A 3-year-old German wirehaired pointer is recovering at BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital after a steel fence post pierced his chest while he was retrieving a pheasant.
The accident occurred during a hunting trip near Miller, S.D., after Tim Ramler shot a pheasant with his 12-gauge shotgun. Blitz, his hunting dog, went bolting toward the bird. But just 20 yards into his full-out sprint, the 60-pound dog spun around and fell in the grass. Blood covered his belly.
Ramler didn’t know it at the time, but a steel fence post with a pointed end had been resting in thick grass, apparently knocked over by a tree that had recently fallen. The sharp post impaled Blitz, cutting deeply into his chest.
“How that dog is still alive, it blows me away,” Ramler said. “I thought for sure the vet would be putting him down.”
Ramler first rushed Blitz to Dakota Veterinary Clinic, where the dog was cleaned up and given stitches. He later received treatment at a Minnesota clinic. Blitz was lucky because the sharp steel post had narrowly missed several arteries and did not break any ribs. This week Blitz came to BluePearl’s Blaine hospital after the wound reopened.
Dr. Kathryn Kaufman of BluePearl said Blitz is responding well to his treatment and should make a full recovery. “Blitz is doing great. He doesn’t even know anything has happened to him,” she said. “He’s comfortable and moving around well.”
As part of Blitz’s treatment, Kaufman is treating the wound using a type of honey from New Zealand called Manuka honey. Honey has been used for centuries to treat wounds because of its antibacterial properties and also because it contains several growth factors that promote wound healing, she said. Blitz will require several days of care in order for the wound to close completely.
Ramler said he’s relieved to know Blitz is recovering. Although Blitz enjoys hunting, he’s also a gentle dog who loves to be around Ramler’s 3-year-old granddaughter. “He’s a true lover,” Ramler said. “This dog goes fishing with me. He’s a buddy.”
And there’s no doubt in Ramler’s mind that Blitz will leap at the opportunity to go hunting again.
“I’m sure he’s counting the days until he can go,” Ramler said.