Dog Bites on the Camino – A Timely Topic

As the season kicks into high gear, lets talk about a topic that is not sexy – dog bites while walking.

Last evening I was on Maria Seco’s Spanish for the Camino Zoom Spanish Speaking practice session, when there was a knock on our door. A Pilgrim had been bitten by a dog belonging to a house 200 meters from our gate. It was dusk and a pack of hunting dogs came running out of a field and attacked her. The bite on her calf was swelling fast. She came in and Jeff ran for the first aid. I performed the wound cleaning and wrapped it.

‘We need to locate these dogs and see if they have rabies vaccination certificates. Before we take her to the Urgencia ‘ Jeff advised.

Jeff got our walking sticks out of the barn to ward off a pack of vicious dogs, and we went back the way she came to a house we have seen a hundred times. By this time, the pack of barking snarling dogs was behind the gate. I called out and the owner came out. I explained the situation and he didn’t deny his dogs are vicious.

‘Go to Melide to the Centro Salud. They know me there.’

Which sounds like his dog, Thor, has bitten others. Then he let Jeff take pics of the vaccination book for his dogs and take his information. So luckily no rabies shots for her. We went back to our house and loaded up, driving her to the Urgencia in Palas, because we know them there. But the Dr was on a house call so they sent us to Melide.

Melide has an amazing new Centro Medico. It’s gorgeous. I will say I still prefer the old scraggly little clinic in Palas, but while they are completely rebuilding it this year I hope it won’t change the close knit feeling they have there now.

The Drs in Melide made quick work of treating our poor Pilgrim while we waited. The great thing about both of these medical centers is that there is never a wait. Not a 4-6 hour ER wait like in the US. Here, usually they take you instantly. And the cost of this Urgent care visit? Well, they charged her a whopping €0. Incredible.

I know Pilgrims debate whether to use walking poles on the Camino. This is an instance where they could be used as not insignificant protection. Something to consider. Seriously.

We were directed by the Dr to phone the local police in Palas to report the dog. If Thor bit one pilgrim with so few walking by, I can’t imagine the danger when the crowds arrive for Semana Santa (Holy Week) next month. And while reporting it will not endear us to our neighbor, its the right thing to do.

She’s asleep in the guest room now but, hopefully on the mend. When walking, most are worried about threats of the human kind, but I almost never hear anything about concerns surrounding animals. As so many are planning a 2022 Camino, it’s something to think about. Likely rare, but forewarned is forearmed.

18 thoughts on “Dog Bites on the Camino – A Timely Topic

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