DIPLO DOG: Jakarta Pet Emergency

It’s difficult to write about this but I feel I should, because it might benefit some other dog owners in Jakarta, especially new expats.  DiploDog had an emergency last March 3. TD and I were enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon, watching TV in the living room when the guard rang our doorbell. We couldn’t really understand what he said with our limited Bahasa. All we understood was the word “anjing” (dog) so we knew it was related to DiploDog. TD put on his sneakers and grabbed his phone and followed the guard out. Initially we thought that maybe security wasn’t letting him back in the apartment after his walk because of a complaint. But I was scared that he might have been run over by a car so I started searching for any info on veterinary clinics that would be open on a Sunday. After a quick search there was no information to be had. I quickly got changed, grabbed my phone, phone chargers, all the money I could find, credit cards, and a tumbler of water. Then my phone rang. The maid was crying on the other line and she told me that TD was asking me to get dressed and come down. I said I was ready and would meet them at the lobby. At this point I still didn’t know what was going on but my heart was racing and beating so hard.. I knew it wasn’t good. *NOTE: Warning some images after the jump are graphic and unpleasant.

The BlueBird cab arrived and I instructed the driver to go to the park nearby, where I knew DiploDog took his walks. I saw the maid carrying DiploDog and he looked fine, but when he put him down in the car he started crying and wailing in pain. I’ve never heard him make that sound before so I knew he was in terrible, terrible pain.  But we couldn’t see where  his injuries were because of his thick fur.

DiploDog was attacked by a neighbors Kintamani (initially we thought it was a husky). The neighbor has 8 dogs, some where DiploDogs friends, but the Kintamani was never allowed near him. This Sunday their staff who was supposed to walk the dog, was “walking” the dog while riding a bike. This was against the instructions of the owner never to do this with this type of of dog (they have 3 Kintamanis) . her instructions were to walk and hold the leash tightly so that the dog will not run away, because this breed is very aggressive and can be quite vicious. According to our driver this type of dog is used as hunting dogs in Bali, which is why they are aggressive, but I haven’t been able to confirm this.

The guy walking the Kintamani accidentally let go of his leach and the Kintamani went towards DiploDog. The maid wasn’t alarmed because DiploDog was wagging his tail so she assumed they were friends (our maid is new), the dog playfully bit DiploDog, and it seemed like they were playing until a few moments later DiploDog whimpered and the husky wouldn’t let go. They had a hard time pulling the husky off and by this time he had already bitten DiploDog on his right hind leg and his body. I was really panicking because there was a weird rasping sound in DiploDog’s belly everytime he breathed. It didn’t sound good. It sounded like there was air in his tummy. I feared that he had punctured a lung.

Normally we bring DiploDog to Animal Clinic in Kemang, but they are closed on Sundays. Animal Clinic can accommodate emergencies, but their Senior Vet, Dr. Ooy, was out of town and would not be able to come back to Jakarta until Monday.

The owner of the Kintamani told us that Jakarta Animal Hospital beside Ragunan Zoo is open on a Sunday. I don’t recommend bringing your pet here if you have a pet emergency on a Sunday, but we didn’t know better. They were kind, and it is obvious that they love animals, but…

  • The cleanliness and sanitation is appalling (flies and stray cats in the clinic rooms) 
  • They don’t have don’t have the facilities to operate, if indeed a dog has a punctured lung
  • They X-rayed DiploDog on the wrong side of this lungs and gave the terrifying (but thankfully wrong) diagnosis that he had a punctured lung, though they were right about his broken rib
  • And told me that in their experience, sometimes with a punctured lung it’s okay to just  bandage the dog and it can sometimes heal (A punctured lung cannot self heal)
  • They didn’t administer any pain meds to poor DiploDog. He was in pain the entire day and night until we could bring him to Animal Clinic in Kemang. Poor baby!
  • Though they examined DiploDog thoroughly, there were several wound’s in his body that they didn’t find and treat. So he had open and untreated wounds while he stayed overnight. =(

 The vet in Ragunan Animal Hospital was helpful and trying to find other vets that would be better able to treat DiploDog’s but on a Sunday it was difficult. Theoretically, even if we had found another vet, when we tried to call for a Blue Bird cab to bring him, the operator informed me that since we are coming from Ragunan Animal Hospital they are not able to pick us up if we have a dog with us because it is against company policy. And the driver had strict instructions on this.  I was really sad and upset to hear this. But we really couldn’t do anything about it.

We decided to leave DiploDog in the Ragunan Animal Hospital overnight, while we tried to look for the best vet that can cope with a lung operation, in case DiploDog needed it the next day. And we prayed really hard that he would make it through the night. Based on the diagnosis of Ragunan Animal Hospital, it didn’t look good. I mean how does one survive a punctured lung?

Through the night there was an outpouring of love and information from so many helpful friends, in Jakarta and even from the Philippines. Friends asking friends information on vet clinics and sending it to us via SMS or Facebook. We tried to call all of them to  and inquired about facilities to any who would pick up on a Sunday evening. It was so touching, how many people reached out to us. Thank you so much to everyone!

We learned from M, that Groovy Pets in Radio Dalam is open 24/7, has a vet on stand-by even on a Sunday and can do pick up of pets for a minimal fee. We called them and they confirmed, but they were unwilling to pick up DiploDog from another vet facility due to “etiquette.” This didn’t make sense to me, because if the vet in Ragunan was already calling other vets to get our dog the best care because they knew they couldn’t cope, then shouldn’t Groovy Pets be willing to pick up our dog to treat him? They had a driver on stand-by and were able to pick him up to treat him that evening but just refused to do so. it was another moment that severely disappointed me. It just didn’t make sense.

To our relief, late that night Karin (the owner of Animal Clinic in Kemang) emailed us back, and reassured us that their Senior Vet, Dr. Ooy, would be ready to see DiploDog first thing the next day. She also reassured us that Dr. Ooy was experienced enough to handle the injury. She was also the first one to tell us frankly that if I a dog has a punctured lung, usually they would die quickly and if our dog was still alive there is a big possibility that only the muscle around the lung was injured and this released some air into his body. She has already experienced this with one of her dogs and her dog was operated on and survived. We were so relieved to hear this and it gave us a glimmer of hope! We still couldn’t sleep, but it was something.

Bright and early we picked up DiploDog, and put him on our wooden tray from our KOI trolley and kept him snug in a warm soft blanket so that we didn’t need to lift him and handle the broken rib. He was so brave. We put him in the back of the Avanza and I sat in the boot with him so that he wouldn’t be afraid.

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We brought him to Animal Clinic in Kemang, and Dr. Ooy gave the poor baby some pain meds (finally!) while waiting for surgery. She told us confidently that DiploDog injured his thorax and not his lungs and that she would operate to fix it, but they wouldn’t try to set the broken rib bone because it’s too dangerous. Hopefully bandaging him tight would help the bone fuse and heal properly. She was also honest that it was still a very high risk operation.

UPDATE: The bone never really fused back to it’s original position, so whenever we carry DiploDog we can feel the broken bone protruding a little. There is nothing we can do about it though because an operation to fix it is too risky and wouldn’t help much.

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The next day we came back and he was in an incubator. We were so excited to see that he was awake.33-DiploDog Emergency-033 30-DiploDog Emergency-030 31-DiploDog Emergency-031 32-DiploDog Emergency-03229-DiploDog Emergency-029

The next few nights were hard, DiploDog kept on waking up and puking. The next 2 weeks were all about diapers and going back to Dr. Ooy  everyday to change his bandages and sleeping next to a dog who smelled like pee.22-DiploDog Emergency-023 28-DiploDog Emergency-028 27-DiploDog Emergency-027 26-DiploDog Emergency-004 25-DiploDog Emergency-026 24-DiploDog Emergency-025 23-DiploDog Emergency-024

Though his wounds look nasty and his ribs are painful, we were happy that he is all stitched up. We were thankful that DiploDog was getting better day by day. 21-DiploDog Emergency-022 20-DiploDog Emergency-021 19-DiploDog Emergency-02018-DiploDog Emergency-019 17-DiploDog Emergency-018

We knew he was really getting better when we would find in the mornings that he managed to slip out of his diapers or even out of the sleeves of his body bandages! (The doctor had to start doing a tank top bandage that hung on to his shoulders since he would try to slip out of his bandages in the middle of the night!) Our little Houdini was on his way! 01-DiploDog Emergency-00616-DiploDog Emergency-017 15-DiploDog Emergency-016 14-DiploDog Emergency-015 13-DiploDog Emergency-014 12-DiploDog Emergency-002 11-DiploDog Emergency-003

What we learned from this experience:

  • If there is a pet emergency on a Sunday, we can call Groovy Pets Radio Dalam to pick up from our home
  • Blue Bird does not officially allow dogs in their cabs, but there are some drivers who are kind enough to, like the one who took us to the Ragunan Animal Hospital
  • Though they are not open on Sundays, Animal Clinic always has someone in their clinic to answer the phone on a Sunday and they do try to get in touch with their Vets. We were just unlucky that Dr. Ooy was out of town to attend a conference. They have a Senior Vet who is experienced enough to handle serious injuries.
  • Be careful with Kintamani dog breeds, they are an aggressive and vicious dog breed from Bali
  • There are many people with kinds hearts who try to help in seemingly small ways, but made a massive difference for us. The support and love via an online space, like Facebook, was a big deal for us because as expats we don’t have family in the city that we can lean on in times of emergency, but somehow knowing that people are there, rooting for you and wishing you well, keeps you sane.
  • Most importantly, keep the mobile number and email addresses of the different vets around town, so you have options to get in touch on a day like Sunday when everything is mostly close.
  • Oh and I also learned how to bandage DiploDog for holidays when the vet wasn’t open! The doctor taught me how to coz if we didn’t change his bandage he really reeked haha! We even tried using cling wrap around his bandage so that he wouldnt get pee on it. =p

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DiploDog was such a good patient, even drinking his antibiotics willingly07-DiploDog Emergency-010

It’s been exactly 3 weeks since the incident.  DiploDog is now out of his bandages, but the doctor recommends wearing t-shirts to protect his scabs. The hair in his body is starting to grow out.10-DiploDog Emergency-013 09-DiploDog Emergency-012 08-DiploDog Emergency-011

The owner of the Kintamani has offered to pay for all the bills which reached up to more than $500. We’re still waiting for the payment, but I am hoping she will honor it.  Nothing has been done with the female Kintamani that bit DiploDog, nor the man who let go of his leash. There are no laws that protect us against these things in Indonesia. The most we can hope for is that the man has learned his lesson, and that the owner will pay for the bill. It is the least they can do.

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Lovely comments

  1. Joy says

    What a heart-wrenching experience but I’m so glad to see DiploDog looking so happy and healthy in those last photos! He’s a trooper and hope he is 100% very soon! I’m sure other expats in Jakarta ate very grateful to have the emergency info you shared.

  2. says

    I had a Pomeranian for 13 years she was old and she had a big cyst on her breast so we got her operated from a reputed vet but after few weeks she had another cyst right neat to her operation site. I was soo young in my school days and I cried a lot looking at her suffer. But she passed after a day. Dogs are really very emotional . They live very short time and fills out memory with loads of best moments that is another reason I don’t want to buy a pet again. I still can remember the incident .

    I a glad diplo dog looks healthy and happy. Don’t vacuum too much on his /her skin cos their skin is soft and usually take lobger to heal from skin injury than their bones.

    • says

      Hey Padmajasakthi, that really is the truth. I can’t believe how emotional having a dog is. It’s my first time to have one and TD is really a dog lover. I can understand how your experience as a child really made an impact on you.

      Yeah we haven’t groomed it since the accident. The Dyson Groom pictures are from February, before the incident happened. For now he is just wearing his tshirts to protect his skin.

  3. says

    Poor Diplo Dog baby… I am so sorry this happened to you. I can totally hear your voice reading this post. Diplo dog has many cute outfits. I hope he’ll have a quick recovery. Hugs.

  4. says

    I just saw this post. :( Poor dearie. I’m glad he’s doing well now, though. Good to know that Groovy Pets is open on Sundays. I only have good words for Groovy.

  5. says

    hey there, i chanced upon your blog while searching for groovy pets. seems like we have something in common. i once had to rush my golden retriever to Ragunan too because something happened during midnight, and yes the situation there was kinda appalling for us too. our golden retriever also underwent a surgery by dr. ooy at the animal clinic =) anyway great to know u!

        • says

          Oh! Thanks for the info. Having a dog is learning along the way. For example, even if TD (The Diplomat) has had dogs all his life, we were really stumped to hear about the anal sac and how we need to express it every month. We didn’t hear about it until it ruptured (don’t click on the link if you don’t want to read about the ew details LOL), and have always wondered how come this never happened with his other dogs. Now we are getting a hang of “expressing” especially since we have to DIY here in Europe. Dogs are really like babies. =) I saw your them on your blog! Such cuties!

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