18 March 2008

Reason #241 Why I Hate People

We'll call this little dog Gem.

031608Dystocia01

Gem came into the clinic on Sunday along with a sob story about how she'd been adopted in Alabama and the family had just moved up to this area recently and they had thought she was spayed but then came home to find her tied with their male, etc., etc. And now she was in dystocia (medspeak for difficult labor) and the owner had actually pulled a leg off of one of the pups trying to extract it. And they had no money.

So some calls were made, and a rescue group was found that agreed to take her in and cover her medical expenses (to which I also applied some of the leftover funds from Phoebe donations) and find her a new home. Which is good, because the rest of Gem looked like this:

031608Dystocia03

Even before she got into such rough shape, I'm not quite sure how she was managing to walk. But it was pretty clear that she needed to go to surgery fairly quickly. When I did open her up, this is what I found:

031608Dystocia05

I made a notation on the Flickr page, but there was gas in her uterus. This is never a good sign. It turned out that at least half of the 8 puppies inside her were decomposing, meaning she had likely been in labor for at least 24 hours and her former owners had simply done nothing to help her until she was half dead. Of the pups, only 3 were still alive, but two of those were in such a weakened state that they also succumbed. The remaining pup is doing well, however, and Gem has been spayed so that she won't ever have to go through this again.

The surgery wasn't the end of her troubles, though. When she was being readied to go to a day practice yesterday morning, she vomited a large volume and appeared to have aspirated some of the fluid into her lungs. She is reportedly doing much better today and set to go home, but I was worried about her. Oh, and this is what she looked like post-op (she lost over 1/4 of her body weight):

031608Dystocia07

It turned out, not surprisingly, that the former owner's story wasn't exactly true. It's possible that the dog may have been acquired in Alabama, but there's no indication that they were under the illusion that she'd been spayed. Particularly since he'd been seen selling puppies at a local fleamarket before. Also, judging from her degree of mammary development, I'd suspect that she's had several litters before this one, and judging from her teeth, I'd suspect that she may be older than was reported. In any event, they'd had two months in which to do something before she ever went into labor, and even then waited until her condition was very dire to do anything. The only thing that can be said in their defense is that they didn't let her die at home.

28 comments:

Jennie said...

I am so sorry that you have to carry this weight, Mel. It makes me feel lucky to "only" have had to deal with folks approaching Labrador Rescue--including the folks who wanted to give up an 8 y.o. dog that they'd had since 8 weeks old. Why?

Because they were moving to L.A. Freakin jerks. sigh.

KSee said...

Oh, Dr Mel, thank you for stepping in. The pictures are unbelivable. I hope she gets adopted into a good home and can live out the rest of her life like it should have been. I don't "get" people like the ones you speak of. Let us know if you need help.

Sheepish Annie said...

Dear God...I can't even begin to imagine the pain that poor animal was experiencing. How utterly horrific. I'm so glad that you were there for her...

Sam said...

your work life is certainly much more exciting than mine. Hope Gem recovers nicely and finds a nice home that is not into slavery. Poor girl.

knitnzu said...

That's horrible Mel! I thought the surgery pic was pups until I looked on your flickr page. Ick, poor thing. Hope she finds a good home, she sure looks like a sweet dog. 9#? she's a tiny thing.

Sean said...

It must be horrible for you to witness certain people's sins...and, yes, I think these are sins for sure. But the extent to which man can neglect animals literally makes me sick. But, horrible, horrible that you get to be the witness.

Great work you do, though. Thanks

JohnK said...

Mel
We love you. and know what asses people can be around animals.
Thanks for being there. xxxooo

Alwen said...

People. What good are we sometimes? Okay, well, aside from you, of course.

TheBunny said...

I'm sorry you have to face those kinds of jerks. We are lucky you chose the work you do but the very nature of your work means you cross paths with heartless idiots.

Here, maybe I can give you an alternate image: My kitty at my elbow on the back of the couch on her handknit blanket that she is obsessed with. My two greyhounds on their gigantic foam, orthopedic beds, draped with several layers of soft fleece, in front of me. The 14 year old is eating his dinner in bed so he doesn't have to stand the whole time. And they had a special treat of tuna juice on the prescription kibble.

Happy home! But we just don't stand out like the lousy cases do.

Little Gem was a lucky girl for getting out of that home. Sometimes lucky doesn't look like we think it would.

Rabbitch said...

I am ready and willing, waiting here with my pointy sticks for your command that it is time to start being stabbity.

I believe there is no other solution for those people.

Julie said...

OMG, I just don't know what to say. That poor, poor dog; what pain and suffering she must have endured before you helped her. Thank you for the work you do; you're an angel!

textillian said...

Is it possible to operate on the previous owners? I think lobotomies might be in order. Or have they already had that done?

Danielle said...

Oh, Mel, this post made me cry. Thank goodness there are people like you who are willing to speak out about stuff like this and to help these poor animals. Thank you.

monica said...

Her owners should be sterilized themselves. People really do suck.

Anonymous said...

Dear lord. That poor dog. THANK YOU and everyone who works with you for helping Gem. There's a very special place reserved for people who treat animals that way. Gem and her pup are due for a wonderful forever home.

A reader in Seattle

MollyBeees said...

OMG! Stories like this just make me SICK! How can anyone treat ANY living thing like that. Thank goodness for caring folks like you! God love ya! Isn't there any way, with this excellent documentation, that animal welfare can take any other unfortunate animals away from these folks?!

Marcy said...

I'm glad poor Gem came to you Mel and that now she has a chance at a good life.

I've long believed that people who do horrible things to animals should have to suffer the same things done to them. I don't think that way about all things, but absolutely about animal abuse.

WonderMike said...

I'm just so shocked. I can't even begin to fathom what that poor thing went through. And those MORONS!!!! It's such a shame that anyone can have a pet... and anyone can have children... Well, enough of my rant. I'm so pleased that Gem seems to be doing better.

wenders said...

You are a saint.

I'll be honest, I can't always read about what you do, because I get so angry and so upset.

I rescued my dearest little Colby this November, and as I've worked with him, it's become apparent that he suffered some form of injury or abuse before coming to me. I cannot imagine how people are harmful to animals.

But, thank YOU!

Sharon Rose said...

You rock. Care to post the addy of the "owners" int he interest of vigilante justice?

Kidding!

No, I'm serious. I just want to be kidding.

Kim said...

You are a wonderful caring human being, the work you do is very important! Not all people are stupid, selfish and ignorant! Some of us (speaking for myself and my family) love our fur children as much as our human children! My one year old pup Molly has a huge toy box of toys, goes for walks, plays with her friends at the park, has a bed meant for a queen and eats organic food! I love her very much! Last year I called the police on a man who left his dog is a car in 90 degree heat. I gave him fair warning, he did nothing, so he got in trouble.

Scoutj said...

This just made me all teary. I seriously hate people. UGH!

Love you though.

mary said...

She's adorable! When can I take her home?

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for kind vets like you. And a pox on all "humans" who treat their animals so cruelly. I am the happy owner of two pound puppies (chow/shepherd mix), two miniature dobermans, and two Siamese cats. I love them more than my human family. :-)I only wish I could add them to my health care plan!

wondermachine said...

I think if I was in Maine I'd be offering to come on over and adopt that pup. Or Gem. What a brave girl.
Makes me do some hatin' too on the humans. And now, having glanced over at our Roofus, thankful he was spared something like that.
Thanks for what you do. You saved two lives.

Littlelou said...

Stumbled upon your blog via another. Gasped at this post..the photos really help get the story across, shocking as it is. Good job, well done. From a dedicated dog lover xx

Barbara said...

I did mastiff rescue for a number of years and it broke my heart every day. Luckily we had Dr Wayne Svoboda to help us. He made house calls when we had animals too traumatized to bring to him, he met us at the clinic at 3 am when we had a female in distress similar to your Gem.

I don't do rescue work anymore - I cant' take the heartbreak. One dog we had, just lay down and died on us when she realized that this wasn't a 2 week vacation - but her person was not coming back. She wouldn't eat, drink, play or anything. Dr Svoboda ran all kinds of tests and found nothing wrong.

Bless you for all that you, and the people like you, do for these animals

Paul said...

Any update on the little girl? We're very grateful that you do what you do!