So here I am, one fine morning in Nai Harn, Phuket (Thailand), getting ready to go for a morning run with Elisabetta, when Scooby, a cocker spaniel from a few houses down the road, comes around and starts picking a fight with our friends’ Thai ridgeback, Caligola.
Caligola is a pretty big dog, but extremely friendly both towards humans and other dogs.
Scooby is a different story.
In any case, they’re at it tooth and nail and I’m starting to fear for Scooby’s health. Caligola is more than twice his size and much stronger and more agile. So, stupid me, I decide to intervene and try to pull Caligola off of Scooby (figuring Caligola is less likely to bite me). Dumb, dumb, dumb. Rule one of fighting dogs: don’t try to get between them unless you really know what you are doing. As soon as I took hold of Caligola, Scooby reached underneath Caligola and sank his teeth into my left shin. I managed to pry him loose and as other people stepped in to help, the dogs were finally separated.
Unfortunately for me, the damage was already done. One of Scooby’s canines had gone in all the way (about an inch) until it hit the bone. His other teeth left superficial scratches on my calf.
We immediately cleaned the wounds with peroxide and betadine, put on a provisional bandage, and went straight to the hospital. The surgeon there was impressed with the depth of the wound. After administering local anaesthetics, he opened up the wound and cleaned it out with saline solution and Betadine. Had I been in Holland, I’d have probably received stitches straight away and been told to come back a few days later to check for infection. However, in a climate such as Thailand, and me being a Farang, chances of infection are extremely high. So, doctors here generally don’t stitch up a wound immediately, but leave it open, cover it with gauze soaked in Betadine and bandage it, to be cleaned and changed daily until they are sure there is no sign of infection.
On top of that, I received tetanus and rabies shots and a bag full of antibiotics to be taken daily (and some painkillers, thankfully).
So, valuable lesson learned and pretty much the end of the holiday for me…