Dog stung by buck antlers a painful reminder of rutting season
A Victoria dog owner is warning others after her pet, Ms Porkchop, was stung from the back by a deer antler on Monday.
The corgi-cross headed to her Gordon Head backyard to do her usual after-breakfast business around 6:30 a.m. PT, when she suddenly turned her tail with a loud scream and walked home inside, according to owner Rich McCue.
“I saw she was dripping with blood,” McCue said.
It turned out that her pet had a deep bite on the back. McCue believes his dog surprised a black-tailed buck, as urban deer are common in the area.
“It was quite dark and [the buck] was probably sitting under a tree sheltered from the rain. It really gored her. It was about two and a half inches deep, ”McCue said.
The rutting season is the annual mating season for deer, elk and moose in British Columbia, usually from late October to December.
During this time, deer can become more restless and defensive.
The dog – who is an older rescue animal and former Saskatchewan street dog – has poor eyesight and hearing. McCue therefore suspects that she fell on the deer before she had time to bark.
She was treated by a veterinarian and given a stent, a tube designed to keep blocked passages open, to let the wound drain.
Vancouver Island conservation officer Rick Dekelver says it’s a bit early in the year, but it’s possible the male who stung the animal was affected by the hormones because it is the start of the rutting or mating season.
“You have to be a little more vigilant so that the deer are less likely to run away when they are approached, when being chased from an area – they are more likely to hold on,” Dekelver said.
He said deer, like any wild animal, need a bit of space compared to humans, but it’s especially important not to crowd them during mating season or when the fawns have just been born. Animals can become defensive or more aggressive when defending their young, trying to show dominance, or staying close to a certain mate during rutting season.
Dekelver said he gets about 10 times the number of usual deer calls during this time, but to be fair to deer, many more dogs are aggressive with deer than the other way around.
“Maybe they’ve had an encounter with this dog before and see this dog as a threat,” he said.
“If you turn it over, if the deer had the means to report it to us, we would have five to 10 calls a day where a dog got loose and showed aggression towards a deer,” he said. .
Dekelver said deer issues are more common than coyote issues in the Victoria area because there are no coyotes on Vancouver Island.
As for Mrs. Porkchop: she is recovering, but remains suspicious of her garden after the painful meeting.