Like many dogs, Belle the standard Poodle loves nothing more than playing catch with her pet parents. However, the 18-month-old pup’s favorite game almost killed her after she became impaled on a two-foot long steel pole that was attached to a camper van's scissor jack.
The event was every pet parent’s worst nightmare. Having thrown the ball for Belle, pet parent Bobby Broome was concerned when his beloved pet didn’t come back. After a quick search, he found her stuck beneath the camper van, panting heavily. Once Belle had been pulled free, the extent of her injuries started to become apparent; six inches of the steel rod was protruding from the pup’s side, though she had barely whimpered at all.
"At first glance, Belle looked fine. There was no blood. I couldn’t even tell she was hurt," Bobby's wife, Lori, remembered. However, as Bobby ran closer, cradling the poodle to his chest, Lori noticed the rod.
Following an emergency trip to the local veterinarian, the Broomes were advised to take their pet to the University of Pennsylvania's veterinary hospital. It was clear that Belle would need extensive surgery straight away. The trio made the hour-long trip immediately.
"We get quite a few trauma cases, but Belle's was quite unique. We were pretty certain we could save her, but it was hard to predict what we would find,” explains Penn veterinary surgeon Chloe Wormser. Despite the procedure costing almost $8,000, the Broomes didn't hesitate to save their pet. Using money they had saved up, Belle underwent surgery.
"She was very lucky," the surgeon remembers. While the rod had punctured a lung, it had missed Belle's aorta and diaphragm; there was virtually no internal bleeding. After the rod had been removed, Belle's wound was washed out, stitched up, and she was placed in intensive care.
Following just three days in hospital, Belle returned to her home in Delaware where she was well enough to accompany the family on a camping trip the following weekend. Her recovery has been remarkable. "Looking at her now, you wouldn't know Belle ever had surgery," said Lori.
We hope that Belle continues to enjoy playing catch, but is a little more cautious where she runs in future. We’re just glad you're okay!