February 4, 2014

"This day! It had everything: a hike, a crazy ambulance ride, hospital visits (two hospitals!), sunshine, kindness..."

"... so much kindness, and finally a gorgeous sunset, and dinner for me, on a tray, at home."

Nina's hiking in Turkey. Skim this post the wrong way and you'll miss the attack of wild dogs. It's one of these travel-photo pieces, and there are no photos of the part with the biting dogs.

Ever worry about traveling abroad because what if you had a medical emergency?

ADDED: Are there packs of wild dogs in the United States? I found this:
As many as 50,000 stray dogs roam the streets and vacant homes of bankrupt Detroit, replacing residents, menacing humans who remain and overwhelming the city’s ability to find them homes or peaceful deaths.

37 comments:

Michael said...

Professor, thanks for linking this story. Dogs are everywhere in Turkey and people are very kind to them in the villages, feeding them scraps of food, etc. But bad news to be attacked by a pack. They were very lucky the pack wasn't intent on doing real harm because they certainly could have. It is one of the few fears I have when hiking alone: dogs formed up into packs which can kill for the hell of it, will kill for the hell of it. On a road bike once, way out in the country, I was attacked by about four dogs but was able to pedal away because, alas, I was going downhill. Later they were not there when I had to climb the hill with a massive stick in one hand.

I am not worried about medical emergencies in foreign countries. They have doctors too as was the case in Turkey.

Cliff said...

A good friend of mine was badly injured while skiing in another country. He recieved quick and competent medical care, and did not pay a dime.

Michael K said...

I hope he continued the rabies series when he got home. It's too late when he is foaming at the mouth. With a bite in the leg, it can be weeks before symptoms appear and it is too late.

Seeing Red said...

Health care depends on the country.

mccullough said...

I don't worry about traveling in Western Europe but I'm not going to Africa because of a concern about lack of healthcare access.

Ann Althouse said...

With 2 parents whose deaths were causally related to medical malpractice and with 1 grandfather whose life was extended 15 years because he lived near the University of Michigan Hospital, the fact that there are doctors everywhere does not fend off all my worries.

As for dogs, it seems that every time I have ever stopped my car in a rural area and gotten out (because I wanted to take a photo), a barking dog would come running at me. Meade has given me a lot of advice about what to do when approached by unfriendly dogs (and made me less afraid of the average dog, which is friendly), but in a foreign country, you don't know what the feral dog situation is.

Maybe there are places in America where packs of wild dogs roam, but I don't think we would allow it.

Hagar said...

News for you.
Folks leaving for other parts often drive out on the mesa or down into the south valley and let their animals loose.
It gets to be a real problem for the airport police too.

nina said...

We looked up the statistics on this -- it turns out only two people have died in Turkey (I believe it was last year) due to rabies. So people do get the shots and they do prevent the dire consequences of the disease. But are people otherwise injured by pack dogs? I have to think the answer is yes, though it is very very rare. No one could recall such an incident in recent times in the valleys where we hiked. But the pack is still there. Our hotel owner intends to notify authorities. Whether they can get rid of them -- I can't say. Turkey depends on the tourist dollar. They cannot afford this kind of publicity.

I do think being bitten by a rabid animal is a problem everywhere -- in the States too and certainly in Europe. It's just a matter of bad luck. Again, these days, rabies is the least of the issues. Those dogs in the end did their number and moved on. They could have stayed.

Lyssa said...

Glad that she's OK.

Ever worry about traveling abroad because what if you had a medical emergency?

Not for myself, really. But we're trying to plan a vacation now with the baby (he'll be 1 1/2 when we go) and it's definitely a concern. We're considering Puerto Rico and Cancun, and it's probably not anything like a problem (we'd be sticking to touresty Americanized areas, certainly (and yes, I know PR is America), but it is a concern. I'm also concerned about water and milk for the little guy. Seriously considering just sticking to Florida instead, but my husband really wants to go somewhere that's more of a big deal trip.

T Rellis said...

A friend of mine was in Costa Rica motorcycle riding. He had stopped on the side of the road when a truck hit a light pole which crashed down on my friend. Eviscerated.

Took four hours for anyone with any medical training to arrive (people who stopped basically shoved his guts back in and packed him with tampons) and then several more hours to get a hospital that would take him. Each time they made him pay up front (dead men don't pay, and you my friend are dead). For four thousand dollars the hospital said "nothing we can do." Finally he got a helicopter to fly him to another hospital to try and do something. Cost him $50k to get put back together enough to get to America and it's sub standard medical system. I bet he wished he was in Cuba.

Unknown said...

About 10 yeas ago my (current) boss was at a conference in Canada when he developed acute appendicitis. He spent about 24 hours in a hospital corridor where administrators would not allow treatment because he, as a foreigner, could not use the Canadian national insurance, and their system did not have the mechanism to get coverage from American insurance. He was too sick to travel to the US, and it finally took diplomatic pressure for him to get medical treatment.

Ann Althouse said...

@nina Rabies is horrible, but at least you have time to go get the shot. I'd be more worried about the whole pack setting upon you and ripping you up. Here's a story from 2009 about a man and woman who went out for a walk in Georgia (United States) and got mauled to death by dogs.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

We once flew to Mexico for a vacation. My daughter, who has had ear issue all her life, was in considerable pain during the flight due to the reduced cabin pressure. We suspected that her eardrum had ruptured. We informed a flight attendant, and they had a medic meet us on the tarmac after the plane landed.

He took his otoscope from his bag, looked in her ear, and confirmed that it had ruptured. He then looked at the tip of the otoscope, wiped it off on the leg of his pants, and put it back in his bag.

We made sure our daughter took a full course of the antibiotics recommended over the phone from our stateside doctor. Fortunately antibiotics are available over the counter in Mexico.

Sorun said...

"Rural West going to the dogs." East, North, and South too.

Some people abandon their pets. Dogs group up while cats starve to death.

Michael said...

There have been more than one death at the teeth of wild dogs in Southern California: pit bulls allowed to roam in packs. There was a long article about one of these attacks in the last year or so. In the hills of eastern Orange County.

I believe the victims would have preferred rabies.

These packs form up in rural areas where people dump unwanted dogs, including dogs that were bred to fight

Skyler said...

Is Detroit still legally part of the United States?

SayAahh said...

Baloney on that stray dog number.

The Detroit News had a lead article on 2/2/14 on the subject. A more than one year study by MSU Professor Laura Reese revealed 7500 stray dogs and 18,000 roaming the 139 square miles of Detroit. That amounts to 54 stray dogs and 129 stray cats per square mile.

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140202/METRO01/302020010

jacksonjay said...


Vlad the Putin know how to deal with feral dog packs!

SayAahh said...

Ooops. ....18,000 stray cats.

mrs. e said...

As a runner (urban, mostly) there have been plenty of times loose (not wild) dogs have run up to my jumping and barking and snarling and basically scaring the shit of me. Man, does that piss me off.

My husband's has spent the last couple of summers hiking, out west, for a couple of months at a time. Hasn't run into wild dogs, but does carry bear spray and Garmin satellite/gps device, along with extraction insurance for any emergencies that might come along.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

A factor for retiring elderly heart patients is the standard of care at the Hospitals and Cardiology practices.

Florida has a great East coastline starting with Mayo Clinic at Jacksonville/Amelia Island.

But the west coastline from Tampa to the Panhandle has lower standards far apart.

Heart incidents are true emergencies where minutes count.

Kirk Parker said...

"As many as 50,000 stray dogs roam the streets and vacant homes of bankrupt Detroit"

Yet Another Reason for every-day all-the-time carry!


For travel in Africa this past June, we bought comprehensive travel insurance from Travel Guard. By "comprehensive" I mean it covered both reimbursement of the ticket price if events not our fault caused the trip to be cancelled, and also medical and medivac coverage. Knowing what I know about costs of travel in South Sudan (we had already charted a small plane to fly us for part our in-country travel) the medivac coverage was fairly adequate. And the overall cost was quite modest, under $300 iirc.

Kirk Parker said...

Good heavens, mrs. e, get that man a decent revolver! Don't know where is "out West" to you, but everywhere is gun-friendly in the wild--even CA will allow you to openly carry a handgun in rural areas.

JoyD said...

Twenty years ago, my husband and I were canoeing with our ten year old son on a small stream in Ohio, when we glided silently around the bend and surprised two dogs on the shore, maybe twenty feet away. Barking and snarling furiously, they charged right into the water. Head down! I yelled to my son, and we paddled like hell and got away. Later, I asked my boss, who is also a dog trainer, what else I could have done and she said, an oar in the chops as hard as you can.
# nina -I go to her blog daily for my good mental health. and because I'm a foodie too. and I like her. ninacamic.blogspot.com - found it on Althouse.

Anonymous said...

50,000 stray dogs? How many stray gang bangers who also hunt in packs?

Build a wall, dig a moat.

jimbino said...

Traveling in Peru, I often encountered packs of wild dogs. I found I could disperse them by just bending down to pick up a (sometimes imaginary) rock.

Traveling in the Lake District of Argentina/Chile, I heard of two Germans who had just been severely injured in a car accident. The locals tried to help, but they died on the way to a very distant hospital. No amount of cradle-to-grave German insurance could save them, and neither would Obamacare or Medicare save Amerikans in a similar situation.

Insurance is for the risk-averse and it's a damn travesty that we risk seekers pay lifelong for the religion and superstition of the risk-averse.

Skeptical Voter said...

Ann you need to talk with folks who live in the country--but not too far out of town. My late uncle had a small cattle operation a few miles outside of a small country town in Arizona. Town dogs would form packs . Occasionally they'd tear the heck out of a calf or two.

Here in Southern California there was a problem in Kern County with several packs of town dogs marauding flocks of sheep.

Sweet Little Fluffy can turn into a vicious killer in such packs--then go home for a bowl of kibble.

In Kern County's case the Sheriff had a "shoot them on sight" case for such packs (if caught in the act). My uncle had a less formal policy. But it was a different time--and folks in small towns understood the need.

Anonymous said...

fyi, there is a rabies vaccine that's no more troublesome than typhus or measles. If you read the U.S. State Department advisories (or ask your doctor before you travel) for countries without aggressive animal control (e.g. India) you'll find they both advise carrying a stick when you're out-and-about (jogging), as well as this vaccine. Takes a couple weeks. I've done it when traveling with the military. Usual aches and pains but it fades quickly.

And don't forget your Carte Jaune when you're traveling.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

In the country, the people are nice and the dogs are mean. In the city, the dogs are nice and the people are mean.

EDH said...

And, now, a special word from Sarah McLachlan.

gadfly said...

Are there packs of wild dogs in the United States? U.S cities and counties normally have Animal Control departments that keep us protected from dog packs but there are irresponsible dog owners of dangerous breeds such as pit bulls who get small children and animals maimed or killed through criminal neglect of their animals.

sydney said...

Dare you to go hiking in Detroit.

Jupiter said...

"U.S cities and counties normally have Animal Control departments that keep us protected from dog packs ..."

I don't know about where you are, but around here, the "Animal Control" people are a bunch of animal rights nuts. The only way to get them interested in a vicious mutt is to tell them the owners neglect it.

Kirk Parker said...

EDH,

I saw your video clip--what happened?????

CStanley said...

Nina and her husband are truly remarkable optimists. When we have a bad experience during travel, or anytime, really, the best we can manage is dark humor. Nina just edits it out of her photojournal and goes on to have wondrous experiences. Nice!

JoyD said...

@CStanley. Did you read the entry? Not glossing over the dog scare, but not stopping, either, to take a pic of the dog as it bites Ed's leg.
Kind of bitchy. (Only punning)