This Friday, June 1st, our Vizsla/Terrier mix Scarlett will have FHO surgery to repair a previous injury: a broken, dislocated, incorrectly healed leg and hip. When we adopted her a year ago, abused and malnourished, we were unaware of the injury. Scarlett was emaciated at 28 lbs, Distemper positive, teeth falling out and cuts and sores all over. Her leg injury went unnoticed by the shelter staff, us and her veterinarians– she walked normally and nothing looked suspicious. She was already 10 months old; most likely this injury happened months before she came to the shelter.
In our home, Scarlett put on weight and fast; five months after arriving at our house, she weighed 51 lbs. Since she had been so abused, she was terrified of many things most dogs would consider normal: walks, leashes, cars, sneezing– she is still afraid of men who come to our home. Finally, she started overcoming her fears. Going on walks became her favorite activity and soon, she was going on runs while Dad was longboarding beside her. She could give a greyhound a run for his money!
All the weight, the newfound love of running and realizing she was in a loving home now were all reasons the injury resurfaced. Her weight put new pressure on the old injury; the running exaggerated it and knowing she was in a supporting environment allowed her to let her guard down and actually show pain. About 8 months after we first adopted her, the limping began.
Our vet looked in disbelief as he shared with us her x-rays. She needed FHO surgery, just like Chelsea. For those who don’t know, Chelsea is another rescue dog we adopted from MDAS 5 months ago. Unlike Scarlett, Chelsea’s injury was immediately noticeable. She had FHO surgery in January and has since almost healed completely (about 80%).
A week after Scarlett’s diagnosis, MDAS called and asked us to foster a puppy who also needed FHO surgery. Though we were overwhelmed, how could we say no? MDAS, the shelter both Scarlett and Chelsea were saved from on their “kill days”, takes in 100-150 dogs a day and many do not make it out alive. Scarlett was going to be killed due to the Distemper outbreak; Chelsea was going to be killed because of an upper-respiratory infection (they didn’t even recognize she had a broken leg) and Bethany was going to be killed for running out of time before getting a foster to help with her surgery rehab. Since the expensive surgery had been paid for by the Humane Society of Greater Miami’s Angel Fund, we agreed to foster Bethany. She had FHO surgery in April and is currently recovering faster than Chelsea (about 75%). She is still available for adoption if you are interested 🙂
Scarlett’s surgery will cost $3,000– almost $1,000 more than Chelsea’s and Bethany’s. Because her injury is worse and she is larger, surgery will be more complex and require more medicine. We were able to raise the entire amount for Chelsea’s surgery with fundraising efforts thanks to our friends, family, blogging community and co-workers. Since we do not have all the money for this procedure laying around, we are using Care Credit, a financing servicing for health procedures– for humans and pets.
We have also set-up a ChipIn to collect funds from anyone who can donate or help us share her story! $5– or any amount– would help greatly. If you cannot donate, we completely understand. If you can, please share Scarlett’s ChipIn! The direct link is http://chelseassurgery.chipin.com/help-scarelett-get-surgery.
Keep Scarlett in your thoughts and prayers as she goes through surgery Friday! We are so happy she is finally getting the surgery she so desperately needs and will no longer be in constant pain. I have a feeling that after she heals, she’ll be running even faster! And since this is the 3rd FHO surgery we’ve endured in 5 months, I can confidently say: this one should be easy as pie 😉