been severely wounded or dead. I could have been walking her and I don't know if I would have have his quick instincts or his strength. I guess I should just be thinking about the fact that she is alright and move on....

August 7th, 2007, 05:58 PM
In Quebec could we really sue and expect much? I know that in the USA people can sue left and right but here in Canada it's not so easy....what do you think? If you think there is a chance for victory, I will keep that in mind if he turns sour on us, which is a possibility...... :thumbs up

I would keep it in mind only as a last resort if things go sour (in that case it would be totally worth suing! :thumbs up . If he's acting reasonable about the situation, you might want to think carefully about it. It could drag out for a long time and unless you're moving soon, you'll still be neighbours and have to see him now and again! :shrug:

August 7th, 2007, 07:27 PM
Only if things go sour, and if he seems sincere about training and preventing his dog from being aggressive in the future. To be fair, any dog owner could find themselves in a situation they didn't expect. I want to treat other owners the same as I would hope they would treat me if the situation was reversed. If things go sour, then yes, you have to take steps to educate him on the seriousness of being a responsible owner. When Den-Den was attacked, I became the neighbor from hell. I didn't blame the dogs that attacked him, but the owner was totally at fault. He moved out; the landlord ended up being stuck for the three $500 fines. I felt bad about that, but my baby was my responsibility to protect.

August 7th, 2007, 07:47 PM
No, I am not interested in wasting my time in court for $300 but I will if I have to, not for the money but to get him to understand that he cannot keep allowing his dog to roam unleashed in the front yard, especially after something like this has happened. However, I am not looking for trouble and I hope everything works out and the owner is cooperative - he was apologetic but there was no time for character appraisal as my husband was running down the street with an injured Pom. He will get our letter tomorrow (registered mail, just in case) so we will see if he meant what he said. It is only fair to give him a chance and not let our anger drive our actions. As someone wise pointed out to me recently, maybe HE feels really terrible. This has made me reconsider going over to his home and biting him! :D

August 8th, 2007, 10:15 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about Jessy's experience; however I'm glad that she appears to be on the mend! I stumbled across this website after doing a search on dog attacks... since my six-year-old Labrador Retriever, Hanna, was attacked at our local park (Earl Bales Park) in Toronto last night. An owner had two dogs off-leash; a Siberian Husky cross (female) and a Rottweiler cross (male). They both came running up to me and Hanna (leashed) and my initial welcome of "hey puppies..." (I'd never had a negative experience in the park) changed to outrage as the Rottweiler clamped onto Hanna's back, resulting in yelping on her part and panic on mine. I (not-so-intelligently) put my hands in the Rottweiler's mouth and forcibly pulled it off. By this point the owner had arrived at the scene, apologizing profusely (as he should). To make a long story short, I STRONGLY suggested that he never have the two dogs off-leash (he claimed that it was the female that usually gave him trouble and that this was the first time the Rottweiler had done anything aggressive) again - for the safety of children, other dogs and his own animals. Hanna didn't start bleeding until we'd parted ways a few minutes later; when I got home, we cleaned the wounds (two punctures, one very small, another one that continued to slowly bleed) and have an appointment with our vet tonight (I called immediately after the incident and, given her condition, was assured she'd be OK until then). A stressful night. Fortunately, Hanna seems to be her usual self - I just hope that the attack doesn't change her personality or behaviour in any way. If I see the guy at the park I'll certainly let him know that our dog required medical attention and that, contrary to our first impression, his dog had actually drawn blood.

August 8th, 2007, 10:29 AM
Yes, us crazy Americans are sue happy! But ya know what, we hardly ever win anything in the small claims court. I wouldn't bother suing, just give the vet bill, and hope he pays, if not, then I would be seeking legal advice, expecially if your pup has complications.
On another note, if you make him pay, I am SURE that it will make him think twice before letting his GSD out without a fence or being on a leash!:sorry:

August 8th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Dear Kavu,

I guess "tis the season to get bitten" !!!! Is it the moon??! :confused:

I hope your dog gets a clean bill of health after the examination at the vet today! These bites are not to be taken lightly - the teeth could cause damage to the spine and even perforate the bladder, as was feared in my Jessy's case but it seems she's fine. I have never had a bad experience with a dog before either, and probably would have also welcomed those 2 dogs in your dog park where one would hope an owner would not allow a dog to be loose if there were any doubts. But this experience has erased my innocence regarding dogs and owners; I will always pick her up when larger dogs approach her now (calmly, without alarming her or creating fear).

Make sure the vet bill is paid by the owner of that other dog! Let us know if your dog is OK after the exam.

August 8th, 2007, 12:59 PM
Thank you. And I know what you're saying about "innocence lost"; I think it will be a long time before I see other dogs loose without being paranoid they might do something untoward (which sucks!)

I'll certainly send an update once we get back from the vet.

August 8th, 2007, 06:09 PM
... just back from the vet. She had two puncture wounds on her back, one deeper than the other; however neither should pose problems. She'll be on antibiotics for one week as a precaution. And Im pleased to report that she interacted with the other dogs we encountered this evening as always with friendly tail-wagging and no fear. :)

August 8th, 2007, 06:11 PM
Dear Kavu,
I will always pick her up when larger dogs approach her now (calmly, without alarming her or creating fear).

:offtopic: sorry to be off topic a bit here....I've always wondered about this. I've seen owners of small dogs do this all the time whenever a big dog comes around (I probably get to see it more because I own a big dog).

I'm told it actually puts the little dog in an aggressive position in 'doggie language' because he/she is suddenly higher up than the other dog (and sometimes reacting to the situation with barks or otherwise). And, as was explained to me, this can cause a fight because the big dog will read the little dog as sending aggressive signals.

My own observations have been that the little dogs that are left with all 4 paws on the ground tend to quickly become comfortable with dogs of all sizes they meet. The ones around my neighbourhood who get picked up seem to become very fearful.

Now - I totally agree that this is a natural thing for you right now Baby Jessy because of the attack, and if you think any dog coming over to see your dog looks in any way threatening, I would do the same thing (if I could pick up my 85 lb dog!).

However, in most cases where the approaching dog is friendly - wouldn't it be better to leave the little dog on the ground???

Thoughts? Opinions? :shrug:

August 9th, 2007, 10:15 AM
You have a good point, but if the larger dog looks questionable or mean in any way, she's being lifted ! In general, I will just try to keep her a safe distance away from dogs I don't know.

She is doing great, by the way, and is not showing any signs of complications. I noticed she's a bit more "jumpy" than usual and barks when she hears other dogs barking in the distance (this is new). I am hoping this will fade......