We'll call this little dog Gem.
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:
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:
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):
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.