Thursday, November 7, 2013

Five Dogs Need Medical Attention

With your support, life-saving decisions can be made for 5 of our special needs dogs: McGee, Lilah, Cassidy, Dutchess and Tiffy. Please read their stories below and donate if you can.

Typically, fundraisers such as this one are put together to financially support the special needs of one particular dog, but today, we're writing with a unique request. This request for support is not for one dog with an extreme need but for five dogs with a variety of special needs. There is never a time that we aren't dealing with multiple dogs with significant health issues. Rather than one larger veterinary bill for a dog with an extreme need, collectively the expense of caring for several dogs with special needs can be a just as significant a financial burden, often times more, as their care may go on for many months or maybe even forever. That said, we wanted to share with you the stories of five of our current special needs dogs and ask for your support in helping us with their current and on-going medical needs.

Your support truly does help us save dogs who would otherwise have no chance. We then get to see, touch and play with the results of these life-saving efforts. We then get to witness these once hopeless dogs go to their permanent loving homes and we cannot put into words the tremendous reward that is! Thank you for caring from near and far and for trusting us to follow through on the decisions we make together to restore and improve the quality of life for our rescued dogs.

"As ever, our gratitude cannot be measured and although many of you are not physically here with us, you are indeed making a lasting difference for our dogs. I would love to thank each one of you personally." ~ Theresa Strader

Hopalong Cassidy is a gorgeous 3 month old Standard Poodle puppy. When Cassidy was turned over to us, we noticed that his hind legs were wobbly and he had occasional incontinence. He has been x-rayed and evaluated by Dr. Bauer, a canine orthopedic surgeon who referred us to Dr. Lane, a canine neurologist. Dr. Lane diagnosed Cassidy with a congenital defect of his spinal cord resulting in poor nerve conduction to his hind end. His condition is inoperable but Dr. Lane said, "Cassidy is who he will always be and that¹s just fine because he is a comfortable, beautiful, happy dog." According to his foster mom, Cassidy is the smartest and sweetest puppy ever. He gets around very well and loves everything about life, especially freedom! He learns very quickly and lives for attention from his foster family.

Dutchess came to us in far worse condition that we could see with our eyes. She has a large growth on her throat and when we took her in to the vet to have the growth evaluated, it was discovered through bloodwork that the growth was the least of her problems. Dutchess had virtually no platelets and was also in liver failure. She's had an ultrasound and liver biopsy and she is now on several medications and has regular rechecks of her bloodwork. For a fragile little girl, she has the happiest and kindest temperament. Dutchess is in a wonderful foster home and her foster mom cannot say enough about how sweet and happy she is. She is just one of those little miracle dogs, we don't really know how she is alive! She will have to be on medication for the rest of her life and her liver and bloodwork will have to be closely monitored as well.

Tiffy is a little Poodle girl who came to us so frightened she just curled up in a ball and shook. Because she was so scared, we quickly found her a foster home and as she relaxed and started moving around, her foster mom discovered that there was something seriously wrong with her right front leg. Tiffy went in for x-rays and evaluation and it was discovered that her right elbow joint is completely twisted and dislocated. The films were sent to Dr. Bauer, a wonderful canine orthopedic surgeon in Colorado Springs. He felt the injury was old and untreated and although he said he could attempt to correct it surgically, he isn't very hopeful for success because of the age of the injury. The only other option is amputation. In her foster home, Tiffy has gained much confidence, mobility and joy so we are currently weighing the treatment options, with her long term comfort as our greatest guiding factor.

Lilah is a 5 month old teacup Poodle who currently weighs in at one and a half pounds! She is teeny tiny and has been through so much in her short life. When Lilah was just two days old, her mama dog attacked her and nearly "ripped her in half" according to the breeder. Lilah has a large soft spot on the top of her head - perhaps the mother dog sensed there was a problem. Whatever the case, Lilah had to be sewn up and hand fed for months. She is the truest definition of a survivor! The attack left her with a very dysfunctional hind leg so she has a very unusual gait. She too, has been evaluated by our orthopedic vet but because she is still so tiny, we will have to wait and see how she progresses before we are able to make any decisions about surgery.

McGee's story is such a heartbreaker. As you know, NMDR travels great distances to rescue our dogs. We make many friends as we travel around the country, people with a great interest in the welfare of animals. McGee comes to us by way of one of these special rescue friends. McGee was found in the ditch alongside Interstate 44 in southern Missouri. He was matted beyond knowing his head from his tail and every iota of his body was covered in fleas and ticks. He was either dumped where he was found or that's as far as he could go before he collapsed. Whatever the case, he was found and taken to a small nearby shelter. The first order was to shave him down, relieving him of the incredible discomfort caused by the severe matting that covered his entire body. Not only did this reveal the thousands of fleas and ticks but to their great shock and grief, his rescuers discovered that McGee's hind legs had been tied together with a wire! When they removed the wire and set him down, they noticed that his right hip was disfigured and he could hardly bear any weight on that leg. On top of all of that, McGee is also heartworm positive! All of this and McGee is only about 4 years old! Poor McGee! One can only imagine how he has suffered at the hands of mankind! With no funding to treat his physical problems and zero hope of finding McGee a home who could provide the care he needed, there were only two choices. Put McGee to sleep or reach out to rescue friends. Witnessing his indomitable spirit, looking into his beautiful, forgiving eyes, there was no question. McGee's life would be spared and his horrific past would not be in vain. NMDR enthusiastically accepted McGee into our care and piece by piece, he is receiving the care he needs to become healthy and whole. He has already been neutered and had a very complicated dental as many of his teeth were fractured. He has had Phase 1 of heartworm treatment and his hip x-rays reveal some sort of crushing injury. One thing at a time for McGee right now but know that he is in loving hands and we are fully committed to making him healthy and pain free. McGee loves to give up his belly for rubs with everyone who visits him and his tail never stops wagging. Hard to understand how, but Mc Gee is one of the sweetest dogs you will ever meet. In my lifetime, dogs have taught me much about so many things, but nothing greater than forgiveness.

Each of these five dogs have already had extensive specialized medical care and they will all face additional treatment in the coming weeks and months. Although we spend the greatest amount of money on our special needs veterinary bills, the adoption fee for these dogs is greatly reduced in an effort to be fair and encourage people to adopt these wonderful dogs. A donation to our current “special needs fund" would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you so much! 
Donations can be made via our special fundraising site at this link:

Donations can also be mailed to:
Special Needs Dogs
c/o National Mill Dog Rescue
PO Box 88468
Colorado Springs, CO 80908
(payable to NMDR)


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