Too young to be all alone. Too young to be fighting for his life. But that was the reality for little Alfred when he came into our care on August 11. When he arrived at the vet clinic, he was put on IV pain meds and antibiotics, but his prognosis was not good. The vets admitted they can only do so much and the rest was up to him. Alfred had to want to live.
Alfred showed up in someone’s yard. He screamed in pain at any touch. He smelled like infection. He had old, healed bite marks and nasty draining wounds on his neck. Though he wanted so badly to eat, he just cried out and hung his head. Food was not worth the pain. He was placed into a little box to wait for the SCARS volunteer to arrive. Alfred is about 8 weeks old. Extremely malnourished. Emaciated. In terrible pain with rotting wounds.
On Friday, August 18, he had a turning point in his recovery. The antibiotics were starting to win against his infection. His white blood cell count was good, temperature was normal, he ate a little bit and even went outdoors. The vets began to be optimistic even though he was still on a constant morphine drip for pain.
Fast forward to Saturday morning. Alfred was shaved down and had a thorough physical exam with no squeals of pain. A few more wounds were found and treated. His neck wound was still draining but improving. He checked out fine neurologically, which was a relief. Food was now a priority for him and he started eating really well for the first time in a long time. Maybe the first time ever. The IV was replaced by oral meds and soon he was able to go home to his foster mom.
The vet team thinks his injuries are from a dog attack, probably several attacks over his short life, where he was shaken and mauled by bigger dogs. They think his pain was from swelling throughout his body due to being shaken. The screams of pain could have partially been fear of being touched. Any touch that he had known had been harsh. It breaks our hearts to think that this puppy has existed to this point without any gentleness in his life.
August 23 update: Little Alfred gave us a scare this week. Yesterday morning he was in pain so his foster mom (Deb) took him to a vet clinic. X-rays revealed fractures in his neck and sub-luxating vertebrae. He was rushed to Guardian Veterinary Centre for a CT scan to see what could be done for him. The CT revealed that the fractures had become infected which is why he was in so much pain. The good news is he does not need surgery. He was put on IV antibiotics and pain meds, and they made a makeshift brace for his neck. He should be able to come home soon. To help dogs like Alfred, please donate to SCARS.
October 2017 update: Hi everyone, it’s me, Alfred ! I bet you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to and how I’ve been. Well, first of all, I’ve been growing! Yup, I’m over 25lbs already and 4 months old. I am slowly healing from the terrible shaking I got from a bigger dog when I was just a wee pup, but recheck xrays did not show any improvement in the two fractured vertebrae in my neck, and there are still 2 fragments of them floating around. I’ve been on antibiotics for over 6 weeks to try and get rid of the infection in those fractures, so now I have to go in for another CT Scan to find out why things are not healing. Despite having to still be pretty confined, foster mom says I am such a good boy. My ears stand straight up now and foster mom says I’m stinking adorable (and that I poop a lot). I go for my CT Scan on October 19th and my mom will update you all on that when she has the results. For now, I have a new toy that I have to go play with and then go out for my daily walk – I LOVE my walks with my special soft harness!
January 2018 update from his foster mom (Deb): So many people say they could never foster dogs, they’d get too attached. Well, you do get attached, because you care. Over 5 months ago, little Alfred came to me, broken and in pain. I thought I’d have him for 2-3 weeks, not 5 months. Today (well yesterday, Saturday) he was adopted by a wonderful family with a SCARS dog who is now Alfred’s big sister and will teach him the ropes. He was a tough foster because of his special needs, and you tend to love those ones a little more. He will always have a place in my heart, but I am so happy for him.