March 01, 2016 - 9:00 PM
'HE GOT RAKED DOWN BOTH SIDES. YOU COULD SEE THE FOUR, DEEP CLAW MARKS'
VERNON - A 12-year-old dog, aptly named Lucky, is recovering after getting attacked by a bear in the Vernon area recently.
Dr. Suvi Frayn with the Vernon Vet Clinic treated Lucky after the attack, which occurred in the Tillicum Road area on Saturday, Feb. 20, and says she’s never seen anything like it.
“I’ve never seen a bear attack a dog. I’ve seen cougar, coyote, but never a bear,” Frayn says.
Lucky was bleeding fairly heavily when his owner brought him in and had multiple lacerations on his chest and abdomen.
“He got raked down both sides. You could see the four, deep claw marks,” Frayn says.
Despite the trauma, Lucky was in stable condition, and even wagging his tail. He went into surgery and received roughly 50 sutures.
“Another inch deeper and he’d have really been in trouble,” Frayn says of the worst laceration. “He’s lucky it didn’t puncture anything.”
Lucky has since been back for a checkup and is healing well with no sign of infection.
According to the owners, Lucky wasn’t off-leash on a walk when it happened either; he was at home and the bear came into the yard, Frayn says. She’s amazed Lucky made it through the bizarre encounter.
“I can’t believe he survived to be honest,” she says.
The Conservation Service was alerted to the incident and spoke with the owner, conservation officer Mike Richardson says.
“What happened there was a dog went down a ravine and disturbed the bear in his den. That’s what we think happened but it’s not 100 per cent confirmed,” Richardson says.
He adds bears seldom attack dogs, but might take a swipe at one if provoked. The Conservation Service is reminding pet owners to keep dogs from chasing or disturbing wildlife, especially bears in dens, if possible. In this particular case, Richardson says no action will be taken towards the bear.
“I’ve spoken with the complainant and advised her to keep her dogs away if possible from going down the ravine and disturbing the bear again. It (bear) has more than likely gone back to bed,” Richardson says.
This is the first bear complaint the Conservation Service has received so far this year, and Richardson notes it’s early to be getting calls.
“It’s usually the end of March, early April,” Richardson says. “This has been kind of a weird year as far as weather goes.”
Lucky's injuries before surgery.
Image Credit: Vernon Vet Clinic
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