A wet soggy tennis ball dropped at my feet. A smiley grin and furiously wagging tail invited me to toss the ball for a game of fetch. Nothing too unusual except that Marbuk the Labrador had fallen off a ute a few minutes before and had broken his back leg. His owner had carried him whilst Marbuk still clutched his tennis ball. I was surprised by Marbuk's total denial for the pain he must be in but I guess he was being optimistic and looking on the bright side.
When I touched his leg I could feel the sickening crunch of bone on bone but Marbuk kept wagging his tail and pointing at the ball confused as to why I was ignoring it. His tibia was shattered. Marbukís leg was badly injured. It was necessary to put a metal plate in Marbukís leg to fix it. Marbuk was lucky his injuries, whilst serious and expensive, were fixable.
Falling from the back of utes or out of car windows is one of the most common causes of serious injuries to dogs.
Each year in Australia more than 5000 dogs are injured or killed by falling from moving vehicles. People often get complacent about restraining their dogs when driving. Many dogs travel unrestrained all the time but they only need to slip or lose balance once.
It is important to use a restraint of the proper length. It should not allow the dog to hang over the edge. I have also seen the consequences of dogs dragged along behind cars by their chain that was too long and dogs that have hung them selves by jumping off and going over the edge but not reaching the ground.
It is quick and easy to properly restrain your dog and can save its life by doing so. If you need more incentive to restrain your dog whilst moving, it is illegal not to do so and you can receive a fine if you donít.