Neglect IS Animal Cruelty

Eileen had chanced upon a seemingly lost shih-tzu when she was strolling along Ang Mo Kio Park with her boyfriend. A passerby told them that over the past week or so, this dog had been spotted loitering around the park on many occasions.

Upon bringing the dog to a better-lit area, Eileen realized that it certainly was not having a walk in the park. Only after picking off all the ants on the dog did Eileen realize what a terrible state it was in. With its fur shaved close to its skin, the tiny dog was a mere bag of bones with hardly an ounce of strength left in its frail body to even pick itself up. The dog’s nipples were also drooping, a sure sign that she had been used for breeding. To Eileen’s horror, she also found a huge lump on the dog’s underside. To complicate matters further, Eileen suspected that the dog could have been suffering from a urinary infection as she peed frequently, and her urine was flecked with blood strains.

The poor dog's skeletal frame when it was first rescued, reminding us so much of Prince

After a visit to the vet, the dog was estimated to be around 10 years old. The lump on her stomach was a hernia. An x-ray not only confirmed Eileen’s earlier conjecture on the dog's urinary infection, but also showed a horrifying image of a bladder stone larger than a ping-pong ball. It is impossible to even imagine the pain that the already miserable dog had been suffering as she dragged herself around the park, hoping against hope for help!

Protruding nipples and huge lumps on her stomach

X-ray of the huge bladder stone which caused her much pain and frequent urination

Whoever the owner was, we hope your guilt engulfs you. You left your poor dog to her own defenses when she fell seriously ill.

All was not lost, as HOPE volunteers learned of the dog’s story and offered to pay for her costly operation. The operation was an extensive one to remove her huge bladder stone, minimize the hernia, sterilize her, and remove the tartar accumulated on her teeth. Any operation entails risks, and given the dog’s age, malnourishment and current condition, we were terribly worried whether she could pull through a major surgery like this.

Preparing for the operation

Obvious lump bulging from her stomach

Looking at the size of her bladder stone, we can't imagine the extent of pain she had been going through alone

Painkiller patch (after a successful operation)

Post-op wound

Blood in her urine 
(the vet reassured us that this is a normal occurrence after such an operation)

It turns out that miracles do happen, and this little dog was one brave warrior that triumphed. After being discharged, it did not take long for her to embark on her road to recovery. With a hearty appetite, she has been gradually gaining weight. Perhaps we can soon see the sparkle, which should rightfully shine in every dog’s eyes, in this one’s again!

No more silent suffering
To support our rescue work, please email fiona@hopedogrescue.org Your kindness and generosity will allow us to save so many more dogs out there, waiting for us to give them hope.