On the weekend my neighbour was entertaining in the back yard when a raccoon came under the gate and found itself face to face with the family dog. The racoon and dog started to fight (it sounded really nasty too) until several guests broke it up and the raccoon was chased away. The dog was taken to the vet where my neighbour was told she could 'put him down or quarantine him'. (They were told -two weeks completely for people and pets, but ultimately 4 months before they are 'out of the woods')
First, if that was my dog, I would not return to a vet that would even suggest putting my dog down just because of some raccoon scratches.
But here's the second difference. I believe in vaccinations. And last year after telling my vet about the frequency of raccoons in our neighbourhood and yards, I was advised to add the Leptospira Vaccine to Eco's cocktail. This is a pretty nasty condition and I've heard dogs dying from a raccoon bite sometimes within a couple of days. I did not want to take the chance.
When I came home from the vet after Eco got her vaccinations last year I told this neighbour all about the vaccine. But she didn't do it. Perhaps because her dog doesn't leave their back yard, she didn't think she needed to worry about it? Her dog hasn't had a rabies shot in 3 years either and now the vet wouldn't give the dog one until he's out of the quarantine phase.
So now we had to close up all the holes in the fence between us so the dogs can't kiss and greet each other like they used to. And obviously no play dates since they can't share toys (no saliva transfer). I'm not worried about Eco because she's up to date on everything and I'm sorry my neighbour has to worry for 2 weeks looking for signs of illness on her beloved pet.
Oh, and now suddenly it's okay to get out a gun and shoot raccoons too. Whenever I joked about using a low powered pellet gun to 'poke' the raccoons or squirrels in the rump she'd get all uppity but now she told me her husband would 'shoot to kill' if a raccoon was threatening their dog again. I find it interesting how people's opinions change once something happens directly to them. Like I always say - steer clear of talking about people's kids and dogs, they are two very highly charged emotional subjects, that's for sure. And vaccinations - remember the whole Jenny McCarthy/Oprah thing?