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July 26, 2010
Parson's Russell Terrier survives enucleation

Ever meet a calm, quiet, reasonable Jack Russell Terrier (err, Parson’s Russell Terrier?) Okay, I have, too.  Once in a blue moon.  But usually, the JRT’s are like Henry, the 3-year-old male intact sport-utility-vehicle-stoppin’ JRT in my emergency room.

Henry ran around his mom’s legs and knotted his leash around the waiting room chair legs at 5 pm on a busy Saturday afternoon.  The problem?

“Let’s see that tooth,” said Doc Truli.

“Grrrr,” said Henry.  Then his little stump Jack Russell Tail said, “Wag, wag, wag.”

(Now Doc knew Henry was all show and no go.)

“Open up, Henry,” said the Doc as she placed her thumb into the side of the Jack’s dental arcade behind the canine tooth and before the big carnassial molar in the back.  Henry’s mouth popped open.  “There’s the problem!  And it’s not nearly as bad as we thought,” said the Doc.

So here’s what happened:

Henry’s mom went into her garage to pull the SUV out into the driveway before loading the family for a drive.  Henry took great offense at the SUV rolling out of his garage, busted between some hapless child’s legs at the kitchen to garage passage door, and shot out into the driveway to stop the SUV.

Yes, the little charger fully implemented his plan to forbid the two-ton family vehicle from pursuing a course out of the driveway!  How did Henry carry out his scheme?  By biting and holding the right front truck tire, of course!  (Why didn’t my dog think of that?  Oh! Because he weighs 10 pounds (5 g) and the car weighs 2 tons!)  Henry succeeded in stopping the vehicle because the kids started screaming, “Stop, stop, stop!”

There was Henry, about 1 1/2 feet up in the air, his canine tooth stuck in the black rubber of the truck tire.  So, in a sense, he did stop the SUV.  The tooth disengaged and Henry slumped to the tarmac, stunned for 10 seconds, just  long enough for the kids to bundle him into the SUV for his journey to the doggie ER.

“Well, considering what he attempted to do, he suffered minimal damage.  His upper canine tooth is crooked, but it will heal almost in a normal position.  I can’t wiggle it, so he has a chance of a normal recovery,” said Doc Truli.

Henry took his painkillers for 2 days, then he ignored all attempts to feed him the non-steroid anti-infammatory medication and went back to his sentry duties without the doctor’s permission to return to work.

Please remember, any time your dog pulls a trick like this, you must prevent it from happening again!  Amazingly, dogs seem not to learn from these “mistakes.”  I suspect the dogs do not consider them mistakes at all, but rather, “missions accomplished!”

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