Helping Out A Deer Friend

As soon as I walked into the door it started. Penn, a Cavalier in heart failure who was gasping for breath had just walked in. The husky, Ruby, had been in a fight with her older sister Zoey, a bigger husky, had a triangle of skin about an inch and a half on each side hanging open under her eyes but still attached at the base of the triangle. In addition, there was the usual Monday morning , sick dogs, vomiting dogs, dogs with wounds, and an old cat with ADR (ain’t doing right) diagnosis, and needed an extensive workup. Besides all of this I had a full day of appointments booked.

All of this was handled. Penn, the cavalier in heart failure was put in an oxygen chamber and given medication. Ruby was cleaned and prepared for surgery to be done after morning appointments, and the other pets were triaged, evaluated, and tests and treatments started.

I then got a phone call about a deer whose antlers were stuck in very heavy duty mesh fence. The deer was thrashing and presented a danger to itself as well as the volunteers at the Vista Fire Department.

They reached out to me for help and of course I responded. I stabilized my patients and rearranged my appointments, and was able to help our deer friend. When I arrived, I approached the deer who had twisted and thrashed until the mesh was like a thick rope around his antlers.The mesh had also cover part of his face and was even stuck in his mouth.

When I approached, he jumped in the air and kicked with his feet and scared me a little. But as soon as I was able to get close enough to him with a stick that I had brought, at the end of the stick there was a tranquilizer injection. I gave him one injection which helped but he needed two more.

Eventually he relaxed and we cut the mesh away from his face. Then he jumped in the air and tripped and lay on his side. Once on his side, I was able to control his movements by holding his antlers on the ground. With the help of one of the vista fire fighters we were able to cut the mesh off his antlers and free him.

After he was free he jumped to his feet and although a little wobbly at first, walked away from the fence. My job there was done. Smiling, I went back to my office at South Salem Animal Hospital, where my other patients were waiting for me. It felt really good being able to help a deer in need.

Dr. Jeffrey Hubsher

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