Jack is home from the hospital. He’s very puffy and patchy looking because parts of his head, neck, and face had to be shaved to assess the damage from Bella snapping at his face. The initial worry was that she’d damaged his eye or broken his jaw, but neither happened. Then we were worried that he might have a concussion, but that wasn’t the case either. What did happen:

Because his face was sideways to her when she snapped at him, Bella gouged the corner of Jack’s mouth and gums, causing a lot of bleeding there and she broke his zygomatic arch (cheek bone) on the left side. She also put some small punctures into his neck and the top of his head. There may be complications down the road from the bone break and the gouging of his gums, but at this time, there’s no life-threatening damage and although his face is so swollen around his left eye, cheek, and nose that he looks more like a bull terrier than a lab, he’s doing pretty well. He’s in some pain and very tired but so long as we keep him isolated from Bella-the-bull-in-the-china-shop until the bone resets in 4-8 weeks, he should make a good recovery, have normal jaw movement and–once the swelling goes down–his own cute face again. Right now he looks like FrankenPuppy, but he has a good appetite, is biting at our fingers when he can get at them, enthusiastic about soft treats, giving “kisses,” and avoiding Bella.

Bella is still very upset. She’s whimpering and whining and desperately wants to see him, but at the moment, she can’t go near his crate or Jack, since he’s very delicate right now. She is obviously aware that something went wrong and she obviously continues to love Jack–so long as he doesn’t try to take her bone.

So for the next two months, we’re isolating the two dogs from each other. Bella is allowed to sniff him, but only when he is safe in his crate and we are holding her leash so she can’t paw at his crate. Eventually, we’ll re-evaluate the situation, but not until the bones have set and the vet says it’s OK to let them have more contact. We’ll talk to a surgeon if it appears the bone isn’t healing well or that it’s interfering with his jaw movement. There’s a possibility that he’ll develop arthritis in that side of his jaw at a much younger age than normal and he may have some problem with adult teeth being impacted when they grow in on that side. But it’s also possible none of this will happen. He’s a healthy, active puppy and very resilient. He’s also in a growth stage where bones are still actively growing and the vets think he’ll mend just fine as a result. He does look tragic, however, so no photos for a while.

We will no longer give treats that could be a source of contention–only treats that can be eaten in one go and we won’t be getting rid of either dog. Bella is clearly in love with Jack–she’s just too big, strong, and stupid for his safety right now–so they’ll have a chance to patch it up in the future, but she’ll have limited contact with him until he’s big enough to hold his own with her. Jack is nervous about her right now, but we think he’ll be ready to be her friend again when he’s not in pain and upset by her behavior. I think they’ll be fine, in the long run, but for the next couple of months, it’ll be slow-going.


About Kat Richardson

Writer, editor, eccentric pain in the tail, bestselling author of the Greywalker novels.
This entry was posted in Belladogga, daily dog, dog, Jack, Little Dude, PUPdate, Pupzilla. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to PUPdate

  1. Renee Maller says:

    So glad to hear you are keeping both dogs. I bet they become inseparable! Hugs and kisses to both.

  2. poor baby! I know how heart breaking it must have been. I agree that once Jack gets some size and age on him he will learn to respect Bella’s space with out her having to tell him.

  3. Miss Bliss says:

    Awww…totally hard for both dogs and both doggy parents. Good on you and Mr. Kat for being loving and kind and reasonable and smart about the whole situation. The dogs will get it figured out with your kind guidance and training and love.

  4. Aimee says:

    I am so happy to hear that Jack will be okay. My Benny is dog aggressive and despite repeated training sessions, still doesn’t like other dogs. He’s generally okay with cats, birds, etc. but he once went after a cat of mine that he had known for many years and never had a problem with. I don’t know what triggered it but the cat was not the winner.

  5. Vickie says:

    It sucks that the Kat family is going through this drama. Sending positive and healing wishes to all involved.

  6. Chrissie says:

    Good luck to Jack!

  7. Jack did give Bella a lick on the nose this evening when we let her sniff his face. He’s plainly not holding a grudge. But he’s so swollen that he snores and sounds like he’s growling, which confused her a bit, and he smells like medication and hospital. Yuck. On the other hand, he ate like a mad thing when we gave him some food to buffer his meds and hasn’t barfed it back up in spite of the speed with which he gobbled it down.

  8. redharparts says:

    Sorry to hear about all the drama but glad that it seems to be able to be sorted out. Sociability and eating well are good signs!

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