Late last night a puppy was brought into the sanctuary who had been hit by a car. This had happened a week ago and the ‘owners’ decided not to bring him in until now. He had severe trouble breathing and Marie-Eve believed he was suffering from a hernia. Unable to clarify this without an x-ray, we contacted the local hospital to see if they would allow us to bring the puppy in today to use the x-ray machine. Amazingly they agreed and we were given an appointment time of 3pm. This meant that we could proceed with the sterilisations this morning.
We currently have 4 males at the sanctuary who need to be neutered. Etti, Dorrie and Hippie were all fixed without any major problems. Waffle, however, did prove trickier. At first it was nearly impossible to find a vein to put a catheter in his arm. When we finally succeeded and he had been anaesthetised we discovered that he only had one ball – the other hadn’t dropped. This explains his determined and, quite frankly, sometimes odd behaviour. Often I have seen Waffle persist with ‘winding up’ Etti for instance and he occasionally antagonises disgruntled dogs in heated situations. Considering that Waffle is disabled it is always a worrying sight to see him try to fight; it is precisely for this purpose that we felt it necessary to sterilize him rather than for any reproductive reasoning – the same goes for Hippie. We shall try again to sterilize Waffle in a couple of weeks.
The journey to the hospital this afternoon seemed to cause a significant amount of stress to the puppy, with his increased breathing it was imperative that we took the x-rays as quickly as possible. The hospital staff were helpful and the gentleman operating the machine was very friendly and appeared unfazed by the species of the patient. Marie-Eve and I held the puppy in position.
The x-rays showed a clear hernia – his intestines had moved up into his thorax, which explained why he’s having such difficulties breathing. To calm him down, we sat outside the hospital for a while to relax his breathing. Feeling that he was ready to travel, we set off for the sanctuary – just 5 minutes away by scooter. No more than 30 seconds into the journey we were forced to pull over when our poor boy began panicking and breathing frantically. We tried to calm him down and cool his temperature with water but tragically he died moments later.
Marie-Eve performed an autopsy and we were all shocked by just how severe the hernia was. It's unthinkable that his owners left him for 7 days in this state.