No one stopped to help
Imagine being hit full force by a kid racing to work on his motorbike at 6.00 am and left lying in a big puddle in the torrential rain for 2 hours. During those 2 hours, 100s of cars and motorbikes passed by but not one person stopped to help this badly injured dog lying helpless and drenched with rain.
It was just luck that we’d been called out to help another dog also hit by a car in the storm but who sadly died. On our return, we saw this poor dog who just stared at us and didn’t move. We knew immediately he was badly injured and would probably bite if we tried to move him. Luckily we had a muzzle and blankets in the car so we were able to muzzle him and cover his face before getting him into our pickup truck.
Both vets in our town have no x-ray facilities so we rushed him 100ks to our special cases vet for x-rays and treatment. The x-rays showed his spine was badly fractured and his spinal cord severed. He had no chance to walk again. The vet said they weren’t equipped to operate on such a serious injury and advised that an operation would be pointless.
His owners arrived
He must have been in so much pain for hours before we got him to the vet but he never cried once. We brought him back and put him in our small kitchen where he ate a big plate of fish and rice and drank lots of water. He’d already had painkillers so was feeling better.
Suddenly there was a commotion outside when the dog’s owners arrived after being told their dog called Panda was with us. They wanted to take him home but we told them to wait until the morning after we've spoken to the vet again.
Panda would need pain killers every day for at least a week and antibiotics too.
We showed them Panda’s x-ray and told them he'll never walk again. The break was inoperative. We said we'd help with any expenses for his care such as pampers, medicines, antiseptic creams and more.
We instructed them how to express Panda's urine and how to wash him afterwards. We also gave them the most important anti-inflammatories, anti-biotics, neurobion for nerve function and calcium meds.
They were full of hope they could look after him saying they would try to keep him in their house but they don't have a wall or gate. We knew it would be hard for them.
The owners never returned
It only took a few weeks for them to give up on Panda. They brought him to us asking if we could care for him for a few days. They never returned to collect the dog they professed to love dearly. They told us he tries to bite and doesn’t like being washed and he hates his cage. The wife said ‘he used to be such a lovely dog” when I heard this I knew she’d given up on him.
If they'd only told us they couldn’t cope we would have taken him in with understanding. But to abandon their dog in this way made us very sad. Panda was in a bad way. It was obvious they couldn't give him the care he needed. His inner thighs were bright red with urine burns and his back legs had several drag wounds. He was covered in fleas and ticks and he was excreting sand.
Panda's long difficult recovery Panda is a young dog who was struck down before his 1st Birthday. He was full of fun and energy which led him to go out and explore on that fateful rainy morning when he was hit and paralysed.
Luckily Panda had bonded with Thep and myself on our long trip to the vet but he wouldn’t let anyone else touch him for days. Slowly he began to accept our girls who worked very hard to gain his trust.
But Panda has suffered even more. He's lost his loving family who couldn't cope with his serious injuries and his reluctance to be treated. He now has to get used to being confined to a pen which he so desperately wants to escape from.
We need to stabilise Panda's condition first. It will take months before his painful urine burns start to heal. He needs to accept having his urine expressed several times a day without trying to bite us! With medication to improve his nervous system Panda will have more control over his bodily functions. Happily, Panda isn't suffering from neuropathic pain but it can strike a paraplegic dog at any time.
You can be part of Panda's recovery
Our greatest wish is that some of you would like to sponsor Panda to support him in his difficult new life. We know those of you who choose to sponsor Panda will give him the love and support he so deserves. You will find Panda on our sponsorship page with details of our sponsorship rates; https://www.headrockdogs.org/sponsor-a-dog