Amber With The Soulful Eyes

Volunteer, Wendy, carrying Amber to put her in the carrier and take her to the vet

We came across this female dog when we were doing our rounds in the industrial area 2 weeks ago. Despite having a group of excited dogs all clamouring for our attention, our eyes could not help but be drawn to this girl who seemed to be favouring her front left leg. Not only was she limping to get around, as we observed her to try and assess the extent of her injury, we noticed that she never once rested that front right paw on the ground, even when she was standing still. Upon closer inspection, we saw that her right elbow was swollen.

We call her Amber with the soulful eyes. For it was her expressive eyes that spoke of the pain, even though she neither flinched nor whined when we examined her injured leg.The swollen elbow warranted concern, so we plucked her off the streets and bundled her off to the vet. The vet put her age at around 5 years, and advised us that the swelling and limping were either caused by an old fracture that had not healed properly, or bone cancer. However, her actual affliction could not be confirmed until she had a chance to meet with a specialist. For that, we would all have to wait another week. In the meantime, Amber was hospitalised.

Tired, scared and in pain at the vet

Look at how awkward her bone joint juts out

Hearing the big "C" word is never easy and the week leading up to her visit with the specialist was filled with worry that she might indeed have cancer. To add to that, Amber was not doing so well being away from her pack and cooped up in an unfamiliar space. While she was still very friendly and affectionate when we visited, always wagging her tail and pushing her head into our hands for a pat, she was also showing signs of stress. She found it hard to relax in the clinic and was reluctant to move; she either froze upright or lay curled up hoping that no one would notice her. 

Amber, feeling very sorry for herself

Finally, the day of her visit with the specialist arrived. After performing the necessary tests and x-rays, the news that Amber did not have cancer was met with huge relief. What she had was confirmed to be an old fracture which was estimated to have been obtained about 2 months back. Given the high vehicular traffic where she lives, it is not hard to deduce how she might have gotten her injury. Such are the dangers that our strays face.

The vet reckoned she may have been hit by a motorbike and after the accident, a large nerve had become impinged between the elbow bones, causing severe pain and limited movement. 

Elbow bones shattered

Right elbow fractured and inflamed

The fracture had disrupted her elbow joint and the resulting pain could not be treated normally by splinting or medication. The only way to relieve the pain was to undergo a surgery called Arthrodesis which would encourage the fractured bones in her leg to fuse together over time. Even with the surgery, she will always walk with a slight limp for the rest of her life, but at least she will be able to use her leg again without pain.

Amber underwent the surgery last week and the cost of the surgery amounted to $1,700.

A very worried Amber
Over the period of her injury, the muscles in her right leg have atrophied a little due to lack of use so Amber will require some hydrotherapy sessions to strengthen the muscles and teach her to use that leg again. Her leg will also need to be checked regularly in the next few weeks. Any signs of swelling or a cold paw, which could signify that blood is not circulating well in the limb, will need to be checked out by the vet.

Amber is also still showing signs of stress and depression. She has not peed or pooped for 3 days as she is fearful on walks and freezes up when the volunteers carry her to the grass. 

Despite all this, Amber with the soulful eyes is a really sweet girl. In her eyes, you can see that all she needs is some patience and TLC as she recovers. Amber loves humans and is extremely affectionate. She shows no signs of aggression at all. f you can foster and tend to Amber’s recovery needs (better yet, adopt her for life!), or wish to contribute towards her vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg 

Her leg no longer requires wound cleaning. She just needs to be encouraged to walk and to start using her leg again. 

Written by: Adeline Pang