Shell Shocked

I have been volunteering for HOPE for a couple of months now. When I was asked to standby at the vet to check in for a new rescue, I didn’t think much of it. Kate was being transferred from the A&E.  After all, I have handled a couple of cases by now, but no amount of maggot wounds could prepare me for the scene I witnessed.

Kate’s eyeball had popped out and was dangling from her eye socket. There was blood everywhere; on her e-collar, in the carrier and blood continued to drip as I looked on. Our pet transport driver had to physically carry Kate into the clinic and she was in too much pain and shock to even move. She did not even struggle nor show any reactions. I stood shell shocked and could only hold the door open for him with my trembling hands.

The vet on duty examined her and said that her right eye could not be saved as it had been exposed for too long and was turning black. It would have to be removed during surgery and the socket stitched up.

X-rays were then carried out and it showed that Kate’s right jaw was fractured – this could have been caused by a high impact hit, so possibly a moving vehicle. However, they will not be operating on her jaw for now. Main priority would be to remove her right eyeball. As for her jaw fracture, they would put a muzzle on her to minimize her jaw movement and hope that her jaw would heal on its own in the next three days. If in three days’ time it does not heal, then she will require surgery to repair her fractured jaw. During her eye surgery, she will have a feeding tube inserted into her neck.

The x-ray also showed she has a misaligned vertebrae on his spine. This may or may not be caused by the accident. She could have been born that way but the vets will monitor this as well.

Her surgery will take place later today (Saturday) as she is still in shock. Her bill is estimated to be about $4500 for the eye surgery and one week’s stay. The jaw surgery is not included for now. We are hoping we can find a foster when she is discharged.

This is singularly the most traumatic and depressing moment I have experienced during my stint with Hope Dog Rescue. Can you imagine the pain and stress she is experiencing? I tried to put myself in her shoes. An eyeball dangling out of my eye socket with my face smashed and still trying to escape from
a bunch of well-meaning but scary humans for more than an hour while they tried to catch me and take me to the vet. When I was finally caught, I had to endure a long and rocky ride in pain.

This incident made me realise the importance of the role we play, even just as volunteers. However, we have our constraints too. Mounting bills incurred at the vet means we can no longer afford to rescue any more dogs. And no fostering / adoption also means no space to save more dogs.

But how can we say NO to Kate? When we saw her picture sent in by these two people who saw her,  our resolves melted. 

On behalf of our furry friends, we thank you for your help.