You may have heard this story already, but please bear with me as I have more to share. Several months ago I received a phone call from a neighbor – he had found a stray dog and wanted me to scan it for a chip. We were both surprised to find the dog did have a microchip. The dog’s name is Thor, and through his microchip we were able to find that he was nine years old, and his owner had recently passed away. We learned through family members that Thor had been very much loved, and had been well cared for. He had problems with ear infections his entire life, and had already undergone double-ear surgery to try to correct the problem. That surgery, known as a bi-lateral ear resection, did not resolve the problem. The family asked us to find Thor a new home, so Thor became an All Paws Rescue dog, and he came to my house as a foster. Since then, Thor has received several different ear treatments including being sedated and having his ears packed with a high-powered anti-bacterial drug – twice. When even this did not help, and the ear cytology still showed bacteria in the ears, the vet recommended a procedure known as a Tecabo – a Total Ear Canal Ablation and Bulla Osteotomy. This surgery has to be done by a specialist, and it is very expensive and can result in a significant loss of hearing. I immediately wondered - is it worth it for a nine-year-old dog to put him through this painful surgery? And where would All Paws get the money?
So I spoke with another vet and asked her opinion. She knows the issues that rescues face with trying to pay for medical care and the challenges of adopting out a senior dog. I was hoping she’d say that we could just put him on some sort of pain medication instead of doing the surgery. I know he’s in pain from the way he shakes his head and rubs his ears, and I don’t want him to continue to be in pain, but I was really hoping for another option. Unfortunately, the vet told me that this surgery was really his only option if we didn’t want to euthanize him. So although I was sorry to hear there was no easy fix, it made the decision easy. Even though Thor is a senior dog, he’s still an active, loving dog who has a lot of life left to live. We had to do the surgery. So now it’s just a matter of raising the funds. The neighbor who found Thor is going to help by placing some donation boxes in the community, and I’ve created some on-line fundraising tools to help raise the money. I may attempt to organize some other event such as a bake sale (don’t worry, I will NOT be the one baking!) or something similar to raise funds. I may also give in and put some ads on this blog (in a very unobtrusive way hopefully!) in an effort to raise money for Thor’s surgery. It won’t help much, but every dollar counts! So if anyone has any interest in helping to raise funds for Thor’s surgery, please let me know. You can help by sharing this link on your Facebook page or blog, or by putting a donation jar at a local business, or by helping me organize a larger fundraising event. Hopefully soon Thor will be ready for surgery and be pain free!