Tongueless Dog Adapts to New Challenges

Pooch bit off tongue after getting caught in paper shredder earlier this year

Saturday, Nov 27, 2010  |  Updated 10:00 AM CDT
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Warning: Man?s best friend could cost you a fortune.  Pet owners are on track to spend $47.7 billion dollars on petcare this year.

Warning: Man?s best friend could cost you a fortune. Pet owners are on track to spend $47.7 billion dollars on petcare this year.

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The Park Forest pooch who bit off his own tongue after getting it caught in a paper shredder earlier this year is "doing great," the dog's owner said.

The SouthtownStar caught up with Ashley Taylor, who owns the boxer/Rhodesian ridgeback named Caine.

Caine was being watched by Taylor's mother over the New Year's Weekend when he got his tongue snagged in the shredder.  The dog ultimately bit himself free and was taken to an emergency clinic, where a feeding tube was installed.

While the recovery process has been no doubt painful, Caine has learned to adapt:  he drinks water from a fountain and gets spoon-fed.

Stories of pets, and children, getting injured by paper shredders are not unheard of.

More than 100 stitches were needed to repair the tongue of a Miami dog when she licked a paper shredder in May 2009.

In January 2007, a then 7-month-old dog in Toledo, Ohio stuck his tongue out and got caught in one of the machines, perforating the tip of his tongue into several "mini-tongues." [ Video]

A St. Louis-area dog had to learn how to drink from a syringe and scoop water to her mouth after she got too close to a shredder in May 2006.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 31 finger amputations and other finger injuries from paper shredders from January 2000 to December 2003, the Spokesman Review of Spokane, Wash., reported.

Safety Tips:

  • Unplug shredders when not in use.
  • Store shredders out of reach of animals (and, of course, children, especially those under 5, who can also be victims of shredder accidents). Make sure that the shredder is located in a place that is "pounce proof": Acrobatic kitties that jump atop shredders can also do terrible damage to themselves.
  • To avoid attracting animals, never put food wrappers through shredders.
  • Do not leave shredders on the "automatic" setting.
  • When buying a shredder, look for one with a protective bar over the opening. 

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