Special Dogs Look for a Holiday Miracle

Special Dogs Look for a Holiday Miracle

Nothing is better than fun little surprises during the holiday season! Well, this month we got our fair share of surprises here in rescue. We’ve taken in three very special needs dogs this month and one vet appointment after another has revealed some not-so-nice surprises as each of these dogs requires more and more medical attention.

Here are the stories of Kenga, Chunk and Irish – all of whom are in desperate need of a holiday miracle.


KENGA
Pitbull Mix
5 months

When Kenga arrived to rescue we assumed she’d be a happy healthy puppy. Her ragged and patchy fur told a very different story. She was excessively skinny and was having trouble keeping her food down so we took a trip to the vet to try and get some answers. X-rays led them to believe that Kenga might be suffering from Esophagitis, a temporary inflammation or infection of the esophagus, or Megaesophagus a more permanent condition where the muscles of the esophagus do not work and food and water cannot be moved into the stomach.

Kenga was put on a two week trial to figure out exactly what here prognosis is. During this time she is on medication to try and decrease the swelling and fluid in her throat, to prevent infection, and to keep food down.

Kenga is currently eating from baby highchair since she needs to eat sitting up and then stay that way for 20 minutes after eating to keep the food down. A middle school shop class in Wayzata has offered to build her a Bailey Chair to help her eat more comfortably and that should arrive soon!

Kenga has a follow up visit scheduled for the December 21. If she is diagnosed with Megaesophagus she will likely have to live with medication, a special diet and a Bailey Chair for the rest of her life.

 

 

Update 12.18.18: It is with great sadness that we have to share the passing of our little Kenga. Since we introduced her last week, her health declined rapidly. Despite treatment and medication, her esophagus continued to swell and press on her trachea which was very painful and made it impossible for her to breathe. We had to make the heartbreaking decision to let her go.  Kenga’s foster, Autumn, has been an amazing comfort to her throughout her short journey. If loved could have saved Kenga, Autumn was the right person to give it a try. Rest in peace, sweet Kenga.


CHUNK
Old English Bulldog
6 months

Chunk has already had a very long journey in his short life. He originated in Europe where he was sold to a local breeder and shipped to Minnesota. When he arrived, the breeder found that he had a multitude of health problems and refused to breed him to prevent his issues from being passed down the genetic lines. He surrendered Chunk to rescue with the hopes that we could address his problems and offer him some quality of life.

This amazingly handsome dog was believed to have hip dysplasia, cherry eye, a deviated septum and some major trouble breathing. We took him in and immediately scheduled a vet appointment.

The good news: At this time Chunk’s hips are not causing him any physical pain. Vets did not recommend any surgery if/until there is discomfort. His third eyelid is folding up and drying out, giving the appearance of cherry eye. But then it moves back into place, re-hydrates and is “normal” again. Again, we’ll watch for any signs of discomfort and address his eye’s needs at that time.

The bad news: Chunk is having a hard time breathing normally. He will require surgery to widen his nostrils and may need to have his pustules and/or tonsils removed as well. Once he is out, the surgeon will also look at what repairs are needed for his elongated soft palate and they will move forward with whatever is needed to make the surgery successful for Chunk.

Chunk is scheduled for surgery on January 8. We’re hopeful that the doctors will be able to fix his breathing and that will offer him some relief as we continue to treat and monitor his other issues.

Chunk’s estimated medical costs are $1,500


IRISH
American Bully
6 weeks

Our youngest little patient, Irish, is the most severe of our holiday miracle cases.

At only six weeks old, the tiny puppy was having trouble walking on his back legs and was incontinent. It was clear he had some spinal issues, possibly scoliosis. We scheduled an appointment with our vets who referred us to a neurologist for a full work up of tests, including an MRI. We were worried that scoliosis in a puppy this young would most certainly lead to paralysis as he grew up, with nothing we could do to help him.

After his MRI, the neurologist consulted with other canine neurologist around the country before calling us. The MRI confirmed that Irish has scoliosis and that the vertebrae in his back that “dip” are not causing any compression, they are formed and stable. What is causing a 20% compression of his spine is an accumulation of spinal fluid on the cord. Basically, a cyst of fluid is pushing the dip further down and compressing the spine –causing his partial paralysis and incontinence.

We were relieved to find out that there was a surgical option to help Irish! But it gets tricky: in an adult dog, the surgeon opens the cyst, relieves the pressure on the spine and movement returns. There is a lot of research and case data on these types of surgeries and the outcomes have the potential to be amazing. There is however, NO data on this procedure in puppies because there is no record of his condition showing up in a puppy, ever! We have virtually no information to help us anticipate the outcome of surgery or the potential of re-occurrence.

This leaves us with only two options:

1) We do nothing and he becomes fully paralyzed and incontinent; or

2) We attempt the surgery and hope for the best possible outcome. We don’t know if the fluid pushing on his spine has caused any permanent damage to his cord, but the neurologist is hopeful since the spinal canal before and after the dip in his back is fully formed and functional.

Irish will always have scoliosis, which is manageable, so we have decided to do the surgery and give him the best possible chance at a full life. Surgery is scheduled for January 7. We’re working with Irish to build some strength before his surgery and he’s taking some pre-surgery meds that will help him handle the hours of anesthesia necessary to perform the surgery. If he starts to decline or lose more movement before then, the surgery will be pushed up to the next soonest available date.

Spinal surgery is always risky, and more so on a puppy as small as Irish. But we’re sure that with all the love and support he’s getting, that Irish will be able to fight through it!

Irish’s medical costs and surgery are expected to run $3,200-$4,000 and include a two-day hospital stay and specialized neurologist team.


Thanks to our Heal-a-Bull program, we are able to offer these dogs the best possible chance by providing the medical care they need. If these dogs have touched your heart, please consider a donation to help with their care and follow us on social media for updates and more information.

 

We are not accepting applications for any of these dogs at this time. Until the status of their health is known and fully stabilized they will not be available for adoption or for an adoption waiting list.

 

Beyond the Clinic: Community Outreach

Beyond the Clinic: Community Outreach

One of the things we have learned from our spay/neuter clinics is that there are many good people out there who love their dogs and simply don’t know how and can’t afford to give them the care that they really need. The low-income and homeless communities really don’t have any resources for their animals, and unwanted litters and serious health conditions are hurting the pets in those communities. This is one of the ways our spay/neuter clinics have grown to include a Community Outreach Program. While its a small program, it helps those who don’t even have the means to come to a clinic or who need services that aren’t necessarily provided by the human organizations that help them.

SAVE-A-BULL RESCUE’S COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM

Save-a-Bull’s Community Outreach Program aids bullies and their owners who are in need through providing resources and assistance for vetting, food, winter dog clothing and basics such as leashes and collars. The main goal of this program is to keep dogs with their people; to empower the people to get what they need so that they can take care of and keep their pets. We do not want to take their dogs away from them and we do not report to local animal authorities unless the situation is truly needing it.

The people this program benefits are often clients of our spay/neuter clinics who need help with follow up care or with more complex medical issues that were discovered during the routine spay or neuter. Rather than turn these people away because the issue is outside of the scope of the clinic, we find a way to make sure they get the care, medication and attention they need to see their dogs through these issues.

Another way the Community Outreach Program helps beyond our clinics is out on the street. Save-a-Bull Vetting Manager Ian is a nurse/outreach case manager who works for an organization that provides assistance and street level outreach for folks that are long term homeless with addiction and/or mental health. Street level means that he goes directly to their camps and into the woods to find the people in need. Often times these people have dogs and the human organization doesn’t provide any assistance for those dogs, so Save-a-Bull can help make sure they have the basic supplies – food, bedding, warm coats, vaccinations and medication and vet care if needed.

MEET CHINA

China and her owner lived on the streets together for 12 years. She had been with him since she was eight weeks old and when it was discovered she had untreatable cancer, her owner was devastated. When the time came to let China go, the homeless owner’s only option was to drop her off at a shelter to be euthanized. He refused, it was important to him to be with her in her time of passing. Our Community Outreach Program made this final farewell a possibility. By providing a vet appointment at a clinic he was able to hold China while she left this world and grew her wings.

Because Ian is out and about all day he runs into people with dogs who need help on a regular basis. The stigma of a pit bull living on the street might be too much for some people, but Ian says “I run towards the pit bulls instead of away from them when doing outreach.” (Learn more about Ian’s work here.)

While our program is small, and there is no formal application process to get help, we do our best to keep our ears and eyes open and offer help where needed. Our volunteers actively hand out clinic flyers to the owners of dogs in need of spay or neuter and alert our vetting team of homeless people that may need assistance. Your donations on Give to the Max Day will help support the resources this program and our clinics have to offer our community, thank you.


Supporting spay and neuter and community assistance programs will promote responsible dog ownership and breed advocacy which is an important part of the work we’re trying to do every day. 

 

Foster Care Gets Even More Personal

Foster Care Gets Even More Personal

The past couple weeks have been hard ones for two dogs in rescue – and for their foster families.

Spiral, a 14 week old puppy recently underwent surgery to amputate a deformed front leg, and Ravioli, who’s been in rescue for over a year, fell ill to an ongoing neurological issue/injury. Both dogs are getting all the care they need thanks to Save-a-Bull’s ability to pay for surgery, MRI’s, exams, medications and more.

The foster’s for these dogs have already gone above and beyond to get them to appointments, keep up complicated schedules of medication, and attend to their recovery in their homes. In addition to that, they’ve both set up personal fundraisers on Facebook to try and raise money to recoup some of the expenses the rescue is paying out for their treatments.

Lorelei Noire, Save-a-Bull Foster Manager, and her husband Ian, SAB Vetting Manager and board member, are caring for Spiral. When Spiral arrived in rescue we knew her leg would need to be amputated, but she also needed some TLC to gain weight and get healthy before hand. Ian and Lorelei took care of Spiral and got her ready for the big day. Now post-surgery they are helping her recover and adjust to her new life as a tripod. You can read her story and donate to her fundraiser here:

Nan Hildebrandt, Save-a-Bull Marketing Manager and board member, and her husband Todd, SAB Brewery Tour Manager, have been fostering Ravioli for more than a year. A young dog with crazy high energy, Ravioli has been a non-stop challenge to keep up with until he suddenly presented with all-over body pain and loss of energy. Nan and Todd have taken Ravioli to multiple late-night emergency vet visits looking for answers and are working day and night to keep him comfortable while he stays on four weeks of strict kennel rest. Read more about Ravioli’s condition and donate to his care here:



Save-a-Bull is fortunate to be stable enough to cover the medical costs of illness and surgeries, both planned and surprised. But as the money for care goes out, it has to come back in so we’re ready for the next dog who needs us. We are so very grateful for foster families like these that go above and beyond the physical care of our dogs, but also help us address the financial needs as well.

If you want to help, please consider a donation to either Spiral or Ravioli’s medical expense fund, or with an overall donation to Save-a-Bull Rescue. Every dollar counts and no amount is too small!

Everything we do for these dogs is possible because of the support of our community. Together we’re able to make a difference in these lives and in countless others to come! Thank you for your support and for sharing our passion.

Are you compassionate and caring and interested in being a part of our foster network? We promise not all cases are this hard! We’re looking for loving families to care for puppies and dogs who are waiting to find their forever homes. We’ll provide everything you need and you’ll be paid in puppy kisses and gratitude. Click here to find out more then fill out a foster application to get the process started.

Good Bye, Krispy Bacon

Good Bye, Krispy Bacon

On Friday we lost our sweet Krispy Bacon. Many have been following his story and this isn’t the update we wanted to share. In the eight weeks since his surgery KB has had some really good days and showed progress, though he was also battling skin and bladder infections that we hoped would clear up. Unfortunately they began to get worse last week, and to further complicate his recovery, he began having seizures. With each one he lost muscle tone and his voluntary reflexes and his condition and quality of life was fading quickly.

After discussing KB’s declining condition with our veterinary team, the rescue, his vets and his foster family made the hardest decision ever.  We all knew KB’s body was tired and that he was suffering. He had pushed on for as long as he could, and we had to look past our own sadness and do what was best for KB.  Krispy Bacon was laid to rest on Friday.  He was loved by so many and will be greatly missed.

 

(Krispy Bacon’s Story as published on Razoo/Mightccause.com 02.14.18)

A Rehab Success Story

Krispy Bacon, or KB as we like to call him, came to Save-a-Bull in December as part of our Heal-a-Bull program – a program dedicated to dogs that need extra TLC and medical attention prior to adoption.

KB was born with a congenital spine compression, which limits his mobility. In addition to that he was terribly overweight which further complicated his ability to walk and use his back legs. After a month in rescue with his committed foster, KB had lost significant weight and through physical therapy sessions  was making great progress using his legs. Though he would always need special care and ongoing therapy, KB was ready to be a regular dog and was adopted.

Bad News

One month later, we got word that the adopter wanted to return KB as “things weren’t working out.”  We made arrangements to have him dropped off at our Bake Sale event on February 10 and upon his arrival immediately realized things had changed drastically for him.  He was unable to walk, he was completely incontinent and his physical appearance was alarming – he had sores and irritations all over his back legs and stomach, and he reeked of urine.

We immediately assessed his condition to determine if he was in pain (he wasn’t) and we went about cleaning him up.  He seemed to enjoy a warm bath and all the attention. We contacted our vetting partner and made arrangements to have him seen for an evaluation first thing Monday morning. KB’s foster spent the weekend loving on him and keeping him comfortable.

Immediate Medical Care

At our Monday appointment, the vet determined that KB needed specialized care and referred us to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Hospital; we were to bring KB to the clinic immediately. KB was admitted to the ER overnight and would be transferred to Neurology Services in the morning.

On Tuesday morning, the neurologist did a full exam and MRI on KB and thankfully found positive signs: KB still had reflexes in both his rear legs, and good range of motion with no pain. He had good sphincter muscle reflexes as well.  However, KB was going to need surgery to stabilize his spine – the  goal being to prevent further paralysis and return his mobility to as good as, if not better than, before he was adopted.

Since time was of the essence, KB went straight to surgery Tuesday afternoon to put  five pins in his spine . That evening the doctors reported that everything went well and KB was waking up without complications. He would spend the night in ICU  and the rest of the week at the hospital.

The Long Road Ahead

Once KB is released from the U of M he will send 4-6 weeks on crate rest. After that, he and his foster will return to his physical therapy routine as they try to rebuild his strength to walk again.

We are thrilled that Krispy Bacon is getting the care he needs and deserves. And thankful that we have the funds in our Heal-a-Bull program to be able to take on unexpected situations like this. But KB’s bills are going to make a huge impact on our funds. This very specialized care comes at a cost:

  • Neurologist eval: $150
  • ER stay: $500/night
  • MRI: $2,000
  • Surgery: $4,000
  • Hospital stay: $250/night
  • Physical Therapy: $750 for eval and 8 sessions

These are the fixed costs we have right now, but know we will have added expenses for a second neurologist evaluation, follow up visits and ongoing care.

Please consider a donation to our Heal-a-Bull program to help with KB’s medical care.

 

02.15.18 POST OP UPDATE

Kristy Bacon is the hit of the University hospital.  They all know who he is and giggle when they say his name.  They call him the “Charming Bulldog!” His foster went to visit him last night and he was thrilled to have the company!

KB is completely off of all IV meds and is eating like a champ, though he gets tired pretty easy.  They tried to get him to stand today with a sling and he was having no part of it.  He is having his bladder expressed and not urinating on his own…yet.  Spinal surgery is no joke, but all in all he is exactly where the doctors expect he should be 24 hours post-op.
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated and sent their well wishes to Krispy Bacon over the last 24 hours. Your good vibes are making all the difference in this sweet boy’s progress!

 

02.18.18 A Good Weekend

KB came home from the hospital on Friday and has been resting comfortably. We’ll share more about his care and rehab, and all it entails in a coming update. But right now we are seeing positive signs that KB is starting to feel better! He is playing with toys and wanting to interact with his foster family more.  Today was the first time he slept on his side and he was so comfortable he was snoring.

Since he has been feeling so much better, they decided to take a walk and get some fresh air.  KB sat in his cart and they took a trip around the block. This also was a first for KB;  When he first came into rescue he wasn’t able to walk any distance so he’s never actually been on a walk before! He was very proud to cruise the neighborhood in his “Red Limo.”

02.28.18 KB’s First Vet Follow Up

KB went to the vet yesterday for his 10 day post op check up.  His incision looks great and his stitches were removed.

Doctors say he is exactly where he should be for having spine surgery 10 days ago: his reflexes are becoming more responsive and he is voluntarily urinating.

Best of all we are seeing KB’s want to get up and move! He still needs to be on crate rest/restrictive movement for the next four weeks so it’s going to be a challenge – anyone ever tried to tell a stubborn bulldog they can’t do something?

KB’s next medical appointment is in two weeks. He’ll get a full set of x-rays and we’ll be able to start making determinations for his ongoing care and rehab.

KB is a definitely a favorite at the clinic. He loved all the attention and was truly enjoying his visit.

He’s grateful for all your support and well wishes!

 

03.28.18 KB Starts Therapy

After weeks of crate rest, a restless Krispy Bacon had his first post op therapy session yesterday. The therapists worked on some stretches and mobility exercises to test his leg strength. He enjoyed the attention from the staff as they examined, stretched and moved his legs and hips! He will be attending weekly sessions but until his rear legs get stronger he won’t be able to use the water treadmill.  

He was sent home with twice daily exercise homework to help his progress. With the warmer weather, he’s hoping to be able to get outside to do some of his exercises while he works on outdoor potty breaks.

When puppies need support, no one delivers like YOU!

When puppies need support, no one delivers like YOU!

It’s been a puppy-filled few months for Save-a-Bull Rescue! In December, pregnant mama Perdy gave birth to eight babies. Just as they were old enough to move to solid foods, we took in another litter of eight. Then, two weeks later, yet another 10 puppies came to rescue!

Since nutrition at this young age is extra-important, we needed to get enough food to feed these growing pups ASAP. We put out a plea on Facebook, asking anyone who wanted to help feed these puppies to  consider shopping from our Amazon Wish List. Well, a few days later we were bombarded with food, treats, toys and well wishes from many supporters. We can’t thank you enough for sending these special gifts! 

Two days in a row, the UPS man left us big deliveries.

We LOVE the notes that come with our Amazon Wish List packages!

Food is the single largest expense to rescue, and with this many little mouths to feed, the costs were stacking up. Your donations take that burden off our shoulders and let us focus on the care and placement of the many young lives that are depending on us.

As always, we can’t do any of this without your support and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts – and so do the puppies!


Food and supplies are always needed and greatly appreciated! If you want to send a gift to a dog in rescue, please shop from our Amazon Wish List.

And don’t forget to use our Amazon Smile link every time you shop at Amazon – 5% of your purchase is donated to rescue every time you shop!

Feature photo by Tangerine House of Design

Volunteers See Beauty in the “Beastliest” Puppies

Volunteers See Beauty in the “Beastliest” Puppies

Meet Gunnar and Sigmund. Both these boys came to rescue as strays, picked up by animal control and who’s owners never came for them. And they both suffered from severe cases of mange. Mange is a condition where mites live in and burrow through the skin of a dog. Severe hair loss, scabbing and infections are painful and if left untreated can compromise the dog’s immune system and even lead to death.

Mange is a difficult issue to treat, but the outcome is generally very good given enough time and diligent TLC. Save-a-Bull volunteers are some of the most dedicated people you’ll ever meet and will never hesitate to take in and help one of these dogs.

So what does it take to treat mange? It takes only two small doses of Bravecto, which is the easy part. It also takes daily medicated baths where the shampoo has to sit on a wet, wiggly puppy for at least 10 minutes. It takes  coconut oil rub-downs every single day to keep the scabs from drying and tearing the skin. And lots and lots of laundry – not only to keep the dogs bedding and area clean, but because these mange dogs smell terrible! Their skins is oozing and pussing as it tries to heal and they feel most comfortable wrapped in a tshirt or coat that needs to be changed multiple times a day.

Who wouldn’t want a mange puppy?!?!

But our volunteers take in and care for these dogs over and over and the result, as they come back to healthy, happy dogs, is amazing – as  these before and after photos will prove.

gunnerba sigmundba

This year, we took in Gunnar and Sigmund, as well as Dexter, Newton, Indy, Penelope, Julio, Matilda, Knox and  Leila and watched them all bloom into beautiful bully butterflies who were ready to start the next chapter of their lives without a worry in the world!


Thanks to you, Save-a-Bull has had the opportunity to rescue and rehome a lot of deserving dogs this year. But that’s not enough! Supporting spay and neuter assistance programs for our community will promote responsible dog ownership and breed advocacy which is an important part of the work we’re trying to do every day. Donate today and be a part of our Fix Your Pit program!

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