Left For Dead

We received an urgent call for help…..again. A factory worker had contacted one of our volunteers requesting for help as a dog residing in their factory was listless and according to him, a small wound which had not recovered.

He sent us a picture of an emaciated dog with a raw maggot wound at the side of his body. He was lying listlessly on his side and looked dirty and frail. How could the worker possibly say that it was just a small maggot wound and that the dog had merely not eaten for a few days? Immediately we swung into action arranging to take the poor dog to the vet.

When we laid eyes on him, he was a sorry sight, a living skeleton with a strong stench of rotting flesh. Armed with leashes and a collar for fear that he may run away, we realised we didn’t even need them. He was so weak that he could hardly lift his head to look at us. He did try to stand up but collapsed with a pitiful whine of pain.

Sweet Bobby on way to the vet

Arriving at the vet
We carried him into the clinic on a stretcher. He was a bag of bones with badly matted fur and dirt covering his entire body. He actually looked dead. His breathing was shallow and he hardly moved. As we were waiting for our turn to see the vet in the waiting area, he lay on the stretcher with his eyes closed, whining in pain occasionally. We tried to comfort him by stroking him and assuring him that he was now safe and then we saw a fat maggot climb out of his wound! Have you ever seen a raw wound with maggots wriggling in the raw red flesh? My hands shook as I tried to squash the maggot. I cannot fathom the pain of having dozens of these parasites feeding upon my flesh alive. Our hearts ached for him. To reach this state, he would have been left for dead for weeks.

We decided to name him Bobby in the hope that he will be strong and tough once again.

Eyes that have given up on life
In the consultation room, the vet heaved a sigh of pity looking at Bobby’s miserable state. According to her, Bobby has not had proper nutrition over a prolonged period, his frail body covered with fleas, flea dust, mites, ticks . . . .  you name it, he had it. His infestation was so bad that it would have taken months or more to reach this state.

Fleas and flea dust covered his ears, head and face
 Giant ticks found on Bobby
When we shifted him to take a look at the other side of his body, he whined and cried in pain. It was a weak attempt as he didn’t even have the energy to bark. He was covered with open wounds and parts of his skin on his body and legs were scraped off and raw flesh was exposed.

Flushing his ears which was so badly infected, his ear canal had closed

His left ear was wet and smelly inside but the surroundings were crusty. Upon close examination, the vet told us that the ear was so badly infected that his ear canal had actually closed, there was only a small hole where pus was leaking out. He was most likely deaf in this ear due to the severe infection and this added on to his pain. It would have taken a severe ear infection, over a very long period of months or years for the ear canal to have closed. Such was the suffering and pain he had gone through.

We thought that was all and weren’t prepared for what happened next. When the vet flipped him on to the other side to check for more wounds, dark coloured, blood looking liquid flowed out from his penis, which had swelled to three times the normal size! We were saddened by what he was going through. The vet immediately flushed his badly infected penis and checked for maggots. There were none and so a catheter was inserted immediately to keep the area dry and hopefully heal faster. It could be cancer or a prolonged infection with no treatment.

Badly infected penis that was terribly swollen
 Catheter inserted into Bobby, a mass of skin and bones
We were unable to carry out more tests as had already gone through enough for the night.

His ear canal had closed except for a tiny red hole oozing pus

For now, he would be put on a drip to stabilize his condition, antibiotics, pain killers, and the vet would be monitoring his condition and cleaning his wounds. They will let him rest for a few days before deciding on the next course of action.

As poor Bobby has a severe heart murmur, he cannot be put on general anaesthesia thus he was lightly sedated throughout the procedure and given local anaesthesia. He moaned and howled softly in pain occasionally as the vet cleaned and removed the maggots one by one from his wound, cleaned his ears and inserted the urine catheter. He had to be administered local anaesthesia periodically and the only indication that he required a fresh dose was when his cries of pain became louder and he tried to struggle to get up. The vet made a comment that the maggots were almost turning into flies. Despite it being just a comment, it sent shivers through my spine. Bobby was also found to have tick fever.

When I first saw Kate, it was like a huge punch in my stomach at the sight of her eyeball popping out of her socket. In Bobby’s case, its equivalent to being hit again and again several times in the face with each observation as we realised how truly severe his injuries were. His final diagnosis is bleak and we hope that with time and proper medical care, a good nutritious diet, a miracle may happen and he would recover and at least enjoy what’s left of his sad life.

We appeal to you in praying for his recovery and also your kind assistance with the medical bills. With four dogs (Dawn, Ah Mei, Kate and now Bobby) at the vet, we are stretched to the max. We have never hesitated when we receive calls for help as we have faith that fellow animals lovers like your good self will support the rescue work we do. In addition to sending the dogs to the vets, we ensure they have proper nutrition by feeding them home cooked food and visiting them at the vets regularly. We do not want our dogs to feel neglected or unloved. We treat all our rescue dogs as if they were our own beloved pets. Any amount, big or small, is greatly appreciated and goes a long way in ensuring our doggies get the best care possible and gives us the ammunition to rescue more dogs.

Other than financial help, we appeal for adopters or fosters. In the near future when Bobby is better, we hope he can be adopted or at least live with a foster who can shower him with love and care. In view of his current state, we dare not allow him to go back to his factory where he was left for dead.

We are also urgently looking for fosters for the rest of our dogs currently warded at the vet, so that these dogs can recuperate in a home environment, as well as help us save on our vet bills. Ah Mei needs a foster for 2 weeks while her eyelid heals and our dear 3-legged Dawn is ready for a forever home. She was badly traumatised after getting caught by AVA but is now much calmer and allows herself to be stroked and walked although she is still a little wary. She has come a long way but needs a patient family who can welcome her and allow her to feel safe again.

To help in any way you can, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg Thank you.

Written by Wendy Yeo