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A buddy of mine's 1 year old Vizsla was chasing a squirrel the other day and somehow sliced her front leg open just above the upper pad. It got some of the tendon, requiring a $3,800 surgery. Good news is the vet noted she should have a fully recovery.

I mentioned it to my pup's trainer yesterday in casual conversation. He proceeded to pull out an old stick with dog hair on it, it was about 10" long and 3" wide, and pointed to a line about 4" up the stick and told me that was impaled into one of his pointers chests as it was running through a field. Thankfully the dog was fine.

Another guy I know, who's on this forum, showed me a pic some time ago of a huge gash his dog got on her back as she ran underneath a trailer hitch on a truck. That made me always be careful when I see dogs running chasing each other near trailer hitches.

I've also had two friends with dogs with ACL tears this year alone. Around $5k surgeries.

Just thought I'd throw these out there. Every time I hear of a bad dog injury I try to learn something from it, with hopes of keeping my dog safer--while also acknowledging sometimes unavoidable accidents simply happen with sport dogs.

Maybe you guys want to share some stories with everybody so we can perhaps hear of ways to prevent injuries? It's a nasty subject, but it's nice to be aware of what can happen in the field, and possibly learn ways to avoid some injuries.
 

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We own a gamebird preserve and we have hundreds of dogs out hunting here each year. Over the last 10 years, we have had 2 dog owners accidentally shoot their own dogs out here. Both survived, but there was a price to pay ... both emotionally and financially. Unfortunately it is a bad experience for all involved and will sure put a damper on future bird hunting. Both accidents were preventable. Do NOT shoot unless it is ABOVE your heads. The dogs can jump up with excitement after the birds (especially flushers). They will however usually NOT jump up above your heads.

This would also be a GREAT time to also mention ACL injuries. I would be curious to know if those dogs mentioned were SPAYED/NEUTERED before 1 year of age? In the last 10 years, more and more evidence points to development issued when dogs are fixed before 1 year of age that changes their bone structures, possibly causing ACL injuries. As GSP breeders, we recommend all of our puppies to at least wait until 1 year of age to prevent that as much as possible. Most vets still do not recommend this.

When 2get him fixed? - The Michigan Sportsman Forums

ACL Surgery - The Michigan Sportsman Forums
 

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We own a gamebird preserve and we have hundreds of dogs out hunting here each year. Over the last 10 years, we have had 2 dog owners accidentally shoot their own dogs out here. Both survived, but there was a price to pay ... both emotionally and financially. Unfortunately it is a bad experience for all involved and will sure put a damper on future bird hunting. Both accidents were preventable. Do NOT shoot unless it is ABOVE your heads. The dogs can jump up with excitement after the birds (especially flushers). They will however usually NOT jump up above your heads.

This would also be a GREAT time to also mention ACL injuries. I would be curious to know if those dogs mentioned were SPAYED/NEUTERED before 1 year of age? In the last 10 years, more and more evidence points to development issued when dogs are fixed before 1 year of age that changes their bone structures, possibly causing ACL injuries. As GSP breeders, we recommend all of our puppies to at least wait until 1 year of age to prevent that as much as possible. Most vets still do not recommend this. I will have to locate a thread to share with lots of info about it later.
Thanks. Both great points. My 10 month old pointing lab jumps at birds, and I've been thinking about the accidental shooting issue (not for me, but for guys I hunt with). Drives me nuts thinking about it. The "don't shoot unless the bird is above YOUR head" is a great rule. Thanks for sharing.

The two dogs I mentioned with ACL tears this year were both pet dogs, not hunting dogs, so I would bet my pup's favorite bone that they were spayed and neutered before the age of 1 (likely around 7 months). I was going to wait until 18 months to two years of age before neutering my pup, but he is cryptorchid (only one testicle descended) and my mom, who is his vet, said I shouldn't wait until much later than one year to neuter him since cryptorchid dogs are 10 times more susceptible to testicular cancer, and the undescended testicle can become twisted. She did agree, however, that my intent of waiting until at least one year was a good idea for the purposes of physical development. This is a great topic to discuss with non-hunting dog owners (the status quo in the hunting community seems to be waiting longer to spay and neuter), as many folks seem to rush to spay and neuther to avoid menstrual cycles in females and marking in males, potentially to the dog's detriment.
 

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interesting topic. We spayed both of ours very early. Vets said it kept the cancer rates very low in their later years. Doesn't seem to have stifled drive or anything. I guess we will wait and see what happens.
 

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This would also be a GREAT time to also mention ACL injuries. I would be curious to know if those dogs mentioned were SPAYED/NEUTERED before 1 year of age? In the last 10 years, more and more evidence points to development issued when dogs are fixed before 1 year of age that changes their bone structures, possibly causing ACL injuries. As GSP breeders, we recommend all of our puppies to at least wait until 1 year of age to prevent that as much as possible. Most vets still do not recommend this.
I've owned four Pointers now, three of them have been fixed.

One died of kidney cancer at age six and never had issues with ACL injuries etc (though he did have some vertebra that like to go out of alignment).

One was neutered EARLY at the shelter and his muscle and bone growth has been weird over the years. At seven years of age now he's solid, and not injury prone, but we'll see.

I have another that I got as a pup 5 years ago, mainly a bench breeding with a few field dogs sprinkled in. She was spayed at 7 months before her first heat and she has developed some issues with her right rear leg. The vet can't pin it down but thinks we may be looking at the beginnings of an ACL problem.

Pointer #4 is a pup out of a breeder in MI. I will not have this dog neutered before two years of age, if ever. Why? Because from what I've seen spayed and neutered dogs don't gain the muscle mass of those that aren't, their legs get longer, their chests aren't as sprung, etc. You also don't find dogs in Europe spayed and neutered nearly as much and people are able to live with them just fine there (not to mention many do here too) without causing the pet over population problem we have here. My wife and the veterinarians she works with have also come around to the idea of at least delaying it as well.

I used to fight this. I don't and won't anymore.
 

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I've owned four Pointers now, three of them have been fixed.

One died of kidney cancer at age six and never had issues with ACL injuries etc (though he did have some vertebra that like to go out of alignment).

One was neutered EARLY at the shelter and his muscle and bone growth has been weird over the years. At seven years of age now he's solid, and not injury prone, but we'll see.

I have another that I got as a pup 5 years ago, mainly a bench breeding with a few field dogs sprinkled in. She was spayed at 7 months before her first heat and she has developed some issues with her right rear leg. The vet can't pin it down but thinks we may be looking at the beginnings of an ACL problem.

Pointer #4 is a pup out of a breeder in MI. I will not have this dog neutered before two years of age, if ever. Why? Because from what I've seen spayed and neutered dogs don't gain the muscle mass of those that aren't, their legs get longer, their chests aren't as sprung, etc. You also don't find dogs in Europe spayed and neutered nearly as much and people are able to live with them just fine there (not to mention many do here too) without causing the pet over population problem we have here. My wife and the veterinarians she works with have also come around to the idea of at least delaying it as well.

I used to fight this. I don't and won't anymore.
:woohoo1:

WCH, It is about time! You used to play devil's advocate on this subject for many years, then you were on the fence for a year or so. Glad to hear you finally crossed over!! :) I have watched it for many years with hundreds of hunting dogs every year. The proof is evident.
 

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:woohoo1:

WCH, It is about time! You used to play devil's advocate on this subject for many years, then you were on the fence for a year or so. Glad to hear you finally crossed over!! :) I have watched it for many years with hundreds of hunting dogs every year. The proof is evident.
I still think it's something that should be done on a case by case basis. But for a dog expected to work I don't see how an altered bone structure and less muscle mass are all that helpful. I don't work my dogs as hard as some but there are days where I demand all they can give me. If I start chukar hunting out here the dogs will work even harder, that is a game that will test both man and dog to the fullest.
 

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My youngest setter has a love/hate relation with porkies. One of his adventure related in three surgeries. Two at local vet and one at MSU. to the tune of 2000.00. All of them happened at Gladwin while he was running in trials. He's never had any porkies while hunting or training, go figure.
 

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Our previous gsp took on a mom racoon . racoon lost but did get one good slash in and the dog got a vet trip, stitches and lampshade. He also jumped a porkie on new years eve,I pulled 140 quills and had to visit emergency vet for the reminder
The new pup makes me grimace daily watching his antics.
 

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You run dogs long enough you will see many injuries. Every time you release them an injury or worse can happen. Only thing you can do is be smart by not putting your dog in danger and be prepared for the worst
 

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I had a shorthair (spayed at 4 months) ACL injury at age 7.

I have a pointer (spayed at 4 months) ACL injury at 4 and 5 both knees are now done and she seems to being great and will hopefully be back to herself.

I now have a 2 1/2 year old pointer that won't be spayed until next year if ever. I too think that early spay/neuter can cause these problems. Almost all dogs I know that have had problems were early spay/neuter i.e. before a year of age.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had a shorthair (spayed at 4 months) ACL injury at age 7.

I have a pointer (spayed at 4 months) ACL injury at 4 and 5 both knees are now done and she seems to being great and will hopefully be back to herself.

I now have a 2 1/2 year old pointer that won't be spayed until next year if ever. I too think that early spay/neuter can cause these problems. Almost all dogs I know that have had problems were early spay/neuter i.e. before a year of age.
I would never go back to any vet that had you spay or neuter a dog at 4 months.
 

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interesting topic. We spayed both of ours very early. Vets said it kept the cancer rates very low in their later years. Doesn't seem to have stifled drive or anything. I guess we will wait and see what happens.
The more I read on the topic seems to point in the pursue
opposite direction of your statement. Maybe I was reading stuff that swayed the readers to wait longer tho
Josh
 

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If you hunt around cow pastures, watch out for barbed wire. First hunt last year my DD was chasing down a crippled goose and got tagged by some barbed wire. She needed some stitches, worse part was the 2 week layoff she had to endure. She didn't like being left at home when I would go out and hunt.
 

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had 1 dog crip orchard neutered at 7 month? both knees went, later put down cancer in front leg by 7 year, so lost on both ends of that discussion
same guy found a porky never stopped hunting. granted was not real bad about 7 quills in the mouth . just pulled em. same guy had lots of ear cuts. always had crazy glue with me after the 1st panic.

had one dog run into the brush cutter, sliced open, recovered.

ty was hit by a chevy pickup. no damage to the truck :lol: he is just fine
also need to watch him as it is hot down here and he will run him self silly. have seen him get Dazed and had to force him to sit and cool down
 

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I had a shorthair (spayed at 4 months) ACL injury at age 7.

I have a pointer (spayed at 4 months) ACL injury at 4 and 5 both knees are now done and she seems to being great and will hopefully be back to herself.

I now have a 2 1/2 year old pointer that won't be spayed until next year if ever. I too think that early spay/neuter can cause these problems. Almost all dogs I know that have had problems were early spay/neuter i.e. before a year of age.
We had never had any instances of hip Dysplasia or ACL in any of our puppies since 2003, except for one time. Not known to us, the puppy buyer's vet had their female spayed at 4 months. Years later, she tore an ACL and the FULL REST recovery period almost killed her - she hated NOT running. When her other knee ACL tore the next year, the owner let me know after the fact that he had PUT HER TO SLEEP?!! He could not afford to do that to her again emotionally and physically or himself financially. I asked him when she was SPAYED ... and he got the vet records sent to him ... she was ONLY 4 months of age?! I would not stand behind the dog with our health warranty. That was not our fault as a breeder. Owners need to tell their vets that the dog's longterm health is more important than population control. I think that the EASIER surgery for the vet is also an EARLY SPAY/NEUTER factor. Having them fixed after 1 year of age, will still prevent the female cancers, (uterine and mammary cancer), but they will have a chance to grow their bone structure and internal organs the way that they were meant to be first! I see repeatedly that there is too much incontinence in the females that are spayed younger, as well.

Four months is way too young ...
 

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You run dogs long enough you will see many injuries. Every time you release them an injury or worse can happen. Only thing you can do is be smart by not putting your dog in danger and be prepared for the worst
I agree, the more years that you hunt dogs, the more apt you are to see freak accidents in the field. Small or large sticks, thorns and field grasses themselves will puncture through the nose, skin, etc causing thousands of dollars of damage. Many times this happens without you even knowing until months afterwards because of such a small entrance that does not bleed and will heal over quickly. Eventually the foreign objects may migrate to become an internal bacterial infection that may even cost your dog's life. I personally know of many dogs who lost their lives to agricultural infections from running in the fields, one of our top dogs included. MSU told us that it is more common than we realize. This is NOT preventable, but a risk that is out there for all hunting dogs who have the drive and LOVE TO RUN and HUNT HARD!
 

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Wet spring like this one watch out for wild rye and other barbed grass awns.
After having two dogs with nocardia infections I'm a bit wary about that stuff.
 

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I have experienced many injuries over the years. Lady(aka crazy lady, or momma)1 camper trailer gash from running, back to back bobwire gashes in north Dakota. Vet charged 50 for the first one 100 for the second one since my buddy was wearing a u of m shirt.the vet was a Spartan. Dozens of small gashes over the years with her.jack (aka jack on crack) 7 porcupines I would just grab the quills by the handfuls and then thoroughly check the mouth and throat if you miss any they can migrate deeper and cause future problems. 1rattle snake Hubbard lk he survived. Popped his hip out in north Dakota I put it back and he went right back to hunting like nothing happened.when it came to coons,cats,groundhogs,etc he didn't hesitate and by the time I got to him it would be over.I would be think the worst but he never had any bad injuries amazingly.the list goes on an on and on

Setter ran over by a pickup both tires
Gsp runs full speed comes up on a deep ditch hits the other side had to carry him outout.thought he was paralyzed he recovered. After all these years these animals amaze me .
 
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