Poor little Rocky had one of the roughest starts to life we’ve ever heard of. When he was rescued by a friend and brought to HUA we were completely horrified. Both of his eyes were badly damaged. He fit in the palm of our hands he was so tiny. He still had the strength to cry out in pain and hunger, begging us for help. He was rushed immediately to the Animal Emergency Clinic in Omaha. They said he was the worst cases of starvation and dehydration they had ever seen. He could not blink his painful little eyes because he was so dehydrated. They fed him his first solid meal of canned food ever and he gobbled it up so fast that he got the hiccups. They immediately put him on warmed IV bags as make shift hot water bottles and started him on small amounts of morphine for the pain. He was full of worms so he received medicine for that too. Soon he was passed out, sleeping like the tiny, precious little baby that he is, with a full tummy and relief from the pain he had been experiencing since he was only 2 weeks old.
On Monday morning, after spending the weekend at the Animal Emergency Clinic, he transferred to Mobile Animal Clinic where he would spend the week receiving further tests and care. They found that he had giardia and had only half of the red blood cells and blood proteins that he should have. The good news came a few days later that he is capable of making red blood cells, so with continued good nutrition and care he should rebound without transfusions. He also made a trip that Monday to Veterinary Eye Specialists of Nebraska. Dr McIlnay said that after approximately a month he can have his badly damaged eye removed assuming he has regained his health enough to do so. He is much too small and weak to undergo any operations right now. His other eye, also damaged but not as badly, has no pressure, no sensitivity to light and will also likely be better off being removed.
With each passing day Rocky appears to gain strength and spunk. Dr Jensen at Mobile Animal Clinic says that he isn’t thriving, but he isn’t failing either. We are working hard to turn that around and help him thrive. On Thursday he was able to transfer to foster care where he is eating every couple of hours. He chews on his foster mom’s fingers when he is hungry. He is eating and well on his own now but still needs to drink from a syringe. He has antibiotic eye ointment treatments in both eyes 6 times a day. He loves his soft bed, blankets and many toys. He has a heating pad under his bed to make sure he is warm. Most of all he loves to be cuddled and hugged. It’s his favorite thing ever. He will continue to go in once a week to be weighed and have follow up blood tests. Weight gain will be a very good sign that he is starting to thrive. Rocky is doing his best to study hard for his weigh in test this coming week. He likes it when his foster mom warms up his canned food and puts a little water it in for him. He is eating over a half a can a day now.
Rocky’s breeder will go on to sell his litter mates without much of a thought of the money that should have been spent on Rocky’s care. We know that. We see it all the time. But this particular case has hit us hard, really punched us in the gut. It is one of the most tragic things we’ve ever seen. It drives home how reckless and disgusting the dog breeding business can be, whether a full fledged puppy mill or a poor, uneducated, unkind backyard breeder as in this case. We received word that this happened when Rocky was only two weeks old, and that it was an injury from his mother or litter mates. We are hard pressed to believe that was the means of injury, and so is our veterinarian. This steels our resolve to educate the public never to buy puppies from pet stores, puppy mills or backyard breeders. Without demand breeders like this would have no reason to fill orders for the supply of sick, neglected puppies they churn out.
We would like to extend many heartfelt thanks to our wonderful veterinary clinics who always come to the rescue at moment’s notice, and to all of our supporters who have been rooting for Rocky and donating for his emergency and extended care. He has many fans, and if love can pull him through he is certain to grow big and strong very soon! Please visit our donation page at www.hua.org if you would like to donate toward Rocky’s care, or feel free to mail a donation to the shelter at Hearts United for Animals PO Box 286, Auburn, NE 68305.
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