Tyrannosaurus Rex: An Adventure Story

Rex is an extremely overweight English bulldog that got neutered at my clinic last week, brought in for the surgery by his doting, somewhat paranoid mom who’s killing him with the kindness of way too much food on a regular basis. Here’s a stock photo of some fat English bulldogs, since I didn’t manage to get a picture of Rex himself:

Rex was a big ol’ doof and a very nice boy when I checked him in, letting me look at his teeth and grope his balls (and all the other fairly obnoxious things I do to dogs that are there for surgery) without any complaint or misbehavior. I liked him very much, and tried to reassure his mom as best I could when she worried about him going under anesthesia.

Well, he did have some problems under anesthesia; his heart rate dropped to between 60 and 70 bpm, which is not a good thing. It’s also not an earth-shattering occurrence or anything we couldn’t deal with, but, yeah, a little worrisome. We worked hard to keep him stable, and he pulled through just fine. The biggest problem it caused was an extra $50 or so on the tab for poor mom.

Anyway, we left Rex’s IV catheter in his arm until around pickup time juuuust in case we needed quick access again for any reason. And when a couple of my ladies went to remove the catheter right before Rex’s mom (and her actual human children) arrived to pick him up, he gave the first indication that “No more Mr. Nice Guy” was the order of the afternoon.

He growled and lunged at the gal that removed his catheter, which seemed a little odd from this nice goofball of a dog, but he had just been through surgery, and having an IV catheter messed with can be somewhat uncomfortable, so it wasn’t the biggest surprise in the world. But seriously? We had no idea how completely his attitude had changed since the morning.

His fat bulldog neck was a little too big for an e-collar, so the owner had, at my earlier request, brought a pair of boxer shorts to put on him to keep him from licking/chewing at his incision. This is not unusual for bigger dogs, but Rex was Not Having It. When my co-worker went to put the boxers on him, he made the most angry, vicious snarling sound you can imagine: genuinely scary. So I got him in a good restraining grip while she finished up the process.

It went just fine, though he continued to make truly awful sounds — easily translated to, “I’m going to fucking kill you all” — the entire time. I tried to soothe him, but that really only works on TV. So then the boxers process was finished, Rex had stopped growling, and my friend and I were both standing up and stepping away… and Rex just lost it.

You guys, I never thought a waddling, stubby-legged blob like that could move so fast. And despite the cruel intentions evinced by his snarling, I didn’t think he would. Not a silly, friendly, lazy chap like him. But evidently my holding him and murmuring would-be soothing phrases into his nearby ear while my co-worker put a pair of boxer shorts over his now-empty scrotum and rear end was the last straw.

He hit me at waist level, which is also pretty impressive for a shorty like him from a standing start. He barely broke skin, and let go almost immediately, but he got in a good crushing bite nonetheless.

One of the lady’s human kids screamed, and all of them started clamoring to know whether I was OK as I was hustled off to a sink (though, as I mentioned, skin was barely broken, there was no blood, and not a lot of scrubbing was required). The lady herself was so shaken up by the event that she left without much comment, but she did kindly inquire after me on the phone the next day.

I lucked the hell out on this. It is the purest of fat right there with very little to grab onto. If he’d gotten any part of an arm, especially (Poe forbid) a hand, I would have been screw-ED. As it was, it stung for a bit, then faded into just another bruise (albeit a very large one). I didn’t even need to see a doctor.

Eventually, despite how fascinating its progress, I forced myself to stop taking pictures of it. By now, five days later, it’s broken up into several smaller bruises and the six or so abrasive prints of individual teeth. I can still shock the hell out of people by flashing it, though :D

I don’t know whether or not to say this is a worse bite than the previous, which came from a significantly smaller dog and therefore was significantly smaller. That one left a lasting scar, however (on mah face!), whereas this one clearly isn’t going to. It’s a toss-up, I think.

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