Dog injured by firecracker paves warning for pet owners

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- Veterinarians are urging a word of caution to people with pets after an English Bulldog was injured by a firecracker.

Nine-year-old "Red" was taken to the Animal Emergency Center of the Quad Cities early Sunday morning, July 1st.  The dog, unbeknownst to his family, had gotten out of the house as firecrackers were being lit in the backyard, according to a Facebook post from the emergency center.

"From my understanding the firecracker was thrown and he decided to chase it for whatever reason," explained Dr. Julie Klauer, the veterinarian who treated Red, "and as he reached it, it went off."

Dr. Klauer explained that Red had several injuries like cuts, burns and an injury to one of his legs that ultimately amputated one toe.  Despite his injuries, Dr. Klauer said he was recovering well.

"He was a perfect gentleman" said Dr. Klauer.  "He was really easy to work with, we’re really glad that he did well."

But the veterinarian said direct injuries from fireworks are less common than the other threats fireworks pose.

"We see a lot of dogs that are fearful of fireworks," she said, "and we see more dogs who escape from their enclosures or escape from their owners, or off their leashes and end up lost and are injured from that as opposed to being injured from the fireworks themselves."

For dogs that have anxiety from fireworks, Dr. Klauer recommends keeping dogs inside or getting them anxiety medication in advance to ease their stress.

According to the ASPCA, more dogs go missing during the Fourth of July than at any other time of the year.  The organization recommends having a current picture of your pet in case they get loose.  In addition, if your pet is micro-chipped, they recommend ensuring your contact information is up to date in the registry.