What a tragic story for such a young dog! 

Fancy’s recorded history begins in a dumpster.  This part of the country shoots dogs when they are no longer wanted, needed or have become a “nuisance”.  They are basically a worthless piece of property.   Many are abandoned or dumped - all ages, all sizes, all breeds, all mixes.  Why waste the price of a bullet on them! 

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This particular community does not have a trash pickup service.  The townspeople have to bring their refuse to the dump.  That’s where packs of dogs congregate searching for scraps of food for survival.  A lady dropped off her rubbish one day when she heard a plaintive whining.  She walked in the direction of the voice and lo and behold saw this small dog perched on a pile of trash half way down a dumpster.  She immediately climbed inside the receptacle and rescued the little one.

She noticed that Fancy could not walk.  Her hind limbs were extended forward and rigid.  Obviously not a fresh injury.  She took her home to give medical care to the decubiti on her back leg and on her behind.  These sores had developed from dragging herself around and soiling herself.  Because of her incontinence, Fancy wears a diaper, the same size that premature babies use.

Our animal lover dropped off the little dog at her vet the next day for vaccinations and radiographs.  When she returned to pick her up, the vet gave her the grave news - the dog was paralyzed because of a gun shot pellet lodged in her spine.  When asked what could be done to help Fancy, the vet looked at the lady and to her dismay responded coldly “There is nothing that can be done for her except to put her down.” 

Fancy's x-rayFancy
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This person was determined to search for a veterinarian who could perform the neurosurgery this dog required.  She found the specialist and drove three hours to an adjacent state.  Upon reviewing the Xrays and giving the dog a thorough exam, the diagnosis for this young animal, about nine months old, is paraplegia with occasional purposeful movement.  With her rear limbs so stiff it was difficult to truly assess her reflexes.  The bullet was lodged in her spinal canal and there was an abnormality to the right of L4-L5.
During the operation, a durotomy, the bullet was excised from the spinal column and a right sided hemilaminectomy was performed at L4-L5.  Since her surgery, Fancy has done fairly well.  The feeling to her right rear leg is still absent, but the sensation to her left leg appears improved.  The vet is not greatly concerned about this at this time because of the location of her surgery.  It will take between two to three months to determine if she will recover more function to her rear legs and have normal bodily functions.

Fancy’s care requires that she remain in a crate for the next 12 days.  She must be kept as quiet and still as possible, except for potty breaks.  Her foster mother has gladly accepted the role of Fancy’s personal physical therapist which consists of standing her up several times a day from her usual sitting or lying down position.  She massages her rear limbs.  All this is to encourage blood flow to the affected area and increase her possibilities for a full recovery. 

Even at a considerably reduced cost, thanks to her kind and generous neurosurgeon, this intervention was costly.  This was Fancy’s only hope to live the quality life every dog should - walking, running, jumping - not scooting across a floor or walking on her two front legs like an acrobat.

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Check for updates on Fancy on the Spotlight Animal Updates page!