2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Castle Rock, CO & Boulder City, NV
Join Date: Aug 2007
Boondocking Veterinarian Services
The wife and I are painting today... and while the primer dries I find the time to offer insights that have not been on the Forum, yet.
We travel the west with our two Blue Heelers. In the Castle Rock area we can find a vet, 24 hours a day for emergencies. These emergencies are never planned. The day of the week matters little, until you have an emergency. I have had a few times we were in need of the services of a vet while Rockdocking back country. We always carry a record of our local vet services in the trailer when on the road.
(1) County Sheriff's Department- Forest Service employees
West of Colorado Springs about fifty miles, camped, our Heelers were doing more than the normal sniffing around the base of some willows. As they came towards us, they seemed to have grown some "beards". Our and their first encounter with a young Porcupine, hiding in a willow grove. Neither Heeler seemed too annoyed with the two inch quills, until I began using a western Montana technique... use a wide edged pliers. Not the clumsy adjustable kind, the more "medical tool", in this case, pliers to grip and hold thin sheet metal and wire... for delicate use. The more easy going Heeler was lifted onto a table, the wife and a friend of ours held him steady and I began to catch two or three quills at a pull. Be careful as these quills are still sharper than a fine needle, as I found immediately after removing quills from the blood/saliva/quill on my pliers. Much like plucking a duck of its feathers. There was some resistance at first, blood and saliva was tossed on us, and it took five minutes to remove twenty to twenty five quills. The other Heeler was being held secure and after half the quills were pulled, he wanted nothing to do with this. He began to display his displeasure. It attracted much attention among campers and a crowd gathered. A county sheriff's deputy was driving through and the excited crowd drew his attention... "porcupine" he asked? Yep... It was a Sunday, a holiday three day camping out with friends at an established Forest Service campground. We needed a vet. The deputy sheriff KNEW who to call, an appointment made and problem solved. (See a three year old blog on the Quill Brothers in Boondocking for photographs.)
(2) Reserve, New Mexico Grocery Store
The Heeler that I could pull the porcupine quills from his nose was not the best log jumper in the forest. Not clearing a downed log, he was able to put a four to five inch tear through his hide. It did not bleed that much, but when I was petting him, I found blood on my hand and quickly found the hide torn on his chest towards his belly, between his front legs. I would have tried to stitch him up with dental floss, but the wife's expression of horror of the thought, convinced me to try other options. Into town we headed, the Heeler wearing one of my tee shirts, we left our remote camp site. No veterinarians in Reserve. First stop, the Grocery Store to inquire and to our surprise... a mobile vet service. And lucky for us a veterinarian from Socorro, New Mexico comes into town for one day a month, parks his mobile van equipped with everything at the parking lot across from the grocery store. It was a first to sign up, first to be taken care of service. That morning we left our camp site early, arrived to find the van just setting up. Pickups had already arrived with ailing small animals (mostly dogs) and signing up on the roster. I do not recall what day of the month this mobile service came to Reserve, but the location was the same parking lot across from the grocery store and one scheduled day a month. The mobile service was from an office called The Arc and is located just west of Socorro as you leave town. The vet had a schedule posted in the window of the grocery store of the mobile service's next day to be available. The service was very reasonable and we were thankful for the excellent vet and assistant's attention to our situation.
(3) Common dog disorders
For some reason, dogs like to lap up water in stale water puddles and can get some in their eye, causing an eye infection. We were "lucky" to have been introduced to this eye infection in the past and always keep some of the antibiotic eye drops subscribed in the trailer. We used it once since our first encounter, but I am sure there are other emergency materials other pet owners can suggest keeping on hand.
(4) The remarkable, indispensable TWEEZERS
Always carry tweezers with you while hiking. Sharp grass seeds, prickly pear cactus quills, cholla quills (very nasty) goat heads and other pointy sharp objects that stick into your dog's paw. Our Heelers will come to us now, stop and hold up the paw needing... work. Those of you in the Southwest know what goat heads are... If you try to remove one with your bare, or gloved hand, you will need tweezers to pull it out of your own... paw.
To finish. Ticks, great tweezer cure for pets, kids and adults. Tape worms, or segments of are barfed from the front end of your dog. Usually a sign of him eating rabbit gut. Ring worms from the other end. Easily taken care of by a vet, although a shock to see a three inch section of a tape worm among previously ingested grass, that is I guess, an attempt to remove a stomach parasite... Well, I hope this helps and the primer is dry and time to get back to work. And the "always check the poop for anything that does not belong" check up. Only a dog owner can appreciate this. Works for humans as well. Happy camping 2012! Just cannot wait...