Stella is a serious chewer. We have gone through numerous dog toys, trying to find one that lasts longer than a day with Stella and her monster jaws. Stella has one dog toy. It's not even a toy; it's a bone. The Nylabone Galileo Bone "the world's strongest dog bone for powerful chewers", to be exact. Remember when I gave the puppies the Flappy? I had high hopes for the Flappy. The Flappy lasted a week. The Flappy is now dead.
So. Stella = powerful chewer. Keep that in mind.
On Saturday I was walking both pups when Wolfgang needed to stop for a bathroom break. I was fussing about with him when I realized that Stella was chewing a bone of some sort. A bone that she was easily crunching through and consuming. I managed to get most of it out of her mouth but not before she swallowed some. So of course I freaked out and called the vet, who told me not to bring her in because there was "nothing they could do for her." Um yes, not the most reassuring thing to hear. The vet told me to monitor Stella and to bring her in if she showed any signs of blockage or internal tears.
So I was feeling a bit fragile.
Fast forward to Sunday night. I took Stella for a walk, completely avoiding the area where Saturday's bone-incident took place, and what happens? Stella finds another bone (there is a SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL for people who throw bones on the street for innocent animals to find and choke on, in my opinion.)
I believe in obedience school; however, I also believe that a dog is a dog. Stella is half beagle. She is completely motivated by smells and by food. If it's smelly food? Even better. She gets in the zone and nothing will prevent her from either eating or rolling in whatever she has found. I don't think that any amount of training will ever "cure" her of this. I usually take a bag of treats along with me when I walk her, to distract her. I had no treats with me Sunday night.
So I stuck my hand in her mouth. I tried to take the bone from her. The smelly bone she was intent on eating. And she bit me.
It wasn't a vicious bite; she wasn't maliciously biting me to prevent me from taking her bone. She was just chewing the bone and my hand got in the way.
I walked home - ten long minutes - while crying and dripping blood, trying to not scare my oblivious pup. By the time I got home, two of my fingers were swollen to the point where bending them was no longer an option so Shawn took me to the emergency room.
Four puncture wounds, one adorable doctor, one surly nurse (I am usually pro-nurse so please trust me when I say that this lady was extremely churlish (example: I told her that I am bad with needles because in my experience, the needle-giver usually wants to know in advance if you're going to hyperventilate and pass out. To which she replied, "well it's not like I'm a fan of them") (oh and then she was all "Okay. On three. One - two - " AND THEN SHE JABBED ME ON TWO! Dear Surly Nurse, that was the fucking highlight of your night, wasn't it?)), two x-rays to rule out bone damage (yes, she bit me that hard), one tetanus shot (note to future self: you had a tetanus shot on July 3rd, 2009. If you ever have to go to the emergency room again, look this info up. The nurses will look at you like a crazy lady if you don't know when your last tetanus shot was), one shot of antibiotics, and three hours later I was on my way home.
Interesting fact (courtesy of Adorable Doctor): 20 - 27% of dog bites become infected compared to 80% of cat bites. The infection rate is above 80% if a human bites you (you can just file that nugget of information under "why I do not - and will not - own cats or bitey humans.)
Here's the thing: I'm not mad at Stella. She's a dog. She was chewing a tasty bone. I put my hand in her mouth. Of course she bit me! Oh and she's fine, by the way. We need to monitor her for the next week or two, but so far everything has been normal. The biggest danger when your dog eats a bone comes from the actual swallowing part - the bones splinter and can easily choke your dog. So now we just wait and hope that the bone fragments don't cause any damage to her digestive system.