Dogs and campfires Canada

Recently, we learnt a very big lesson about owning a dog and deciding to take the dog camping. We love camping, in fact, I think the whole of Canada goes camping in summer and spring. It is a huge thing here. I am not complaining at all because I love it and I love eating marshmallows on the fire too.

We have a little gorgeous dog, Ananda, a small beautiful Yorkshire and while we went camping we let the dogs roam around however had them tied to a tree with an extended cord so they could enjoy their time. Bigger dogs would not be as much of a danger however the smaller dogs are lower to the ground. This particular campsite had these rusty small couldron type things that you put your wood in and light for the fire. You don’t think much of it. The dogs could feel it was hot so wouldn’t get too close. What we didn’t really take into consideration is that as dogs walk around, their eye level is at a much lower level to the ground than ours, so the ash from the fire as it bursts can be closer to a dogs eye, than a human eye. A piece of ash or burnt substance popped up and landed in her left eye. At first she whimpered a little and we thought maybe the heat just scared her but then we saw a white film over her cornea and we straight away went hunting for a vet.

The vet was close enough and she removed the white film from the eye and started her on antibiotics. The substance that they put on, turns a really bright green if there is deeper damage to the cornea. At first it was a murky green but when we left and went back to pack up, it got brighter. It was time to take her to an eye specialist. We quickly discovered that in all of Quebec there are only three dog eye specialists. If anyone out there wants to study something, great opportunity to go into this field as you will be well off in no time due to demand.

The lovely Dr Elise Perierre saw us that same afternoon and she was fantastic. A really great Dr and a great practice. They have all these thank you cards on the wall with wonderful praise because they are so compassionate and lovely with their patients. They decided to treat the eye aggressively in the next 24 hours so that we could try and recover her vision. Three different drops every two hours and pain tablets. Thank goodness for pet insurance. On that note, pet insurance costs double in Canada, than what it does in Sydney Australia. You get 80% of the benefit back. It is still worth it but I just don’t understand why it costs double.

As good dog parents, we treated her with love and care and after 24 hours she was already making great progress. Her eye was bright green, and still is at times, but getting better. The specialist is expecting a full recovery and we are all happy for getting help immediately and going to see the specialist first thing. If we waited, the outcome would not have been the same. It’s been over a week, we have decided to keep the cone around her neck on to avoid her scratching the bottom part of the eyelid which was burnt and still healing. She hates wearing the cone but she got used to it. She is a good dog, rarely complained or whimpered and she is moving around with her cone head. At first, when the vet puts on the cone head, it looks fascinating and sometimes you just can’t help but giggle a little but it’s part of the process. I would laugh if i had to wear a cone around my head. I would look like a lion with my hair.

My advice to anyone with a dog. Carefully decide whether it’s best to bring the dog camping or not, and if you decide to take your pet, make sure you tie them freely to hang around the tent and away from the campfire. It is much safer. Its always important to know wherever you go, where a vet is close by and also a human hospital for any emergency. Being prepared is always better than trying to work it out at the time, with the stress of the emergency.

This is the couldron in the back that the fire is lit in.

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