Pixie – Last-Minute Rescue Saves Broken-Legged Chihuahua
Pixie came to the San Jose Animal Care Center with a broken radius and ulna on her right front leg. The veterinarians gave her medications to relieve the pain from her injury and took x-rays of her injured leg.
Fortunately, the fractured bones weren’t displaced from each other, and we predicted that she would be able to make a full-recovery if the leg was kept in a splint for the eight weeks it would likely take to heal.
Unfortunately, in a municipal animal shelter with a high intake, we are unable to keep animals in our care for long periods of time, so we depend on our partnered agencies and animal rescues to take animals (like Pixie) from us to provide the time and care needed to bring them back to health. Oftentimes, we will provide financial support to these organizations for fixable problems so as to facilitate this process. If no rescues or partner agencies show interest by a deadline (which is easily extended), the animals may be euthanized.
With Pixie, the shelter reached out to rescue organizations, yet no one was interested in the adorable tan chihuahua. Sadly chihuahuas are all too common in shelter environments, and consequently, they may be overlooked.
While Pixie was in the shelter, she showed no interest in people. She seemed very timid despite my best efforts to win her over. When her rescue deadline date arrived, I went in to examine her as per usual and she was a completely different dog. She was at the front of her kennel, eagerly soliciting my attention.
I was so happy to see that Pixie had turned a corner, but when I looked at her records on the computer, I was surprised that no rescue showed interest in her.
Given the transformation she had made, I was determined to reach out and ensure she was rescued. I went back to her kennel and took the following video of her.
An Unlikely Pair – Cat Breaks Through Cage to Snuggle with Kitten
Yesterday a vet tech alerted me to the fact that an adult cat had broken through a cage divider and was now in the same cage as a kitten. As I jumped up to address the issue, the tech added, “But now they’re best buddies!”
In disbelief I headed to their kennel to discover that they had, in fact, become fast friends (see video below).
Puppy Gets Eye Surgery for Distichia & Ectopic Cilia
An adolescent pit bull was noted by the shelter staff to be producing a lot of tears or discharge from one of its eyes. The veterinarians examined the dog closely and found tiny hairs growing out of abnormal areas of the dog’s eyelid and conjunctiva.
Ectopic cilia and distichia are terms used to describe abnormal eyelash or hair growth on the eyelid or conjunctiva of the eye.
This dog had three areas where there was abnormal hair growth around the eye, specifically around the lower eyelid. As you can see in the photo below, there is a hair that is sticking out from pink tissue (conjunctiva) to the right of the eye (around 3 o’clock), there are a few small hairs abnormally placed on the eyelid (around 6 o’clock), and there is an island of hairs arising from the junction of the eyelid and conjunctiva (around 8 o’clock).
How to Keep Pets Safe During Fireworks
July 4th and New Years are the days that animal shelters (and many pet owners) dread the most. These holidays are often associated with fireworks which, though beautiful, create a very scary situation for our pets.
Pets tend to flood animal shelters around these holidays, particularly July 4th, because the noise generated from the firework displays is frightening and pets will often run off, sometimes breaking windows and slipping out of collars and leashes to escape.
If there is one thing I can recommend to people who have pets, it is to make sure that your pet is microchipped and the information is up to date. If your pet escapes from its collar, then the microchip is the only thing tying you to your pet. Animal shelters scan animals for microchips upon admission and they will do everything in their power to trace down owners until they reach a dead end. Having your information current means you can be reunited sooner and with less of a hassle.
Pet Duck Found Abandoned in Box
A staff member came to the clinic with a transfer carrier that was covered with a towel. I figured it was a dog or a cat per usual. When it made a loud honking noise, I was immediately expecting a dog with a severe respiratory issue that was struggling to breathe.
To my surprise, when the staff member put down the carrier and lifted the towel to give me a peek, a duck was standing inside looking at me quizzically.
I was relieved! The noise that I heard, while very scary to hear from a dog, was nothing more than a typical duck or goose noise.
Jonah – Puppy Surrendered by Owner for Euthanasia, Shelter Vets Reach Out to Specialty Practice for Life-Saving Surgery
One morning, a two-month old pit bull puppy was brought to me in the clinic. The front desk staff indicated that the owners claimed he was hit by a car and had a broken leg. The owners surrendered him to the shelter for euthanasia.
As if that wasn’t sad enough, I was also told that while the owners were waiting, they were on the phone with a dog breeder, arranging to get another puppy.
My heart sank.
I must give the owners credit for at least taking the dog to a veterinarian before bringing it to the shelter. However, paying a large sum of money for a pure-bred “special” breed of pit bull only to not be able to afford the care that it requires is irresponsible.
Braveheart – The Little “Tri-Pawd” Kitten That Could
Watch the video, read the story, or, better yet, do both! Either way, this kitten’s story is sure to warm your heart!
I am publishing this post on Father’s Day, as it is dedicated to my father, who gave me the strength to fight for what I believe in and the courage to leave my previous career to pursue the dream that is my life as a shelter vet.
Braveheart’s story is one that I’ve posted from start to finish on Facebook. It is an inspiring story of a 1.7-pound kitten that was brought to the San Jose Animal Care Center by a good samaritan who found him with half of his left front leg missing and a giant bulge in his belly. The good samaritan cleaned him up and took him to our shelter, hoping we would see potential in the kitten despite his small size.
Sandy – Surrendered by Owner for Euthanasia, Saved by Shelter Vets
Owners have the ability to surrender their animals to animal shelters for any reason. Some people surrender their animals for euthanasia. This means that they want or approve that their animal be euthanized. However, by surrendering their animal, owners give the shelter the right to assess the animal’s condition and choose not to euthanize, but instead to find rescue for the animal or to treat and put the animal up for adoption.
A chihuahua mix, who we’ll call Sandy, was surrendered to the San Jose Animal Care Center because she was not doing well. She was neither eating nor drinking and seemed quite lethargic. The owners also noted that she had abnormal urine.
Sandy’s owners surrendered her to us for euthanasia. She was brought into the medical clinic in order for me to examine her. Within no time, I was able to surmise that the owners were mistaking brown discharge dripping from Sandy’s vulva for urine. This was a key observation in determining that, as a middle-aged intact female, Sandy had a pyometra, otherwise known as a pus-filled uterus.
Broozer – Dog and Owner Attacked by Another Dog, Now Reunited
Meet Broozer! Broozer and his owner were attacked by another dog. While his owner ended up in the hospital, Broozer ended up at the San Jose Animal Care Center as an emergency.
Despite sustaining a open fracture to the tibia on his left hind leg along with some other, more superficial injuries, Broozer was super sweet to us when he showed up. He allowed us to give him pain medicine and splint his broken leg without any resistance.