Pet owner’s ‘frightening’ warning after common mishap leaves dog fighting for life

A pet owner has issued an urgent warning after experiencing his worst nightmare when his dog Lenny was left fighting for his life after running into oncoming traffic.

Irish Terrier Lenny, four, managed to slip out of his collar on a busy Sydney road after spotting a cat and getting spooked. Darting in and out of traffic, his owner Jim did everything he could to catch the flighty pooch.

Lenny’s escape came to a halt when he ran into the side of a car and while initially, it was thought he was fine, the dog ended up on life support with cracked ribs and internal bleeding. Now, Jim is urging pet owners to make sure they have control of their dogs “at all times.”

Lenny now wears a harness when he goes for his walk after nearly losing his life. Source: Supplied

The day of the incident in August last year started like any other day – a morning walk around the block.

“We’d just been for our normal morning walk and we were almost home when he got spooked by a cat. “He managed to slip out of his collar and started to run backwards and forwards across the road to find the cat,” Jim told Yahoo News Australia.

“It was pretty frightening, he just wouldn’t come, he was determined to find the cat. We thought we had him and he came bolting out and ran into a car. “I hit the car.”

At first, Lenny seemed fine after the collision and was able to walk home. But when he got home and the dog was still panting and panicky, Jim took him to the local vet. To their shock, it was quickly discovered that Lenny’s lungs were full of blood.

He was rushed to a SASH Trauma Center in North Ryde where it was found Lenny had cracked ribs down his left side, he was badly bruised, his lungs were filled with blood and he was bleeding into his stomach. Lenny was put on life support in an attempt to save his life.

“I thought he might die,” said Jim. The pooch spent three days on life support where his life hung in the balance. Remarkably, he pulled through and after seven days in hospital, he was able to return home.

While Jim did not reveal the cost of Lenny’s treatment, he said it was an “expensive lesson” to learn – and now he doesn’t leave the house without Lenny in a secure harness.

Dr Iain Keir, Emergency and Critical Care Specialist at SASH North Ryde, urges anyone whose pet is involved in a car accident, to seek treatment as soon as possible.

“Lenny’s injuries didn’t seem that bad at first,” said Dr Keir. “The major issue was internal bleeding which became apparent within a few minutes of arrival.”

The team worked quickly to stabilize and treat Lenny and ultimately save his life. Dr Keir said that run-ins with cars are common, with the clinic seeing up to five patients a week like Lenny.

“It’s a fairly common occurrence,” he said. “It almost invariably happens when dogs are off leashes and near a pet’s home or their favorite park.”

Dr Keir urged anyone whose pet is involved in a car collision to seek vet help immediately.

“My strong recommendation for all pet owners if they are in this unfortunate position, is to seek vet care as quickly as possible to make sure those injuries aren’t life-threatening,” he said. “What we know with trauma, the sooner “we can instigate treatment for injuries the better the outcome.”

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