by Mavis Metcalf, guest writer
I have 3 wonderful dogs that occupy a good deal of my time. Dakota is a Springer Spaniel cross, Chester is an Irish Setter and Lexi is a Great Pyrenees cross. Dakota is 7 years old and Chester & Lexi are both about 1 year old.
Chester & Lexi play together a lot and a few months earlier, I had noticed that Chester would sometimes pull Lexi around by grabbing her collar. I had heard about accidents happening & didnít think this was a great idea to allow, so I removed Lexiís collar except for when we went out.
This spring when I took the dogs to the vet for their heartworm testing and medication, I put her collar on, but forgot to remove it when we returned. Everything was fine for a few weeks, when we suddenly had a serious problem.
Lexi & Chester were playing when Chester started crying in pain. Because they were right beside me at the time, I was able to jump in immediately and found that Chester had Lexi by the collar and one of them had twisted. This forced the collar to be extremely tight around Lexiís neck and around Chesterís lower jaw. Lexi was silent, and I could see that she was being choked.
At first I tried to turn them back so the collar would loosen, but they were struggling and I was unable to do this. Then I tried to find the clasp on Lexiís collar to take it off, but again, with them struggling, I could not find it. I yelled for my daughter to come & help & between the two of us, we finally were able to get the collar off.
Luckily, Lexiís collar is one that you pinch to take off instead of a buckle that requires it to be tightened to remove. This whole incident probably lasted for less than two minutes, but it took a long time for my heart to return to normal.
If I hadnít been right there, I canít even begin to imagine the horror of finding them after it would have been too late. As it was, Lexi was gasping for breath & her eyes were slightly bloodshot. Chester had a sore jaw with a tiny bit of bleeding.
After mentioning this incident to several people, I was surprised at the number who either had a similar incident with their dogs Ė or had never heard of a problem like this before.
Similar incidents include the tags on the collar being caught on the slats of a deck or the wire in a crate or a heating/cooling vent or the collar being caught on a branch. These incidents can & do happen to just one dog, but 2 dogs playing together as mine were are just as common.
It is not uncommon for incidents such as this to cause the death of the dogs being strangled serious injury to the mouth or jaw of the other dog.
My dogs no longer wear collars and I have researched collars that will break away in these situations. KeepSafe Break-Away Collar will provide you with information about the much more common problem than most of us ever knew about.
You can see all three of my dogs at Mavisí Dogs
Mavis Metcalf is the editor for the Birds Site at Bella Online.