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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Sticks & Stones May Break Their Bones, But Rescue Will Help Make it Better

Sticks & Stones May Break Their Bones, But Rescue Will Help Make it Better

At Save-a-Bull we really love to try and help dogs with special medical needs. Because of fantastic supporters, we have the money to try and fix or at least address any obstacle that may keep a dog from getting adopted.

Pippa was one of those dogs.  She  found herself at a shelter in Indiana after being picked up as a stray. Our rescue partner in the area sent us a picture and told us she was having trouble walking, but would we be interested in taking her in?  Without knowing any other details, we said “Yes! When can she be here?” Pippa made the long trek to Minnesota on June 4, 2016.  Even though she was in a lot of pain from trying to walk with her bad legs, she was the sweetest dog and just wanted to cuddle in your arms.

When Pippa arrived our first move was a trip to the vet to get a diagnosis. Pippa had a birth defect called Carpal Flexural Deformity which caused her front limbs to fold over themselves and made her walk on her elbows with her chin touching the floor. The worst part was that there was no surgical fix for her condition.  So Pippa began intensive physical therapy both in-home and at a therapy center where she used a water treadmill to try and straighten and strengthen her legs. It was a long shot, but we hoped for the best.

After just a few treatments we were shocked to see the improvement she was making!  She slowly started gaining muscle in her legs and flexibility in her paws and would do small things like holding bones to chew on with her paws and digging in the yard. These were huge strides for Pippa!

We are extremely happy to report that Pippa’s legs now look visibly normal.  She is able to walk and run like any other happy puppy with no restrictions.  After a long day her feet sometimes still turn out, like a ballerina, but she’s no longer in pain. She is sweet, sensitive and smart and we’re so happy to be a part of her journey back to health!

Pippa’s case was a rare case, but we’ve also helped many other dogs with more standard orthopedic issues this year:

  • Chance, Roo and Polly all suffered from leg injuries and required amputation surgeries. These tri-pods didn’t let that slow them down and they’ve all been adopted!
  • Delilah had a similar condition to Pippa but was older and was not able to make the physical therapy strides Pippa did. She will never be fully able to walk on hardwood floors, go for long walks or jump.  But she was adopted by a family that is perfect for her and is happier than ever.
  • Duckie was malnourished and spent a majority of her time in her kennel as a puppy, causing her legs to bow and have what is called “paddle feet.”  With some good nutrition, a little therapy and a lot of love, you can’t even tell!  She’s grown fully into her strong legs and enjoys walks, runs and play dates at the dog park.
  • Ritzy and Opal both had leg fractures that required surgery and pins for correction. Ritzy has been adopted, but Opal is still facing a few other medical issues that we’re happy to address before she can be adopted.
  • Boss had a fracture in his leg after being struck with a  baseball bat.  He was put in a cast and the leg healed perfectly! Boss was also adopted.
  • Stella needed a Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) to repair cruciate ligament rupture and patella damage. She’s currently recovering and in week three of a 12-week recovery process.
  • Ruby was a stray taken in by animal control. AC officers knew there was something wrong so they called us and we took her in. Ruby needed FHO surgery to repair her hip and is currently undergoing water therapy on her road to recovery.
  • Ginger came to rescue with a broken leg that wasn’t treated properly and had healed incorrectly. She’s currently undergoing physical therapy to strengthen her leg and will be available for adoption soon.

We are continually grateful for our supporters who keep us going and let us say YES to cases like these. These are all wonderful dogs who would not have had a chance to explore their best life without a little help. Thank you – from Pippa, Chance, Roo, Polly, Delilah, Ducky, Ritzy, opal, Boss, Stella, Ruby, Ginger and the countless other dogs who come through rescue each year.

pippacollage


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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Chance, Pippa, Opal and Roo photos by Tangerine House of Design.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trying to Save a Tiny Life

Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Trying to Save a Tiny Life

In March Save-a-Bull was notified about a pit bull puppy who had suffered a severe head injury at 4 weeks old. The puppy was an innocent bystander in an argument gone terribly wrong in Indianapolis, IN (news story).

As a result of his injury he was unable to walk, eat, bark, see, or hear. There was hope that as his brain healed that some of his functions would come back. The puppy was named Niko.

After much discussion, Save-a-Bull brought Niko into rescue, knowing that brain injuries are a big gamble. The rescue committed to providing all the medical care he needed and a foster home to recover in. We were all realistic about the fact that we didn’t know how much function he would gain and if he would ever be “normal,” but we were willing to give Niko the chance at a normal life.

At 5 ½ weeks old when he arrived, Niko’s vision was compromised, he walked but leaned to the side, he ate liquid food, and he had regained some hearing and the ability to bark. At his first medical evaluation, he had an MRI that revealed an extensive frontal lobe injury. The frontal lobe is where impulse control drives are managed.

Next, Niko went to the ophthalmologist to learn the extent of the damage to his eyes. We learned that his eyes actually worked, but his brain injury prevented communication between his eyes and his brain to register sight.

At his foster home Niko was going about his daily life learning to be a regular pup with “quirks.” He lacked the impulse control to know when he was full when eating, and he was very mouthy and could not learn to stop that puppy behavior. As a puppy, it was excusable, but as he matured into a full size dog, it became a concern as his bites were getting stronger and causing physical damage. Over time he developed anxiety exiting his crate which resulted in him biting at his foster parents.

As Niko got older, he was having more frequent outbursts during the day. He began attacking the resident dogs, unpredictably and continuously without any reasonable provocation. When his foster parents broke up  the fights, Niko would redirect on them and often drew blood. After the “episode” was over, he would come back wagging his tail with no recollection of what had happened. For everyone’s safety, Niko was fitted with and had to wear a muzzle at all times. He had no idea why we were doing this to him and he seemed sad and sullen as his quality of life began to deteriorate.

Niko was not a bad dog. He was actually a really great dog sometimes. Other times his aggression was unmanageable. It was sad to watch him worsen, and not fully understand what was happening around him, or how to deal with everyday situations. His brain injury simply wouldn’t allow him to lead a normal, happy life.

On August 14th his fosters, Lori and Peter Hames adopted Niko. On August 15th Niko “Whitedog” Shea was put to rest. It was one of the hardest decisions they ever had to make, and Save-a-Bull stood by their side in support.

We choose to remember only the best about Niko. He was charming in a crowd and at events and he loved new people. He was smart as a whip and learned many tricks in his short time with us. And he was adorable in his stylish Thunder shirt collection that was used to calm him. He was born an inherently good puppy and never had a chance to live the life he deserved. We will not let the lessons from his life slip away from us. He continues to inspire us and the work we do to rescue, protect and assist the dogs who need us and to make greater strides in teaching overall care and kindness to animals.

nikocollage

No charges were filed against the man who hurt Niko because at the time of the trial there wasn’t enough evidence that Niko would suffer permanent damage.

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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