Alice is a female mixed breed and approximately 2 to 3 years old. We scanned her for a microchip and unfortunately she does not have one. She was also not wearing a collar and had no identification at all. She was truly a stray dog.
Alice weighs 35 pounds and has short tan hair. She has a very sleek body style with long legs similar to a greyhound, only much smaller.
Alice did not suffer from any broken bones. However, initially she was in shock from multiple large wounds and a lot of blood loss. She had one particular wound on one of her rear legs where the joint was exposed meaning that the wound extended through all the tissue including the joint capsule.
Unfortunately, on the same leg she had a very large “de-gloving” injury. This is a wound where a large amount of skin has been peeled off not leaving enough skin to suture the wound back together.
Large wounds, like the one Alice had, could not be sutured together and required extensive labor management of the open wound. We performed two surgeries on Alice. The first one was to remove dead tissue from the wounds and allow for faster healing. Alice had daily bandage changes with stimulating wound healing ointment along with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pain medication for approximately two weeks.
Then, we performed a second surgery to fully close a portion of the wound in which the skin had stretched enough to pull together.
Alice’s story began not unlike many other stray animals that have received our charitable services. To set the stage on this particular day, it was near the end of the day somewhere between 4 and 5 p.m. The clinic was bustling with appointments, grooming and surgery patients being picked up, and the phone ringing off the hook.
One of our front office staff members was frantic when she stopped me in the hallway to explain that she had just received several calls about a stray dog that had just been hit by a car. The dog was alive but bleeding heavily and very agitated whenever anyone tried to pick her up.
The next thing I know a young man came into the clinic shirtless and covered in blood carrying a limp tan short-haired mixed breed dog. On examination, the stray dog was in shock, also covered in blood, and had multiple bleeding wounds from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail.
On further examination, her worst wound appeared to be on the inside of one of her back legs. I could not assess the extent of the wound because there was a rag tied tightly around the wound. I commented to the young man what a fine job he had done wrapping the wound with enough pressure to stop the bleeding. That is when I found out that the young man had used his first aid training obtained during his eight years in the army. It turns out that he was a member of a combat life saving unit during his three years of service in Iraq. I’m talking about the first responders to injured soldiers in the very army risking their lives for our freedom and basic wonderful way of life we are accustomed to.
Then, I began to remove the rag from the dog’s wound when the young man asked if I could save the rag for him. Believe or not, he explained that the cloth was not a rag. Instead, it was his own T-shirt that he had used to bandage the dog’s leg. Symbolically, his shirt was from an event honoring service dogs that had fallen, or died, during military action.
Today, Alice is still looking for someone to adopt her and give her the freedom she deserves. She has been spayed and has been completely vaccinated. She just needs an “angel” to ensure she lives a long, healthy and happy life.