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Daniel

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Posting this as a reminder since my mother's dog was recently killed by a car:

Summertime Trauma: The Hit-By-Car (HBC) Dog
by Dr. Justine A. Lee, DVM, DACVECC

As an emergency critical care veterinary specialist, I spend most of my time working in the ICU and ER. Unfortunately, in the ER, I see a huge spike in trauma to dogs and cats during the summer…particularly on days with nice, sunny warm weather...

Some examples of common summertime trauma?
  • The hit-by-car (HBC) dog or cat
  • "Big-dog-little-dog" (BDLD) attacks
  • Cats attacked by predators (e.g., dogs, coyotes, mountain lions, neighborhood kids)
The good news? Thankfully, with the improvement in quality of veterinary medicine, many of these trauma cases survive. These cases can be rewarding to treat as an emergency doctor, as you physically are saving a life.

That said, I'd rather not see trauma cases in the first place. That's because they can be life-threatening and cause significant pain and injury to your dog or cat. Also, trauma cases can be very expensive for you to treat, as they often require emergency stabilization, oxygen therapy, pain medication, blood transfusions, diagnostics (like blood work, x-rays), minor or major emergency surgery under general anesthesia, heart and blood pressure monitoring, and life-saving 24/7 care. This can add up into the thousands of dollars.

When it comes to being a HBC, the severity of trauma from range tremendously, from mild scrapes and bumps to death (these often never make it to the ER, due to severe, acute internal bleeding)...

So how do you prevent HBC? By avoiding the most common reasons why I see pets getting off-leash or escaping from their safe home environment, like the following:
  • Dogs or cats escaping from the yard (e.g., someone left the gate open)
  • Dogs or cats escaping inadvertently out of the house by an open door (e.g., someone was opening the door to let the pizza delivery guy in)
  • Pet owners letting their dogs run off leash when their pet isn't under strict voice command
  • Dogs hopping over their fence or digging out from underneath
  • Pet owners using a long retractable-type leashes, only to have their dog hit on the edge of the road (as the pet owner can't reel them back on the leash in time)
  • Dogs chasing cars (please, teach your dog that this is bad!), and lastly,
  • Pet owners accidentally running over their own dog in the driveway (This type is actually one of the worst types of HBC, as it's a "slow roll" and results in more internal damage).
By being aware of these preventable causes, hopefully you can help minimize the risk of your pet being HBC.
 

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"If this many children were getting hit by cars everyday, I think the medical community would really try to do something to alert the parents and other caretakers of the situation and the risks and what they can do to prevent this. So that's what I want to discuss in this video."
 

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https://northgateanimalhospital.net/dogs-run-away-stop/

Take a look at your property and fix any known issues that provide your pooch with an easy escape route. Fence easy to dig under? Line the edges with paving stones or bury chicken wire that he can’t dig through. Have a dog that bolts out the front door? Put him on a leash or close him in another room before you open it.

By following these tips, you should be able to prevent most escape attempts by your dog.
 

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https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/how-to-keep-a-dog-from-escaping-the-yard/

More Tips for Keeping Your Dog From Escaping the Yard

No matter how your dog escapes the yard, there are several other measures you can take to ensure their safety.

  • Install an airlock or double gate. Take a few lengths of fence and another gate and create a small, enclosed area inside or outside the fence. When someone wants to get in or out, he or she will have to go through one gate, close it, and then open the second gate.
  • Get your dog a Puppy Bumper. This is a collar stuffed with fiberfill that's meant to keep puppies and small dogs from slipping through small openings.
  • Make sure all the latches on gates and fences are secure. If you have a gate that blows open or a latch that doesn't stay shut, add a lock or hook-and-eye closure.
  • Make the yard their happy place. The backyard shouldn't be a prison; it should be a haven, shelter, and playground. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water and some shade. For fun, bring out a treat-dispensing toy. Rotate your dog's toys to keep them interested.
  • Don't leave dogs alone out there for long periods of time or any time when you can't supervise. The very best way to keep them in the yard is to be there with them. Play fetch, brush them, use it as training time, or just hang out. Your pup will be less interested in leaving if their best friend is there, too!
  • Keep your dog safe inside when you're away from home, so they won't escape to go looking for you or get taken out by someone else.
  • Equip your pup with a GPS tracking collar. The Fi GPS Dog Collar enables 24/7 location tracking across the U.S on a brand new LTE-M network. No matter the distance between you and your dog, the Fi collar can confidently communicate their whereabouts to you. Dedicated "lost dog" features like a blinking red light on the collar and up-to-the-minute location updates help turn any nightmare scenario into a much more manageable mission.
 

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Emergency Recall Training for Dogs

In this guide, I'll show you the method I used to teach my pup how to come when called 100% of the time. I can tell you with full authority that even the most stubborn dog can learn an emergency recall word and respond to it consistently.

Knowing how to get your dog to come when called is one of the most important things to figure out as a pet owner. Even if your dog isn't capable of learning how to balance a treat on their nose or moonwalk, you absolutely want to make sure they are safe in every situation.

For dogs and puppies that are stubborn, prone to wandering, or are runners or animal chasers, teaching an emergency recall is an absolute requisite...
 

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COME! A Recall Training Program :acrobat:

"Teaching a dog to come when called (also known as the “recall”) is not as difficult as you may think! It does take time, enthusiasm, and good deal of practice, but the steps are pretty straightforward. If you have time to practice on most days, you can figure it will take 3 to 6 months to develop a reliable recall."
 

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  • “Come” is to be treated as an emergency command only.
  • Always practice this command when your Chihuahua is on leash so that your Chihuahua always comes in response.
  • When your Chihuahua is off leash (whether in the backyard or in the house) and thus out of your direct control, use her name as a signal for her to see what’s up.
  • For every time you utter the command “Come” and your Chihuahua doesn’t respond, it will take a minimum of twenty repetitions at an equivalent level of difficulty to overcome the fact that now your Chi thinks she doesn’t have to come.
  • Never call your Chihuahua with an angry voice. Who wants to come to be punished?
  • Consider using a whistle or other loud sound in place of the verbal command. That way, your Chi will never hear the anxiety in your voice when you’re frantic for her to come to you.
  • Make “big” over every brisk, fast recall. It’s gotta be a great reward.
  • Say “Come!” only once; if you repeat a command two or three times your Chi quickly learns that only after you’ve said “Come!” two or three times does she have to respond.
  • Make sure all other family members understand the rules of “Come!”. Any inconsistencies in training a command will confuse your Chihuahua and will lengthen the time required to train the skill.
 

Daniel

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  • Keep your dog safe inside when you're away from home, so they won't escape to go looking for you or get taken out by someone else.
This is a great tip. I used to let my dogs use the doggie door when I was gone since there was a fenced area that was coyote proof, including from the top. But after someone partially opened the gate when we were gone, now I just put down pee pads for the dogs.

Even a locked gate does not necessarily prevent someone stealing your dogs or your dogs finding a new way to escape. Here, there's also rattlesnakes to worry about.

Using indoor webcams also gives peace of mind.

  • Equip your pup with a GPS tracking collar. The Fi GPS Dog Collar enables 24/7 location tracking across the U.S on a brand new LTE-M network. No matter the distance between you and your dog, the Fi collar can confidently communicate their whereabouts to you. Dedicated "lost dog" features like a blinking red light on the collar and up-to-the-minute location updates help turn any nightmare scenario into a much more manageable mission.

I have had the Fi collar for over two months now on my 60-pound boxer. The cost was only $79 (almost half off) during a Halloween special, and they always have promo codes. The optional GPS service costs extra though ($99 a year).

This smart dog collar is the most amazing thing I own. It uses GPS, your smartphone (and optionally your family's smartphones), and the home base to monitor if your dog escapes from you, your home, or other family members.

If your dog does escape, you get a text alert of his last location. The app also has a map that shows your dog's location as well as his location relative to yours (and, optionally, the location of other family members). You can also use the app to remotely turn on the dog collar's light.
 
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