Surrendered to an overcrowded shelter when her owner fell ill, Lucille was left alone and scared. She needed a savior. BDAR, although already stretched thin, agreed to take Lucille into our program. How could we say no to that face? She arrived off transport, shy but sweet, and we all fell instantly in love with her.
Like most small breed dogs of Lucille’s breed type, we figured we wouldn’t have her long. Another routine case. But, once she arrived and we got a closer look, we realized Lucille would require a little more care than we were anticipating. She was filthy and matted, walked as though she was in pain, and had a giant hernia in her groin. This is not uncommon. We receive dogs from shelters all the time with issues no one there was aware of. It’s not a lack of compassion on their part, but their populations are just so large and overwhelming, they do the very best they can with the time and resources afforded to them. There are only so many hours in a day. Lucille was immediately bathed and shaved, and a vet appointment was made for the next day.
At her initial vet appointment, x-rays revealed that as a puppy she was crushed somehow, possibly stepped on. Her pelvis and femurs are crooked and underdeveloped which causes her some pain. There is not much to be done for these old injuries. She will most likely develop some arthritis in those areas, joint supplements and low dose anti-inflammatories will be needed long term. It is believed the hernia is a result of this trauma as well. We immediately scheduled surgery for the following week to repair the hernia, get her spayed, and have her teeth cleaned.
But, wait, there’s more! A couple days later, Lucille was attacked by a large dog. She saw the vet the next day, and x-rays showed a heinous mandibular fracture. A speciality consult was in order and we patiently awaited news from the dental surgeon. Was this even something they could fix? Would it be humane to even try? Lucille was given pain meds and we waited.
Very thankfully, we heard back soon from the very kind dental surgeon, Dr. Redman at Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists. She was unfazed by the severe nature of the break and said she could very easily repair it. But, at a pretty steep cost; $3,000 - $5,000. We are lucky to have Clyde’s Fund, a fund for dogs and cats that need extra care, but we knew that the cost of Lucille’s care would take a big chunk out of that funding. But, when BDAR agreed to take Lucille into the program, we made a promise to her. We would do whatever it took to get her healthy again. Lucille’s mandible repair was scheduled for a couple days later. We were so happy to be able to do this for her.
Unfortunately, a couple evenings before her surgery, Lucille fell very ill. She was shaking, shivering, cold to the touch, she had a cough, severe nasal discharge, and she would not eat or drink. Something was terribly wrong and we feared she would not make it through the night if we waited. We were told by an emergency vet in town, that the only way she would receive the round-the-clock-care she so desperately needed was to take her to the emergency hospital at Four Seasons in Loveland right away. So we did just that. After an already very long day for our staff, a member of our team drove Lucille to Loveland and stayed with her until 11pm while a diagnosis and treatment plan were decided upon. Lucille had aspiration pneumonia. The dog attack had affected her sinus, which caused an infection, and she aspirated the mucus into her lungs. Lucille need to be hospitalized immediately so that she could receive fluids, antibiotics, pain medication, and oxygen. The estimate for this care was between $2,000 to $3,000. Still, we could not say no. Remember, we made a promise to Lucille.
Lucille remained hospitalized for two days. The veterinary team feared that she would not be stable enough to have the surgery that she needed so badly. But, on the evening before her scheduled surgery, Lucille perked up! Her lungs sounded clearer, and her respiratory rate had improved. Lucille was cleared for surgery!
The following afternoon, her mandible was successfully repaired. The teeth above the fracture were bonded with a bonding agent and wire. It’s like a retainer that she can’t take off.
A few hours later she was eating, drinking, giving her doctors kisses, and generally feeling so much more like the sweet Lucille we met a few days earlier.
She remained in the hospital for one more evening. During this time a veterinarian assigned to Lucille’s case gave us a call, and asked if she could foster her! She had recently lost her small dog, and has a soft spot for the tiny, broken ones. We could not think of a better place for her to recover. Lucille is doing great in her foster home. She spoons on the bed with her devoted foster mom all night, and is learning to be a little more tolerant of the bigger dogs in the home.
Lucille’s journey is not over yet. In 6-8 weeks, she will have the hardware removed from her mouth, and her teeth will be cleaned. She will then be scheduled for the hernia repair and spay surgeries, here in Cheyenne with our dear friends at Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic. Once all is said and done, we estimate that close to $6,000 from Clyde’s Fund will have been used for Lucille’s care alone. We desperately need your help replenishing these funds. Otherwise, we are dangerously close to not being able to say yes to the next special needs medical case that comes along.
Luckily, we only see cases with these kinds of price tags a couple times a year. But, in between those cases, we see uncountable ear infections, eye infections, kennel cough cases, animals suffering from dental disease, and dogs and cats in dire need of professional grooming. These smaller medical needs, coupled with the cost of spay and neuter surgeries, vaccines and microchips for every animal in our program add up quickly, to the tune of $7,000 a month, in fact. Every month.
We cannot continue this life saving work without your support. Please consider making a one time donation or joining our recurring donation program, The Constant Companion Club, today.
Lucille and so many others like her, are depending on you!