If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Broken Life

We were in Tuas on one of our usual rounds bringing stray dogs in for sterilization as part of our S.D.S (Street Dog Sterilization) program. A worker was helping us to catch a black female dog who lived there. He pointed out that her leg seemed to be injured, and indeed she walked with a slight limp but nothing seemed to be terribly wrong with her. We told him not to worry, and that we would get it checked at the vet while she was sterilized.

That evening, we took her to the vet and arranged for her to get an X-ray done the following day.

When we got the results back, we were shocked. We discovered that her hip bone had been hit with tremendous force. Her femur bone had been pushed completely out of its socket! The doctor said that the injury was already several months old, and would never have healed on its own.
Trying her best to stand, despite the pain

She was likely the victim of a high-speed hit and run. We could only imagine the blinding explosion of pain in her small body as the speeding vehicle hit her, and her terror and confusion as she tried to drag herself off the road to safety in a daze after the collision. She had to deal with the agony for months, with every movement sending sharp pains shooting up her spine and down her leg. Because she is a stray, she never had the opportunity to rest. She had to continue to fight for food every day, and to try to defend herself when other dogs attacked her, for food or from fighting to mate with her. We are so glad that we had found her when we did, so that we could help her get better and end the pain she must have been living with for a long time.
 Not wanting to look at us

Her long wound - reminding us so much of what Venus had gone through

The doctor informed us that she would definitely need surgery. It would not be possible to put her popped joint back into its socket as the injury was too old. Instead, she would need to have parts of her femoral head bone. The head and neck of the femoral bone would be completely removed, so that the head of the bone would stop pressing against the socket. After the surgery, her leg muscles would hold her femur bone in place, as most of the hip joint would have been removed. She should be able to move almost as well as before once she gets used to it. Her situation is actually very much like that of Venus.

Although amputation was not necessary, the surgery she underwent was a very long one. There was not sufficient time for her to be sterilized in the same surgery, thus the poor doggy needs to undergo another separate operation, for sterilization, when she recovers from the first one.

 Fear and uncertainty in her eyes

The following day, Dr Simon Quek performed the FHNE (femoral head and neck excision) operation on her hip. Fortunately, everything went smoothly and now she's finally getting the rest that she needs. In fact, the doctor had ordered 10 days of "bed rest" for this dog! So, we have put her up in a kennel to let her recover from her hip surgery. Once she's better, we will be bringing her back to the vet to be sterilized before taking her back to the factory in Tuas.

Her FHNE surgery was billed at approximately $1800. To contribute to her vet bills, please email dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg or call Lynda at 9757 2528.

Thank you for helping a stray.

Written by Elena Lin

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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."- Unknown