At Emerald City Pet Rescue, we are blessed with an amazing staff that all work together with passion, commitment, and unconditional love for our rescue animals. As we continue to expand at a fast pace so we can help more pets in need, we have had the good fortune to be able to bring a wonderful veterinary team on board. In just the short time that we have had our in-house clinic, the team has already come across triumphs, challenges, and even some heartbreak.
Today, we’d love to share a wonderful story about an incredible little dog with more heart and spirit than we can possibly imagine, and everything our veterinary team has done, and continues to do, in order to support this pup through her rough time. Their efforts are creative and compassionate, and we are proud and blessed to have them on board as an integral part of our rescue effort.
Little Gingersnap was found by a good Samaritan by the side of the road in California on June 17, 2017, and taken to Marysville Veterinary Hospital. Because of her extensive injuries, she was quickly transferred to a 24-hour speciality hospital, Valley Oak VCA in Chico.
Gingersnap had been hit by a car and her injuries were found to be quite severe. This poor, sweet girl had extensive amounts of skin torn off of her paws and both hind legs because the car that hit her dragged her across the pavement. So much skin was missing that her bones, tendons, and muscles were all exposed. Wounds that extensive can be quite painful and the road to healing from them comes with the risk of infection. Healing requires a LOT of patience from the dog while the wounds are cleaned, sterilised, and re-bandaged daily. I can’t imagine how painful that must be for her!
***TRIGGER WARNING, please be advised that these photos linked below are of Gingersnap’s initial leg injuries and they are very graphic in nature, click at your own risk!
Thanks to our amazing veterinary team, Gingersnap did not need to have skin grafts to help heal her wounds. Instead, they decided on the innovative choice to use Manuka honey to keep her safe through her healing process. Manuka honey has been found to destroy bacteria that could otherwise infect open wounds. It also has bioactivities that help to boost the immune response, which helps new tissue grow and repair wounds. It also suppresses inflammation. How incredible is that!? Nature is its own miracle!
If that injury wasn’t bad enough, Gingersnap was also found to have a fractured bone in her hind foot, and the scariest part of all – she was pregnant. She was instantly put on pain relief medications, antibiotics, and fluids to help ease her suffering and keep her calm. An ultrasound was performed to check on the state of the puppies, and by the grace of nature; the pups had strong heartbeats and seemed okay! Amazing!
But, Gingersnap’s mammary glands were bruised, and one had to be removed. There were still some tough, scary decisions for the vets to make. Should they perform a c-section and deliver the pups immediately, or should they wait until they were born naturally in order to fix Gingersnap’s wounds? They decided to wait. Fortunately, they didn’t have to wait long!
Gingersnap’s first puppy was delivered June 20th at 9:30 PM. Despite all of her injuries, she managed to then give birth to 4 healthy puppies who immediately began to nurse on her already wounded mammary glands. The poor girl had to undergo surgery to remove the severely damaged glands, but she was determined to use the ones she had left to continue nursing her pups. There was a concern at first that her puppies may have to be human-raised and bottle fed, but to everyone’s surprise, Gingersnap was determined to care for her puppies no matter what. One of our dedicated techs, Destiny, took Gingersnap home for a long weekend to monitor her progress and make sure she able to care for her pups.
Most dogs need to undergo anaesthesia to have wounds as extensive as hers cleaned and dressed daily, but Gingersnap wags her tail and patiently allows her wounds to be cleaned and re-dressed; a perfect little angel. Our staff began to dress her wounds with “designer bandages” with bright colors and fun designs, and she doesn’t even need a cone because she doesn’t try to chew on them at all, despite the itching and burning of her healing skin underneath.
Gingersnap’s legs have healed up and the wounds are now closed. She has some scarring on her belly where some of her mammaries were removed. Her puppies are healthy, happy, and doing very well.
A dog like Gingersnap is a true treasure, a walking, talking reminder of why we are all a part of this rescue. The courage, heart, and trust she has shown has blown us all away and touched us deeply in a way that none of us will ever forget. Every day she amazes us, every moment her kind eyes and wagging tail brings a smile to our faces. She will make the most wonderful pet once her puppies are grown and she is healed enough to be available for adoption, and the fact that her happy ending is at least within sight is such a rare miracle considering the condition she was found in.
Our veterinary staff pulled through for this dog by not only being creative and innovative on how to best heal her wounds, but the dedication, kindness, and love they have shown her is a level of commitment and compassion that we are beyond honored to have here at the rescue. They deserve credit for pulling together so quickly and giving Gingersnap the best chance possible to heal and succeed.
Gingersnap is a great example of why we do what we do. With compassion and dedication, our slogan reigns true; Love Can Save Lives!