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I got into a discussion with a guy this past week about the inherent dangers of running hunting dogs in this part of WI.  OK, it was an argument really. The guy is from the Twin Cities, which is relevant because they don't have wolves there. He was adamant that wolves are the biggest threat to domestic dogs in northern WI. Since I live here and hunt with dogs pretty much exclusively, I told him he was wrong. There are countless other things I worry about before I consider wolf encounters. The things I worry about are ticks, porkies, wells, a couple old mines near here, broken glass, and mostly barbed wire. And I am always reminded of this photo of my poor old Lab, Elsie when she had a run-in with a coil of old barbed wire. The cuts were ugly enough, but she battled an infection in the high, horizontal gash for months. Granted, if wolves do get hold of your dog, it's going to look much much worse, but in 35 years up here it hasn't happened yet - knock on wood.

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Coincidentally, just yesterday I was driving back out a 2-track after hunting a spot and came across a fawn tangled up in a barbed wire fence.  It wasn't there 2 hours earlier when I drove in.  Surpri

I got into a discussion with a guy this past week about the inherent dangers of running hunting dogs in this part of WI.  OK, it was an argument really. The guy is from the Twin Cities, which is relev

It isn't the well maintained fences that cause the biggest issues for me, dogs seem to learn about them quickly. It's the old coiled up discarded wire that gets them the worst. I haven't seen much at

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Dick Sellers

Coincidentally, just yesterday I was driving back out a 2-track after hunting a spot and came across a fawn tangled up in a barbed wire fence.  It wasn't there 2 hours earlier when I drove in.  Surprisingly, the fawn never moved a muscle as I carefully untangled it.  It had a few cuts, (thankfully nothing like your dog) but ran off without any difficulty.  Kind of made my day. 

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I’ve been there, I know what that dog felt like.

In my local hunting area, glass at old dump sites, open wells, and barbed wire. I have a couple areas that I hunted for woodcock and grouse that I no longer hunt due to abandoned dump sites. One was my best woodcock area.

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I can’t count the times my dogs have had cuts from barb wire.  Some I have been able to care for, others required the service of a vet to put the dog out to clean, suture or staple.

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Barb wire is a hazard for dogs, for sure! Although I've haven't seen a dog/barb wire mishap like your dog, I've seen plenty of cuts from it...fortunately none required the services of a vet.

 

I vividly remember a fire I was on in the 70's in AZ. We drove down this goat trail to an area we were assigned to patrol, mop up and shore up some line, if necessary. We passed through an ungated barb wire fence line and tangled in the fence a short distance from the ungated road was the burned carcasses of 3-4 jack rabbits and a couple of coyotes! Very evident what had happened!

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Ky setter man

I had my best dog get his front leg ripped on barb wire in the first 10 min out of the truck in ND 2 years ago. Wire was laying on ground and only attached to posts that were to far apart to hold up. He ran through and it finally tightened up and cut his front leg at the bend. Three hours and 250$ later he was wearing the cone of shame and was done for the trip. It was a nasty bad cut. Finally felt sorry for him and put some socks up over his bandages and taped top and bottom to keep from licking his wound. Got home 9 days later and he ripped it open again. Another 250 to get him stitched here at home . Finally bought kids long sleeve t shirts to put over his front legs. He sure looked stylish . Lol. Hate barb wire!!

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It isn't the well maintained fences that cause the biggest issues for me, dogs seem to learn about them quickly. It's the old coiled up discarded wire that gets them the worst. I haven't seen much at the front of the chest, it's been the back legs I have seen get it. That web at the top of the back leg can get torn very easily. No vest will protect that area. 

 

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Barb wire is the worst. I agree the most common injury that can leave some nastiness. Sure some things can be more deadly but thankfully they are few in between. 

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mister grouse

 Triangular flap cut seemed  to be what my setters typically suffered .  Learned from the vets that a shallow skin cut with almost no bleed that did not hit muscle could be  emergency fixed/maybe permanent  fixed  with a stapler and or super glue and a good wash of cleansing of betadyne.  Being careful to keep straight edges and hair out of wound.    I carried all that stuff and a flat cone in my travel first  kit for such work. Before Im put n the brute category, I am talking about cut where you are long way from a vet.

 

If the cut hit muscle or heavy bleed then it was straight to the vet,  no matter the distance .

 

We 've discussed this at length before , but vet bills can vary from ridiculously small to pretty darn high on the barbed wire cuts.  More often than not in my experience the barbed wire cuts occurred when a dog was hell for  Texas after a crippled bird in the air or on the ground.  A small piece of wire in front of them was not going to deter their retreiving enthusiasm.  

 

 

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I cant bring myself to using a staple gun on my dogs. Doesnt matter if vet does it or not i cant

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There are 3 things I watch out for while upland bird hunting with my dogs.

 

1, Barbed wire, because most of New England was once cleared for pasture and is marked with stone walls in the deepest of woods which are laced with rusted barbed wire.

 

2, Broken glass and sharp construction debris. Again much of New England was once farmland and there are a load of old abandoned homesteads (outstanding bird cover) with old dumps filled with glass, and also idiots dump their garbage and glass and construction debris down just about every side road and trail.

 

3, Abandoned uncovered dug wells. The previously mentioned abandoned homesteads are now empty granite rock foundations and there is always a dug well somewhere close by. I have encountered plenty and have found dead deer floating and Jake fell in one, but it was after heavy rain and it was filled and he scrambled out. I try and drag in a pallet or cover with logs if I can.

 

Porcupines and traffic can be added to that list by many bird hunters up here. But my dogs ignore Porcupines and as flushers are pretty much always within sight and under a modicum of control. The perfect “tool” for the often small but productive covers surrounded by roads…and avoided by most bird hunters due to the fear of a dog crossing and getting hit. 

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I just took out the stitches last week from our dog from barbed wire. I sew up three or more dogs a year between my neighbors and hunting partners. 

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Superglue works great on skin tears without muscle involvement. Always clean the wound well and don’t seal it completely, leave a small opening for it to drain on the inferior side.  I learned this the hard way on myself after glueing a skin tear on my hand.

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1 hour ago, TimJ said:

It isn't the well maintained fences that cause the biggest issues for me, dogs seem to learn about them quickly. It's the old coiled up discarded wire that gets them the worst. I haven't seen much at the front of the chest, it's been the back legs I have seen get it. That web at the top of the back leg can get torn very easily. No vest will protect that area. 

 

 

Yep. The lab pictured above jumped over a brush pile and landed smack dab in the middle of a rusty pile of old wire coiled loosely on the ground. She was in hot pursuit of a downed bird at that moment and just ripped herself out of the coil and made the retrieve. Never even whimpered. Tough old girl...

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