“His leg isn’t broken – we had the Vet take an x-ray”
An audible sigh of relief after the Animal Control Officer (ACO) gave more information about a GSP that had been picked up as a stray and believed to be hit by a car. With an increased number of dogs being rescued in the past several weeks, there had also been an increase in the number of dogs needing medical attention. While he would be rescued regardless if he had a broken leg or not, not needing a costly surgery would mean not needing to post a fundraiser.
“However, he does have a few lacerations and possible some soft tissue damage”, the ACO continued.
The possible soft tissue damage would need to be seen by our Vet who would most likely recommend limited use of the leg while it healed. The lacerations too would need to be seen by our Vet but typically, if they didn’t need sutures, would need to be kept clean.
“He’ll be available on Thursday, if you want to check back and see if he’s not claimed.”
Thursday was going to be busy with two dogs going to be spayed in the early morning and an appointment late morning but we would be at the shelter as soon as the appointment was over. Not having him being made available sooner was somewhat of a relief as typically, in many smaller shelters, dogs that need medical attention are made available to adopters sooner so that they can get the medical attention they need. Since he wasn’t being made available until Thursday, the lacerations were most likely minor and would need to be just kept clean while they healed.
Thursday, after the appointment, the volunteer made his way to the shelter. He had dropped off the dogs to be spayed much earlier and would need to pick them up later in the afternoon. This was going to be a full day but rescuing a dog from a shelter took priority of how the day might otherwise have been spent. The first part of a process that would involve many more hours from several other volunteers.
Arriving at the shelter, the volunteer waited patiently in the lobby for an animal control officer to take him back to see Gunther, the GSP that had been hit by a car, observing the usual business at the shelter. A mother and her two daughters brought in a box of feral kittens that they were able to catch with no idea where the momma cat had gone. Another couple were picking up a dog they had just adopted while a young man came in looking for his lost dog. A few more minutes passed until an animal control officer led the volunteer back through the kennels to see the GSP that hadn’t been claimed in the mandatory five days.
The GSP sat in the back of the kennel wearing a plastic cone to keep him from licking the lacerations. He didn’t move toward the kennel door for attention or to see who had stopped, but sat in the back on his makeshift bed as if he was embarrassed for having to wear the plastic ring around his neck, and as if he were acknowledging his embarrassment, the volunteer walked back to the lobby to do the paperwork and wait for him to be brought up to the front. When he arrived the volunteer was able to inspect the “laceration” closer. It was much deeper than he had anticipated. The bone was visible and the skin and tissue fell away like a grapefruit when nearly cut in half. There was some necrosis – a concern for infection and gangrene – but there was bleeding showing circulation – later the Vet would say this was a good sign.
The paperwork was collected as the Adoption Coordinator escorted the injured GSP to the truck where he was loaded up. A few words were exchanged as gratitude was expressed for being reliable and coming to the shelter to rescue a GSP in a timely manner.
On the way back from the shelter a call was made to the Vet’s office doing the spays. It would be walk-in only but because of the injury, priority would be given to injured rescued dog. After arriving and completing the initial paperwork, one of the vet techs that was always so helpful was asked for a name – an honor usually reserved for the volunteer making the trip to the shelter or helping transport. “He looks like a Gunther to me. I mean, he is a German Shorthaired Pointer and should have a German name.” The volunteer agreed as he wrote ‘Gunther’ on the paperwork.
After a short wait, the Vet took a look at Gunther’s leg pointing out the dead tissue that needed to be removed. He would attempt to suture the remaining tissue together to help in the healing. Gunther would need to be picked up the next day. For several weeks after being picked up, Gunther’s wound would need to be cleaned and bandages changed daily. During that time, we’d learn enough about Gunther that we could present him to potential qualified adopters but for now, Gunther was safe.
Want to help with Gunther and the other dogs vet bills? Join or support Team CA GSP Rescue in the upcoming Strut Your Mutt!