Posted by Holly Jarrett 06/16/15
The debate rages on. Are Pitbulls a danger to the public, or no more so than any other breed? Should they be illegal to own? Have they earned their bad reputation?
We have all heard the horror stories.
We have heard the other side of the argument as well. Heartwarming accounts of loyal loving pets.
My years working as a veterinary technician afforded me the opportunity to experience a wide variety of dog breeds, particularly under stressful situations when the true personality shows itself.
In the brevity of this blog, I will not try to argue either side. Instead, I will share two experiences that are forever inscribed in my memory. Ironically, they fall into each side of the discussion.
Three times per day I would lavage open wounds with a syringe filled with a Betadine solution. The wounds covered most of Joey’s long dachshund back and much of his sides. Some of these wounds were round and bore the telltale signs of an injury secondary to a bite. Others were attributable to the original attack, but were results of necrosis of the dying tissue. Joey tolerated this painful process in his stoic fashion. I have no doubt he knew the treatments were for his own good.
Joey was attacked in the parking lot of a pet store, while being held in his owner’s arms. The aggressor was a pitbull, who seized him from the woman’s grasp.
We hear of events as these and begin to form an opinion.
Cisco was a brindle solidly built male pitbull. He presented to the clinic with respiratory distress after surviving a house fire. His coat was singed and smelled strongly of smoke. And although he was ambulatory and alert, the heat of the fire had damaged his airways and lungs. Several times per day we would go in the dog run with Cisco and perform a procedure called coupage. This entailed hitting him on the sides of his chest in an effort to break up the chest congestion. Cisco endured this beating against his sides without complaint. He never gave an indication that he might respond in an aggressive fashion.
I experience a dog like this and it too shapes my opinion.
So, just throwing these opposing experiences out there. Common sense would say that a breed built to fight requires careful handling and adequate socialization. Like several other breeds, pitbulls might not be the best choice for certain types of people.
And finally, ask anyone who has worked in a veterinary clinic what is the most likely dog breed to bite under pressure. Sorry Marley, a large number of us will vote for the beloved Cocker Spaniel!
Lil’ Buddies is a pet sitting and dog walking company located in Matthews, NC and services Matthews, Southeast Charlotte, including the Arboretum, Cotswold and Southpark areas. Call Holly today at (704) 779-7256 to schedule a free consultation.