By Patrick Mahaney VMD | Pet360.com
In the days leading up to the royal baby, an incident involving a dog suspected to be Kate Middleton and Prince William's Cocker Spaniel, Lupo, almost stole the show.
Will and Kate's Dog Trouble
For some background on Lupo, he has roots with the Middletons, as the puppy of the family dog Ella. Additionally, he was integrated into William and Kate's home in January, 2012 and reportedly provided Kate with companionship while her husband's military responsibilities found him stationed overseas.
Read More: All About Cocker Spaniels
The recent scene of this high-profile canine emergency was Buckebury Manor, William and Kate's well-heeled property. Fire crews and an animal rescue unit responded the frantic 999 emergency call requesting help for a canine companion having reportedly gotten its head stuck in a gate.
Royal Dog's False Alarm
A Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman confirmed the request for assistance in stating, "We were called to an animal rescue. The special unit from Reading was despatched along with an appliance from the nearest station, Newbury." The spokesman also said "Our crew got to the manor but were told as they arrived at the gates that the dog, which had got its head stuck, had been freed just a few moments earlier so their services were not needed."
Although the incident has not been confirmed by the royal family, the dog in question is thought to be Lupo.
Evidently, while waiting to capture a prized photo of Kate departing Bucklebury Manor for the hospital, photographer Greg Blatchford heard a person shouting a name sounding like Lupo and firmly requesting the dog obey the command to heel. Blatchford states, "Soon after I heard a high-pitched scream which sounded like a dog in distress. I presume that was when they were pulling the poor animal out from between the bars of the gate."
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Why a Vet Should Still be Called for Lupo
If the incident involved Lupo and occurred as described by the photographer, I hope that Lupo was taken to the veterinarian (or one was called to Bucklebury Manor) for a physical examination. Whenever there is an incident of trauma, especially that which could potentially be as severe as a dog getting his head stuck in a gate, it's important that a veterinarian's eyes and hands get on the pet to evaluate the soft tissue and orthopedic structures for evidence of damage.
Many body systems may be mild to severely traumatized during a dog's attempt to escape or human's efforts to release the pooch from the gate's captivity, including:
The skin could incur abrasions (scrapes) or laceration (cuts) requiring hair clipping, thorough cleansing, topical or oral treatments, or even surgical repair.
Suspected or known damage to the eyes is always an emergency, as the cornea (clear outer covering of the eye) or globe (eyeball) may be penetrated and require diagnostic evaluation (eye pressure check, fluoroscein stain for ulcers, etc.) to determine the most appropriate treatment.
The ears are bilateral (on both right and left sides of the body) appendages offering obvious targets for trauma. The pinnna (ear flap) is commonly damaged during animal fights or other incidences and will bleed heavily from the blood vessels lining its edge. Additionally, if damaged, a pet will attempt to self-manage their injury by shaking the head or scratching the ears and likely worsen the issue.
The muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and discs that support each vertebra (backbone) are subject to damage in the struggle to escape from confinement, especially when the head is stuck between two fixed objects (like the vertical bars of a fence or gate).
It's great to hear that no major incidence of trauma to any pet, much less the royal pooch occurred on the grounds of Bucklebury Manor. After all, managing the stress surrounding the recovery process of a beloved pooch like Lupo would contribute additional and unnecessary anxiety around the event of one of the world's most highly followed births.
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