Remember when I mentioned how my dog Gabe is prone to accidents? Maybe I should've knocked on wood, because he got into some MORE trouble just a few months ago. (And if you do not recall, maybe this will refresh your memory.)
Here's what went down most recently.
I got to the end of another work week, woke up later than normal, and let Gabe outside before I did anything else. I left the back door open so he could come back inside when he was done. After being outside for literally 1-2 minutes, he did come back into the kitchen momentarily. Then, he wandered back outside on the deck. Shortly after, I noticed a spot of what appeared to be blood on the floor. I followed Gabe out to the deck and then saw that there were LOTS of spots of blood all over the place, and Gabe was vigorously licking one of his paws.
Some choice language flooded into my mind, and I stooped down to see what was causing the mess. His entire front left paw was pooling with blood between the pads. I could not stomach the thought of investigating it too closely (that is why I am a dog trainer, not a doctor), so we immediately went to the vet to have it assessed.
I had NO idea what could have caused such a gruesome gash in such a small amount of time, but upon arrival to the vet clinic, three different people asked us: 'Do you have any metal edging in your yard?' And come to find out, we do.
Tangent: At this time, I should probably mention that I didn't even know what edging WAS before this happened. When I heard what it is called, I pictured it to be somewhere on the fence. You know, on the edge of the yard. In all actuality, edging is the material that borders flower beds, gardens, etc. to prevent different landscaping materials from mixing. Just in case you live under a rock like I do and don't realize what edging is, this is what it looks like:
A few stitches later and armed with a batch of antibiotics and Rimadyl, Gabe was returned to me. He was lucky to not have cut any tendons in his foot. Come to find out, he was also lucky that the cut was between the pads of his foot, and not on the pad (because the pads are made up of dead skin, which is harder to grow back, go figure.) Nonetheless, Gabe had a long couple of weeks ahead of him. No walks. No unsupervised trips to the backyard. No being rowdy, or getting his foot wet. He also occasionally had to wear the dreaded CONE OF SHAME so he wouldn't eat his bandage off. (But we will spare him from being further embarassed on the internet by keeping the real pictures to ourselves.)
After weeks of watching Gabe like a hawk, bagging his foot every time we'd go outside in wet grass, un-bagging it every time we came in the house, excluding him from all outdoor adventures, making sure he got his pills twice a day, and watching him pitifully hobble, I was ready to tear the edging out of the yard with my bare hands. One small piece of metal had a huge impact on my lifestyle, peace of mind, and bank account.
Dad went to Home Depot to buy some type of guard for the top of the edging. As it turns out, they don't even sell metal edging any more, because of how common it is for people and animals to be cut by it! It was good news in one sense, but bad because he couldn't get any sort of protective covering for our edging any more. He ended up using duct tape to cover all jagged corners. (We also got the suggestion to cut a garden hose in half and use that to cover all of the edging.)
So, if you have metal edging in your yard, and your pets or kids ever play out there, I would highly recommend replacing it, or at least covering it. It might seem tedious or pointless, but it will spare you money and heartache in the long run.