Northampton vet praised for saving life of dog that impaled itself on a stick

Keeper, an eleven year old Lurcher, was out walking with his owner Seamus O'Keefe when he stumbled onto a sharp stick and suffered a deep wound in his side, causing significant blood loss.
Keeper, an eleven year old Lurcher, was out walking with his owner Seamus O'Keefe when he stumbled onto a sharp stick and suffered a deep wound in his side, causing significant blood loss.

The owner of a dog that suffered a life-threatening wound after it impaled itself on a stick has paid tribute to the vet that saved his pet’s life.

Keeper, an eleven year old Lurcher, was out walking with his owner Seamus O’Keefe when he stumbled onto a sharp stick and suffered a deep wound in his side, causing significant blood loss.

Keeper, an eleven year old Lurcher, was out walking with his owner Seamus O'Keefe when he stumbled onto a sharp stick and suffered a deep wound in his side, causing significant blood loss.

Keeper, an eleven year old Lurcher, was out walking with his owner Seamus O'Keefe when he stumbled onto a sharp stick and suffered a deep wound in his side, causing significant blood loss.

Mr O’Keefe said: “I didn’t even see it happening. Keeper is such a fast dog and he’s always running ahead on our walks. I just heard a loud yelp and went running to him.

“I was horrified when I found him – he had a gaping hole in his side and he was bleeding badly.”

In a state of distress, Mr O’Keefe phoned Amy Bostock at Northampton-based Vets Now and was told to bring Keeper to the out of hours service in the town.

Ms Bostock said: “Originally when I took the call about Keeper I assumed the injury sounded worse than it would look – we get a lot of stick injuries of this kind in the area.

Keeper, an eleven year old Lurcher, was out walking with his owner Seamus O'Keefe when he stumbled onto a sharp stick and suffered a deep wound in his side, causing significant blood loss.

Keeper, an eleven year old Lurcher, was out walking with his owner Seamus O'Keefe when he stumbled onto a sharp stick and suffered a deep wound in his side, causing significant blood loss.

“However when I examined him it was clear that this had been particularly traumatic. Whatever had impaled him had gone through the flank and into the thigh missing the femoral artery by a millimetre. He was terrifyingly close to losing his leg, or even dying from blood loss.”

Keeper was given pain relief immediately upon arrival – but the hole in his side was too big to simply just close up.

Ms Bostock said: “Once I was able to control the damage I knew that it would be it a lot less traumatic for both Keeper and his owner if I could repair the wound right there in the clinic.”

The emergency surgery was a success and after an overnight stay at the Northampton clinic where he was tended to by Vets Now nurse Sarah Rance, Keeper was ready to return home.

Keeper, an eleven year old Lurcher, was out walking with his owner Seamus O'Keefe when he stumbled onto a sharp stick and suffered a deep wound in his side, causing significant blood loss.

Keeper, an eleven year old Lurcher, was out walking with his owner Seamus O'Keefe when he stumbled onto a sharp stick and suffered a deep wound in his side, causing significant blood loss.

Mr O’Keefe said: “That night was one of the hardest nights of my life. It was the first time I’d been separated from Keeper since he was a pup – he’s my family, we do everything together.”

Keeper has made a quick recovery and Seamus has had to restrain the lurcher’s buoyancy in order to make sure the healing process isn’t disrupted.

He said: “It’s ridiculous – he was impaled on a stick and five days later I have to stop him jumping on the sofa. I honestly thought I had lost him that night – I’m so glad to still have him.

“Vets Now saved Keeper’s life that night, there’s no doubt about it. Words can’t describe how grateful I am.”