View Full Version : Barkleigh's Hideous Accident!

26th December 2006, 07:50 PM
Barkleigh (5 months) was climbing up the back stairs on Wednesday, December 20 at 8:00 in the evening and getting ready to snuggle in front of the television. when he turned around to make certain his dad was next to him. His slipped off the step near the top of the open stairs. There is a gap between these stairs and the wall and he started to fall. He clawed the wall but slipped and then got hung up on a nasty nail that was sticking out! It punctured his side, but he kept falling (about 8 feet) and the nail ripped a Y-shaped cut. He started screeching and Phil check to see if anything was broken. There was a very large opening in the area where the groin meets the leg. He had lost a tooth about an earlier (which may have been why he was unsteady) and must have hit his face too as that was gushying blood as well.

I called the vet and then the pager. After 10 minutes witing for a call back, I called the owner of the clinic, an old friend. He only does orthopedic work now, but I asked if he'd come in for us. I wasn't sure there was not a break. In fact, there wasn't. It was all a deep cut in the skin layers and missed muscle and organs, but just.

He had emergency surgery to close up the would and a drain to help it heal because it was very deep. He spent the night and we got him in the morning. We were heartbroken and have been nursing him through the holiday.

He hates his head cone and we had to change to a larger size. It must hurt to poop because he's not fond of doing that. He does like my homemade chicken soup, which I had to feed through a syringe for a few days and handfeed the chicken meat--dark bits only!

He can't walk up or down the stairs so he has been carried and getting very spoiled.

It was a very down Christmas because he did not even want to pull ribbons or tear at paper or get into "monster mode."

I had getting insurance on my To Do list....dumb me! It would have paid off this time!

matties mum
26th December 2006, 07:59 PM
Oh so sorry please give him a gentle hug from me and the gang hope he will soon get back to nomal thinking of you and your O/H must get insurace soon ----Aileen

26th December 2006, 08:17 PM
Hope he feels good real soon.

26th December 2006, 08:21 PM
Oh!! I am so sorry! The poor little love :( Be sure to keep us posted about how he does. That must have been so scary!!

26th December 2006, 08:30 PM
oh no - poor Barkleigh.

Hope he will be feeling much better soon - and I guess the first thing you will do tomorrow is sort out some insurance.

May be worth mentioning that it's best not to let puppies run up and down stairs until they are about 6 months anyway...it's not good for their developing joints.

26th December 2006, 08:46 PM
i'm so sorry! what a nightmare. i hope he will heal really fast, you got speedy care for him. he should be fine soon and next christmas he can make up for it in full monster mode. it was painful to read your story, what a terrible ordeal. good luck with the healing process, for barkleigh and you.

26th December 2006, 08:58 PM
Oh poor baby, he must have been terrified and in such pain! But so fortunate that he didnt break anything on such a long fall. Hope hes feeling lots better soon!

26th December 2006, 09:15 PM
How scary; glad he's OK but it must have been very stressful.

I know Bruce and many others who are seasoned pros with puppies around all the time :) recommend putting something along stair railings and between risers if they are open too, so that there aren't any dangerous open spaces they can fall through -- you are truly very lucky he survived that fall as it could have killed an adult dog much less a puppy (my friend's adult westie died from a 4-5 foot fall). :shock: Most hardware stores will carry mesh or wire that can be run along a stairs and secured with ties/wire etc so it wouldn't need to be hammered in. Bruce might have some suggestions to get this fixed so that it cannot happen again as he is very good on home projects :). Keep in mind as Barkleigh grows he will have hair between his pads and their feet are always very slippery on stairs or hard floors as well so if the space is wide enough for an adult dog, maybe that is something you'll want to get redesigned permanently. :thmbsup:

Cathy Moon
26th December 2006, 09:50 PM
Poor Barkleigh! Glad he survived the fall and will be ok. :hug:

I would definitely make the stairway off limits with baby gates until they can be made safe for pets. :flwr:

26th December 2006, 11:19 PM
Oh my goodness, you must have been so frightened, I was in tears when Dylan got his ear caught on a rose bush this week. I can't imagine how upset and in shock you must have been.

I think the chicken soup will build him up and you make as much fuss of him as you can. Poor little fella.

My stairs are open too, not the steps but the banisters don't have the verticle rods. There are two baby gates between the stairs and the rooms he is allowd in. I also put plant pots down the sides of the garden steps from the back door as the first time I tried to teach him to use the steps, he had an urge to jump from the top.

Big kisses to Barkleigh. XXXXXX

26th December 2006, 11:52 PM
How horrible! I hope you're both feeling better..

One possibility: if you have a fold flat pen or crate of any kind that is wide enough to go across the bottom of the stairs- use it. I find it very effective as a means of keeping Amber off the stairs, and now even on the rare times the 'gate' isn't up, she rarely tries to get up them. Having said that, it's purely a temporary solution- if your stairs are likely to be dangerous always I'd do as Karlin says and get some kind of permanent solution set up...

Good luck to both of you in the recovery!

Cathy T
27th December 2006, 12:44 AM
Oh ouch....that had me cringing just reading it. Poor baby. So glad he didn't break anything. Hugs and kisses little guy.

27th December 2006, 12:58 AM
Give him a hug from Maddy too.

Bruce H
27th December 2006, 02:03 AM
Oh that poor boy! That really gave me the chills thinking about him. Glad he seems to be doing OK, I'm sure he will forget all about it after a while.

Karlin is right, I do advocate closing up any openings in stairs, railings, etc., especially for the puppies.

For the open risers (the space between the treads, the part you walk on), it's usually pretty easy to add a temporary board to the back side to close it off. Just get the right width, cut the board to length, and screw or nail it to the back of each tread so it closes the opening. With newer stairs that meet current codes, the board can usually be removed once the dog is full grown because the dog will usually be too big to fit between the treads.

For the stair sides, there are lots more variables to deal with, but the idea is to come up with a design that has a space no larger than about 2" to 1 1/2". Could be something as crude as chicken wire or something very fancy that's custom made and intended to be permanent. Also look at the material you use on the treads; should be something that's non-slip. Rubber treads are the most slip resistant, although carpet is also pretty good; just keep in mind carpet can be quite slippery for humans with shoes with the wrong kind of soles.

Don't forget about the railings around decks, either. I can tell you from personal experience that a 3 month old puppy will walk right through a 4" wide space that meets code for people. We used to temporarily staple chicken wire over the balusters, but I finally got tired of looking at it and changed the design to something permanent.

I would suggest everyone look at their stairs and railings and decide if there is anywhere your dog could fall through and figure out a solution to it.

Cathy Moon
27th December 2006, 03:00 AM
We're sending hugs your way :hug: :hug: :hug:
Soooo sorry you had to go through that. I feel shaken up just reading your post. :hug:

27th December 2006, 03:09 AM
hugs ... :hug: Hope he is all better soon ...

27th December 2006, 03:41 AM
That had to be horrible. I am so sorry you and poor little Barkleigh had to go through this. I hope he will be better very soon :hug:

27th December 2006, 09:41 AM
How is Barkleigh today? :flwr:

27th December 2006, 09:52 AM
woah that's horrible!!!! Poor little man, hope you're all doing ok!!

27th December 2006, 10:18 AM
:shock: :( omg poor Barkleigh! and poor you! im so sorry that you had 2 go through all that pain! and on xmas!...sounds absolutely horrible! just reading your post made me get all trembly....hope he gets better very soon! :hug: :flwr:

27th December 2006, 11:07 AM
OMG :yikes Poor little {{{{{{{{Barkleigh}}}}}}}} hope he soon recovers :hug:

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease block off those stairs now!

Barbara Nixon
27th December 2006, 01:02 PM
Thank goodness he's ok. It must have been very frightening for all of you. You were very lucky though, because , last year, a Yorkshire terrier had the same accident over here, but he died as a result.

It's not just animals who haev accidents on open stairs. The school where i used to work, had an open staircase in the foyer and a colleague caught her shoe heel on the back edge of a step and fell sideways through the gap under the banister. I can't remmeber how she was injured, as it's a few years back, but she could have been really badly hurt if the minimal amount of wrought iron decoration hadn't prevented her from falling about 12 feet. (the satirs now have perspex infills)

27th December 2006, 01:32 PM
Ohhhh, you must have been so worried!!!!

We send all you a hug. We hope Barkleigh get better soon!!!! :hug:

27th December 2006, 03:06 PM
So helpful to have the kind words. Barkleigh is MUCH better on day 6 and 7. He had the drain out yesterday and that was a big help. I have the cone off because he licks the wound but does not pull the stitches--yet. I supervise carefully.

ALL our stairs are open risers and we have huge decks, but they are well protected. I knew this stairway was a problem and had a baby gate up and he never went up or down unsupervised--that's why my husband was walking him up. In fact, he has a fear of going down it, which we have encouraged because it leads to the swimming pool and cat litter area!

The interesting thing is the offending nail disappeared and nobody here removed it. I guess the Cav angel did.

I think he would have fared better of a leash.

I am trying to figure out what we learned. I guess one should always get detailed emergency instructions from the vet about calls and hours.

I think Barkleigh will be 100%, but I'll be much more vigilant!

Cathy T
28th December 2006, 01:46 AM
So glad he's coming along!

28th December 2006, 12:32 PM
Poor little thing! Glad he's doing better! I can imagine how schocked you were!
Just reading your post already feels like a punch in the stomach! :hug:

29th December 2006, 03:35 AM
yay! so glad he's fine!