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Lindsay and Anna King enjoy taking their 5-year-old English mastiff Moose to the vacant field across from their home in Green Valley, Ariz. There’s plenty of space to explore, and Moose usually doesn’t share the field with anything but the occasional grazing cow. However, during a recent visit to the field, Moose caught sight of a mule that had ventured into the area. Eager to investigate, Moose slowly crept behind the mule for a better sniff. “And that’s when the mule kicked him right in the head,” Lindsay said. “The mule kicked him so hard that if he had been a smaller breed of dog, I know Moose would have been dead.”
The Kings examined Moose immediately and found a swollen knot under the dog’s jaw and a small amount of blood from a cut on his cheek. “We got him back home and by then, his head had swollen to about twice its normal size,” Lindsay said. “He was also staring off into space, so we knew he’d need to see a veterinarian.”
With their regular veterinarian’s office closed for the weekend, Lindsay and Anna drove Moose 30 miles to a veterinary hospital in Tucson. A lengthy examination and a series of X-rays revealed that the kick to the head hadn’t resulted in any loose teeth or a broken jaw.
“We knew Moose was in a lot of pain when we got him home and he went straight for his kennel,” Lindsay said. “He just wanted to be left alone.” The Kings kept Moose quiet and comfortable, administered the pain medication prescribed by the veterinarian, and tried unsuccessfully to ice the dog’s swollen jaw (“Moose didn’t like that at all”). Three days later, Moose was back on his feet.
The Kings haven’t seen the mule that kicked Moose during the few trips they’ve made back to the field since the accident, but the mastiff stays close to Lindsay and Anna just the same. “We’re going to keep Moose on his leash from now on,” Lindsay said.