October 14, 2011
The head was completely gone…

Just when I thought that I had seen it all, I was totally dumb-struck.

A few weeks ago, I was called out urgently on a house call at 5:00 a.m. It was a woman’s voice, and she sounded frantic. “Doc, could you please come to my house now?” I asked her to slow down a bit and explain what the problem was.{{more}} I could hardly understand what she was saying due to the hysteria in her voice. She finally asked me to speak to her husband.

He calmly asked me to come over urgently, as one of his dogs was tangled up in the chain of another and had killed the other.

I quickly collected my emergency kit and was at the house in 20 minutes. As happens more often than not in horror movies, as soon as I arrived, as if to add some drama to the scene, it started raining, quite heavily. I dashed out of the vehicle and followed the owner, who appeared to be in shock, to the back of the house.

I really was not prepared for what I saw.

Sitting calmly on the concrete surface was a Pit Bull, diligently eating another dog. The head was completely gone, and he was chomping on what remained of the neck. He cast a sideway glance at me without interrupting his meal, as if to ask: “Who the hell are you? And why are you interrupting my breakfast?”

All around him was tons of bread, cheese and other food items. I instinctively knew that the owners had been trying in vane to distract him, hoping that he would eat the delicacies strewn around him. He obviously showed absolutely no interest in what they were offering; preferring his rare doggy steak.

On further examination of the case before me, I noticed that the two toes on the front paw of the Pit bull were effectively caught in the choke collar of another dog about the same size of the Pit bull. Apparently, peeved at having his toes caught in the chain, the Pit Bull retaliated and killed his yard-mate.

What actually incited the Pit bull to eat off the head may never be fully understood.

I have seen lots of cases where dogs kill each other in dog fights. I have seen dogs mangled to a state where the victim is hardly recognizable. But never have I seen such a gruesome sight.

Now back to reality. I had a job to do. I had to untangle the chain from the toes of the Pit Bull.

I got out some general anesthetic and calmly held the free foreleg to find the vein to insert the needle. The owner assured me that the animal was by nature a gentle dog. In all of my manipulations with the foreleg, the Pit bull was so intent on finishing his meal, that he paid me no mind whatsoever. Before he realized what was happening, he was sound asleep. I cut the choke chain with the wire cutter that I brought, and freed the trapped toes in a few moments.

The question on my mind was, why did he eat his mate? Could he have been smart enough to try to free himself by eating off the head to get off the choke chain? Or was he eyeing his mate over the last few years, and plotting a way to eat him. Was there an ensuing fight, during which his toes got caught and he was just defending himself? Then the taste of blood was so overwhelming that he could not resist an early morning meal?

For further information, contact: Dr. Collin Boyle Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd. Tel: 456 4981