Three weeks ago today, I rescued a male approx 2yo GSD. The owner of the dog's x husband called my friend and said something happened to Charlie, can we bring him over. She of course being an animal lover said yes. The came over with the dog and explained he was tied to the tree at her moms place with a rope with no swivel snap. Of course what happens after you take a rope and twirl it enough times if it can't swivel? a 15' rope ends up being a 5' rope all twisted in knots. Needless to say the rope got wrapped around his leg in the process. For how long who knows. The owner said if my friend didn't take her she would have to put him down now. So pushing her mistake on someone else, my friend said leave the dog. The next day the owner called and said I have an appointment for him at the end of the business day to be put down. My friend posted online she needed someone who could take him to come and take him and get him the medical attention he needed. I saw the post and replied immediatly. Half an hour later I was on my way to see him.
I arrived to the house not knowing what to expect as you never know in these situations..... Her little girl let me in and I walked into the living room to find a rather large woolie 2yo GSD male. Black and red/tan. He was so scared his ears were down, covered in blood. My friend cleaned them as well as she could and put some vaseline on them to try and stop the bleeding. There was a 1" chunk of ear missing off his left ear, his right ear had no flesh missing but there was lots of it eaten away and also covered in blood. His eyes were cold sad looking eyes. The rope damaged his leg so bad that he was standing on his knuckles on his foot instead of the pads. His leg from the hawk down was swelled up twice the size as it should have been. My friend informed me that it was bigger than that the day before. He was also not well kept, shaggy and covered in matts around his head. Also under weight by 10 - 20lbs. One thing I regret is I didn't take photos as soon as I got there.... (but have everything documented after our visit with the vets including photos EVERYDAY that he has been here)
I called the vets office right away (They know me by name there) and informed them I needed to bring in this rescue dog I just picked up. They said bring him in right away. After getting to the vets, Charlie had no fight left in him. He laid there as they scrubbed the blood out of his hair and cleaned his ears. Couldn't feel when the vet was examining his leg, his leg was so swollen. I was informed that his knuckling was from nerve damage to the leg from the rope cutting off his circulation (I knew knuckling ment nerve damage) I was told if the swelling didn't go down and I didn't get blood flow back to his foot he would have a high chance of loosing it completly. The only time during the whole exam and getting cleaned up that he even made a remark was when they cotterized his ears. Which I know hurt but it had to be done to stop the bleeding from that massive ear wound. He was given anti inflamitory drugs to help ease his pain and the swelling. It was time now to go home and get to work on that leg.
I was really leary of bringing him home as I already have two intact male dogs. One other large GSD and one Border Collie. I kept them away from Charlie for a good few days. I let them smell him through the door let them see eachother when I went in to see Charlie. But for the most part let Charlie settle in for a few days first. Every two hours I would go massage his leg and his foot to get his blood flowing. After two days he was noticing that he wasn't walking on the right part of his foot and started putting it back in the normal position. He was so gentle and never once tried to bite or growl at me for doing so. I felt so bad for him he was this "broken" dog. We went to the vets every day for the first three days then every other day. Since it was a rope tied on his leg the tissue death was internal and started to show once the swelling went down and the blood continuted to flow to his foot. (which it has been 3 weeks today and he still has
First bruising started to show then the tissue started to die off and come off. It was so hard watching his tissue death surface and watching him pick the dead tissues off every day. The only other option as it couldn't be stiched up was to put him under and laser all the dead tissue off. Which this would have been difficult as the tissue didn't die off at one exact point.... it was over a few days. A few more days went by and the gash in his leg grew to almost 1/2" deep. You could see his shiney white tendons along the side of his leg. Never once did he show any aggression to my willingness to help him. He is totally walking on his foot again and running to!! The gash on the side of his leg and the rope burns on the inside of his leg are all healing nicely. We have a recheck at the vets today. His ears are healing wonderfully also!! There is only one small scab left on the tip of the one that has the piece missing and he is getting some crazy curl to that ear now!!
I am very proud of him, he has come such a long way and has fought a very good fight. (HE is the worst case of animal cruelty/neglect I myself have ever dealt with. I know there are many much worse but this is our story) Over the course of the last 3 weeks, I've let him come in the house with the other dogs (I kept him in the garage that is clean, has rubber matting on the floors he has a large padded bed. The other dogs were so interested in helping him with his wounds and showing him who was boss it was safer out there instead of being in a small crate) We have sadly had one dominance wrestling match occur but we are working that out. Which I expected a lot sooner then almost 3 weeks into him being here. No running around the yard like crazy men, thats what started the disagreement.
As of today Charlie has hopefully gained a few pounds! His leg has healed up great, there is still a section of bright red tissue that needs to fill in. He is walking on his foot all the time. He is eating (I'm pretty sure he was only fed table scraps as he has no interest in dog food, till now) I'm pretty sure he was beaten as well. If you yell or raise your hands quickly he "hits the deck" so we try not to do that. Even if its getting excited at a tv show or swatting a fly.... His appetite has picked up a lot, his water intake is great. He has a bit of loose stool but is on a good dose of metacam for pain management.
He has come a long way from 3 weeks ago. You can see the brightness in his eyes coming alive. I have photos from the first day till today and he has changed so much. He wouldn't go near any of the men in my family when he arrived but now has no problem with it at all. Even friends that come over he is alright with them to
He was treat trained I assume as he will not do ANYTHING unless you have a treat or some food in your hand. One good thing is... his recall is amazing!! Comes EVERY time!! I was impressed with that! We are working on sit's and downs slowly but surely! He is learning a lot from my other GSD as well. He is a quick learner and also very intelligent...
I will keep you updated on his progress, I will also have to join a photo sharing page as facebook changed and I can't seem to steal my photo url's from there anymore to share them. He has his own facebook page... called "Charlie's Journey to Recovery" His photos from day one till now are there.
Wish us luck at our vet visit today! I'm hoping he will only have more good things to say for this wonderful boy!! Thanks for reading our story