Help Save Oscar's Life

For those of you who have been following HOPE Dog Rescue from the start, you will remember Oscar as one of the 3 puppies that we rescued from cemetery. In that sad story, his 2 other siblings died from serious mange, a common skin disease caused by several parasite mites. The mites cause severe skin infections if they are left untreated. At the time that we found Oscar, he not only had mites, he also had a multitude of canine skin problems such as ringworms, fungal infection, demodex, and so on. Whatever canine skin problem a dog could have, Oscar had it all.

Oscar - Before. He didn't want to look at anyone.

Oscar - Now
Oscar underwent 4 months of intensive treatment to treat his ailments. He was put on a course of steroids and antibiotics treatment through injections so he spent most of his time at the kennel. He fought hard to beat his infections and the volunteers cheered him on. They took time off from work and life to take care of little Oscar, who was just a few months old then. Our dedicated volunteers took turns to ferry him weekly from kennel to vet, for 4 months until he got better. Since he was the last of the litter to survive, it was important to us that we had to rescue Oscar no matter what time and effort it took! During those days, Oscar was shy, filled with low self esteem and lacked confidence. He knew he looked bad and spent his days hiding away in a corner or shying away from us and his kennel buddies. 

Oscar spent close to 5 months at the kennel and gradually got better. A young couple, Charlene and Jon, who made every effort to connect with Oscar while he was healing, finally adopted him. They had earlier visited him during an adoption drive and even fostered him for a while before finally deciding that they wanted Oscar as a part of their family.

A loving home at long last
As with all of our adoption cases, we visited Oscar a few weeks after adoption to make sure that he was adjusting fine. Immediately we noticed that Oscar was a different dog from when we first rescued him. Then, he was a sickly dog with little to no self-esteem, which could be due to his skin condition. Like humans, dogs are very sensitive to their own condition and he probably knew what he was suffering from, and thus hid and kept very much to himself, not interacting even with the other dogs. Who would have thought this little darling could one day transform to a much confident dog that he is today.

Oscar is a very lively dog and loves to run and jog with his new owners. Jon and Charlene teach him simple commands like, 'Sit', "Paw" and “Come”, responding actively and behaving very much like how a dog should behave; wagging his tail, responding positively to humans, and interacting. It was a joy to see Oscar find a family who could give him the love he deserved. We saw him blossom from a sickly rescued stray to a handsome confident young adult.

Each & every day is a brand new refreshing experience for Oscar

Acting cute to beg for Bak Kwa during Chinese New Year
It was to be a happy ending. Unfortunately, the unexpected happened. On 3rd March Sunday, we got a call from his owners. They had brought Oscar to the vet after noticing that not only were there rashes and general itchiness on his body, Oscar was lethargic. The vet gave Oscar steroid jabs and antibiotics. When the vet tried to get Oscar to stand, he wouldn’t move and had to be lifted up for the vet to examine him properly.

A critically ill Oscar
They then decided that his condition was rather serious and put him on an IV drip, keeping him overnight at the vet for observation. Meanwhile, while his red blood count was normal, Oscar’s platelet count continued to drop. The Vet suspected that it might have been an infection in his liver as there were a lot of bacteria in his poo, so he put Oscar on a series of tests. 

By Monday, his platelet count plummeted so badly that he had an emergency plasma transfusion, although that was not enough. On Tuesday, with Rudolf’s help, Oscar managed to receive much needed blood transfusion. Despite all that the vet had done, his blood count continued to drop dangerously.

Rescued dog, Rudolf, waiting for the blood transfusion to commence.
Rudolf's blood typing card

Oscar's blood typing card
The vet decided to give us the bad news. Oscar might not pull through this time. When we heard that, we were in shock. Things had taken a 360 degree turn almost overnight! We told ourselves we had to mentally prepare for the worst. His family, Charlene and Jon, were extremely sad that this had happened to their precious baby. Our hearts were heavy as we watched them talk to Oscar, telling him that everything will be okay, that he had to fight this infection and get better. It was all we could do to keep ourselves from tearing, at the thought that someone in your family was slowly wasting away, and that there was nothing one could do except to pray and hope for a miracle. We had to be strong for Oscar. 

Oscar is currently warded at the vet and is in intensive care, where the owners had to pay extra for a night nurse to check on Oscar every two hours. If he pulls through the night, he would be expected to stay in ICU for up to 4 days then transferring to a normal cage for two weeks till his condition stabilizes enough for him to return home. He is on oxygen 24 hours a day (at $10 / hour) as his breathing is terribly labored.

With oxygen tube
The vet is currently testing his liver but the signs are not good; the liver is definitely failing with readings hitting 10 times higher than normal readings (which is typically kept at around 100). The ultrasound scan showed that he also has Hepatitis. No one knows what the cause of the infection is although it is suspected that Oscar may have eaten something poisonous or he developed a bacteria infection that attacked his liver. 
His kidney is also not functioning very well now and his spleen is enlarged. We can only pray that the infection does not spread any further. His temperature fluctuates, with the last reading at 40C. Oscar still eats normally but is abnormally quiet. Although his body is very hot, his limbs and ears are cold, signs that blood is not circulating properly. The vet put him on IV drip, prescription diet and liver supplements. Hopefully this would help in whatever way to keep the infection at bay. 
It is now up to Oscar to fight the infection, and we have to stand by him and support him so that he knows he’s very much loved and not alone. We appeal to your hearts to do whatever you can for Oscar; kind thoughts, prayers and funds to pay for his medical treatment. Oscar requires intensive treatment and 24 hours care at the clinic, and such treatment is very expensive. As of today, the vet bills have hit the $3,000 mark and we still have a few more weeks of hospitalization before his condition stabilizes. To date, Oscar’s owners have already settled this amount.

Oscar needs our prayers and help
Oscar’s family wants do anything they can to save their family member and have emptied whatever savings they have for Oscar. We at Hope Dog Rescue will do what we can to help one of our former rescues as the love we show our rescues do not stop once they leave our care. 
We hope that you can help us help Oscar. If you can find it in your heart to do so, please contact fiona@hopedogrescue.org   
To help with Oscar’s vet bills, please issue your cheques to The Animal Doctors Pte Ltd and send it to Block 108, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 (Street 11), #01-94/96, Singapore 560108. On the back of the cheque, please write “For Oscar”. 
We apologize that Oscar will not have any visitors for now as he needs all his strength and energy to fight this through. 

O Lord, 
Every creature, 
in every forest, field, and home, 
belongs to you, 
and is under your loving care. 
May your blessing be upon this dog, 
and, in your great kindness, 
Keep him safe from all harm. 
We pray that you would show forth your eternal love and mercy, 
in the companionship and friendship that this dog provides. 
David Bennett

Written by Elaine Quek