What happens to a dog if its owner passes away? We always hope that the dog will be treated like any other grieving family member and still have a loving home to mourn in and loved ones to get through the loss with. However, this is not always the case.
|The day her new life began|
|We wonder if she knows what lies ahead|
We were informed of a case of neglect and shown a photograph of a schnauzer in a cage and certain signs told us that she may have been caged for a while. She was a bit tubby due to lack of exercise. Further, her legs were very weak and her paws were so smooth that they tore and bled the first time we walked her. All these point to her having not been walked in a long time. We found out that the late owner had been ill and had in fact passed on just a week prior, and had not been able to care for the dog properly while she was sick. While she was survived by her husband, he was also not able to provide the care and attention that the dog needs and released her to us readily.
|Unkempt fur and a "botak" head (bald patch on head)|
When we got her, her fur was so badly matted and her body reeked of pee that it seemed like she had not been given a bath, much less been groomed, for quite a while. Her nails were so long that they were curled sideways. She looked and smelt so bad that we brought her straight to the groomer's to shave everything off. It is no surprise that she would have a skin infection and under all that matted fur was red and crusty skin. The smell of infection was so strong that it stayed on our clothes all day. She also has a small bald patch on her head which is so smooth and furless that we doubt any fur would grow back in that spot.
|Dirty & unshaven|
|Terribly bad skin infection|
The next order of things was to get her to the vet, which we did the next day. At the vet, she was diagnosed with a laundry list of issues, some we expected, and some which were more concerning. Her skin condition was severe and she was not going to win any hearts over with her tartar-filled smile either (if a few teeth can make up a smile). She was anemic and dehydrated. Her urine was very concentrated and had crystals in them, which could be due to her dehydrated state. A urine cytology test was taken and it showed she had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Her hind legs were weak and she had early-stage cataract. She was not sterilized and had never been vaccinated. She had a heart murmur due to a faulty heart valve and will need to be on life-long heart medication. She has a luxating patella that had been left unrepaired and she seems to have endured it for a long time as it has begun to fuse in the wrong position thus she has difficulty sitting as it makes it uncomfortable. Most concerning of all was a lump found on her back. This lump feels to be attached to tissue. When it was aspirated with a needle, it was found to be filled with blood. The vet is concerned that it is a sign of hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive, malignant tumour of the blood vessels. We had her scheduled for dental and sterilization. She had 4 teeth extracted and her remaining teeth cleaned of tartar. During the sterilization, another blood-filled lump was found on her groin. The vet recommends she goes in for another procedure in a month or so, to remove both the lumps and send them off for further testing.
|At the vet|
|She has luxating patella in both hind legs|
Apart from all her physical issues, she also has a deep sense of fear; a fear so great that it’s going to take a while to overcome. We will not speculate her past but she cowers and yelps at the top of her voice when we touch her suddenly, when we raise our hands above her, hold her neck or when she meets people for the first time.
While the news so far is worrying, we are glad that she is no longer suffering in her cage. At 10 years old, face all white from an extremely hard life, she is now safe and can begin to rebuild her life at her own pace. Her total medical bill amounted to $1500. If you can help with her vet bills, please email email@example.com.
Written by : Sam