Hi! My name is Erica Cacioppo. On May 26th, 2006 my lab/pit mix, Shelby had a horrific accident involving a paper shredder.
I woke at 6 AM to a horrible sound. It was Shelby screaming! It was a sound I have never heard and can't get out of my head. I ran downstairs and asked my husband Gino, who was holding her, what was wrong. Before he could answer I saw the most horrific sight of my life, Shelby's tongue stuck inside our paper shredder. Our other dog Sophia, thinking Shelby was being attacked was pulling relentlessly and with all her might on the shredder, not knowing she was making matters worse. Even though in shock of the situation we worked as fast as we could to get Shelby to the vet. We had to pry Sophia off and put her in the bathroom. In that time Shelby had bit her own tongue off. I suppose in animal instinct.
Gino got Shelby in the car as I got dressed and got together our purse and wallet. This all happened in a matter of 5 minutes. Our closest animal clinic was an agonizing 20 minutes away, at which time Shelby was bleeding profusely. We got there just in time. She started going into convulsions just before being put under for surgery. During the operation she got between 40 to 50 stitches and loss her entire tongue. After the surgery the vet, Dr. Emo, told us she didn't know how Shelby would be able to eat and drink, as she has never seen or heard of an injury like this. At this point we had decided to put her to sleep. Thank God the vet did extensive research and found a study on dogs with the same injury and they adapted to the situation over time and had the same attitude and a great quality of life. We then decided to give Shelby the chance she deserved.
It paid off! She is very happy! Shelby getting her voice back was no problem, 2 weeks later she was barking at the neighbor dog again. She can eat wet food very easily with our help and as of mid June is doing okay with trying to learn to eat dry food again. She is drinking water through a syringe that we give to her. She lets us know when she wants water. She is starting to learn how to scoop up water on her own and on June 17th ate her 1st rawhide that she stole from her sister! She still drools some, but has learned to wipe her own mouth on towels we have in the house and outside for her. We have no doubt she will completely adapt with some time and effort. She's our miracle baby!
We want people to know that this happens and that if it does you can save your baby! If you are in a similar situation please e-mail this web site and they will contact me and I can help you with any questions you may have. I beg you to please tell everyone you know and please UNPLUG your shredder or GET RID OF IT!!!! You NEVER want to go through what we did!!!!!! It was utterly horrible. We couldn't eat or sleep. We have bad nightmares about what happened. PLEASE BE CAREFUL!!!!
Thank you, Erica Cacioppo, Shelby's owner
Dr. Emo, Shelby's vet wrote an article about what happened and how she treated Shelby, to read more, click here