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Thread: Problems with first Hunt on Frozen Rice Fields

  1. #1
    Junior Member Don Davis's Avatar
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    Default Problems with first Hunt on Frozen Rice Fields

    My 1 year old Lab celebrated his birthday on a Duck Hunt in Stuttgart opening day weekend. Unusually cold weather caused the rice field to freeze hard over night and while the field was only 8-10" deep my young lab suffered severely bruised front legs that had swollen to 2-3 times normal size from the time we left the field to our return to camp. Also had blood in his urine. After a visit to the Vet (Dr. Henkel Edwards) on Sunday after hunting discovered that this can happen to dogs that take a pounding breaking ice. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this before? Dr. Edwards said he had scene it 20-30 times throughout his career. If anyone is ever in Stuttgart and needs help with your dog, he was awesome to see me on a Sunday.

    Other than his injury, over the two days he picked up 60 ducks and 2 geese. All blind retrieves. We where hunting in sled blinds that did not have a dog ramp so he had no visibility. What was amazing is that he was obviously in a lot of pain but continued to go on blind retrieves breaking ice each time and I had no idea how bad he was….. He was so lame I had to lift him in kAttachment 16251ennel to take him to the vet later that day.

    Anyone else ever had this happen? If so, did you think he will be more likely to have issues in the future? Dr. Edwards also said this is common in horses but can be more critical.
    Last edited by Don Davis; 12-02-2013 at 07:43 PM.

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    Junior Member axegothic3's Avatar
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    They sure do take a licking and keep on ticking!

    "start in loving a dog, and understanding it, bye and bye you'll know how to love all the world!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Davis View Post
    My 1 year old Lab celebrated his birthday on a Duck Hunt in Stuttgart opening day weekend. Unusually cold weather caused the rice field to freeze hard over night and while the field was only 8-10" deep my young lab suffered severely bruised front legs that had swollen to 2-3 times normal size from the time we left the field to our return to camp. Also had blood in his urine. After a visit to the Vet (Dr. Henkel Edwards) on Sunday after hunting discovered that this can happen to dogs that take a pounding breaking ice. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this before? Dr. Edwards said he had scene it 20-30 times throughout his career. If anyone is ever in Stuttgart and needs help with your dog, he was awesome to see me on a Sunday.

    Other than his injury, over the two days he picked up 60 ducks and 2 geese. All blind retrieves. We where hunting in sled blinds that did not have a dog ramp so he had no visibility. What was amazing is that he was obviously in a lot of pain but continued to go on blind retrieves breaking ice each time and I had no idea how bad he was….. He was so lame I had to lift him in kAttachment 16251ennel to take him to the vet later that day.

    Anyone else ever had this happen? If so, did you think he will be more likely to have issues in the future? Dr. Edwards also said this is common in horses but can be more critical.
    Love the posts and love the dog already. Guts my friend, that's what drives this dog, and pure desire, love it! You can't train for this, it was bred in him, breeding does matter.

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    Senior Member Raymond Little's Avatar
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    Nope, if they have to break ice they stay at home. It's not worth killing a dog to retrieve a couple ducks IMO. If you could go back would you hunt him again in those conditions??
    "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is watching"....J.C. Watts

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    Senior Member Raymond Little's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwater View Post
    Love the posts and love the dog already. Guts my friend, that's what drives this dog, and pure desire, love it! You can't train for this, it was bred in him, breeding does matter.
    Guts and desire are great but it falls on us as owners to use our gray matter when conditions are hazardous, right?
    "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is watching"....J.C. Watts

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    Junior Member Don Davis's Avatar
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    The whole event hasn't phased his desire to hunt. He is a Lean Mac line bread pup (I guess is the best way to describe him). FC Harley's Super Triven Mac x Cape Fears Hopefully Bodacious MH.

    Thanks for the reply and yes this dog has guts, drive, prey drive, whatever you want to call it….Still looking to see if anyone else has experienced a similar injury with their Lab.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Don Davis's Avatar
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    My point in my earlier post is that you could not tell that he had an injury during the hunt. No signs of lameness or swelling. Both appeared after the hunt during the trip back to camp. The water was not deep so no danger of drowning. No cuts, nothing to believe there was a problem until I let him out of the kennel at camp and he started limping then the swelling and blood in urine…. I was keeping a close eye on him for hypothermia and he was wearing a neoprene vest. I feel like I'm a very responsible owner and would not have expected this kind of problem. In the future his retrieves in ice will be limited.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Raymond Little's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Davis View Post
    The whole event hasn't phased his desire to hunt. He is a Lean Mac line bread pup (I guess is the best way to describe him). FC Harley's Super Triven Mac x Cape Fears Hopefully Bodacious MH.

    Thanks for the reply and yes this dog has guts, drive, prey drive, whatever you want to call it….Still looking to see if anyone else has experienced a similar injury with their Lab.
    Doubt you'll get many to admit to it on this site.
    It is no different than asking how long you can run blinds before your dog goes down from heat exhaustion. First trained dog eh?
    "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is watching"....J.C. Watts

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    Junior Member Don Davis's Avatar
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    Not first trained dog or rodeo. I'm going on my 6th now over the last 30 years. All hunting dogs except for one that did some FT and HT back in late 80's early 90's. I've hunted with them going back to 1986 with lots of stories and lessons learned. But this was something that I thought was worth posting after searching for any similar post and not finding anything. I would never be one accused of over working or taking risks with my dogs. Hoping to educate others so they don't run into the same problem in the future.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BJGatley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Davis View Post
    Not first trained dog or rodeo. I'm going on my 6th now over the last 30 years. All hunting dogs except for one that did some FT and HT back in late 80's early 90's. I've hunted with them going back to 1986 with lots of stories and lessons learned. But this was something that I thought was worth posting after searching for any similar post and not finding anything. I would never be one accused of over working or taking risks with my dogs. Hoping to educate others so they don't run into the same problem in the future.
    I don't doubt what you said for a minute....There are thresholds and it is up to us to be proud and then it is up to us to give thanks and we will do it again when the dog mends. Get strong and lets do it again. They rely on us sooooo much....It's up to us to say...Another day.
    Now by know you say "Do you have a dog in this fight" and my answer is yes. I knew when to stop and called it a day. Three or four days later, can't remember....scabs formed and very little scars...I did let her know in my way and hers that I was very pleased with her performance. I really believe she knew that.....

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