Vets must take it all in their stride

Dr Emilie Salvador proceeds delicately as she tries to untangle Lili’s intestines after the boar attack...

Hunting-dog accidents are such a regular event at the vets’ practice I visit that no appointments are scheduled for Sat­ur­day afternoons – that time is reserved solely for them.

It can be the difference between life and death: during my visit, vets take a call about a dog attacked by a boar.

Dr Emilie Salvador and veterinary assistant Laure Daillet, at the Clinique Vétérinaire des Voconces, in Vaison-la-Romaine, Vaucluse, are prepared.

Three-year-old Lili, a chienne de chasse, arrives suffering severe shock and hypothermia, her intestines hanging outside her body. She has a 20% chance of survival.

At one point, she stops breathing. At times she whimpers, even under heavy sedation.

Dr Salvador, who raises Bouviers Bernois (Bernese Mountain) dogs, begins untangling the intestines and stitching the tears.

Three people are needed, and even though I am there to write an article, I am pressed into service, helping to bathe the intestines, which are covered in dirt and leaves, and to greet clients at the front desk.

The two women work heroically for two hours. By surgery’s end, Lili has a 50% chance of survival.

Two days after the accident, although still looking down in the mouth, Lili was ready to go home

On Sunday, Dr Salvador, then Ms Daillet and ultimately practice owner Dr Ludovic Girard check on Lili. By Monday she ...

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