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Buddy Beagle: Notes on a foster dog

Buddy BeagleBuddy Beagle, is an 8 year old beagle who was picked up by Animal Control on August 1st 2017. While in their care he was attacked by three large dogs. An eye witness said Buddy didn’t fight back, the others were going to kill him and he was going to let them. That’s how sweet-natured this guy is.

Until recently Buddy looked like something out of a Frankenstein movie: criss-crossed by lines of sutures where Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital’s staff cleaned up his torn flesh and stitched him back together. He had a flap of flesh three-fingers deep hanging off his neck that left is trachea and neck tendons exposed. His rump was torn up just as badly. Cedarwood’s staff was not sure he was going to live; many vets would have just put him down, but they tried … and succeeded!

He’s also had some plastic surgery to deal with granulations and scar tissue. Buddy Beagle has been in intensive care at Cedarwood for a month, but now he is ready to go into rehabilitation and can be moved to a medically aware foster home. That’s where we come in.

Tessa, a Vet Tech at Cedarwood showed me how to care for his wounds and what to watch for. She explained how they had put him back together. His lower back, right flank and rump had been ripped apart. His anus was hanging as a flap, torn all the way down to his colon. A large chunk of skin (about the size of my hand) was missing entirely. He had deep gashes on his left shoulder, and across his throat, and chest. More patches of missing fur and minor gashes across his back. Portions of both ears were amputated where they’d been shredded. The sutured wounds were healing up nicely, but that patch of missing flesh requires on-going attention.

Buddy Beagle ready to rideHe is in a cone but he’s dealing magnificently with his wounds. If he’s in pain, he doesn’t show it much — except for not wanting to sit on his right hip, and who could blame him for that!

I set up a large crate in the house where I can keep an eye on him.

All the others have come by to say hello, everyone was amiable. That will make things easier. This is likely to be a lengthy stay.

NOTE: Make that a permanent stay. Dr. O’Connor asked us to just keep him. Due to a weird legal situation we cannot officially adopt him, but we will give him a place to live out his life. Buddy is now a forever-foster.

09/08/2017 Buddy Beagle says “Life Is Better With a Donut”

09/22/2017 Buddy Beagle’s Lumpectomy

09/27/2017 The Rise of the Brotherhood of the Beagle

10/06/2017 Buddy Beagle’s Big Bacon Score

10/18/2017 The De-Bageling of Buddy the Beagle Boy

03/07/2018 Buddy Beagle’s Big Bacon Score

03/08/2018 Buddy Goes Into The Wall

03/16/2018 Buddy Beagle and Going Ballistic

04/09/2018 Buddy Beagle Gets Confused

12/22/2018 The Beagle Box

05/24/2019 Buddy Beagle Goes To the Drive-Through Cookie Store

07/24/2019 Beagle Tender

Sept 2, 2021

Last Sunday Buddy Beagle was having trouble moving when Marie got up and went to pet him.  But he seemed to shake it off, because he got himself from the bed he was in to another across the bedroom.  He seemed okay, just stiff in the hind legs when he came to the kitchen for breakfast.  After church Marie let Buddy out to potty.  He walked down the steps, peed for a long time (he has been doing that, like a little fire truck that one is.  I wondered about his bladder size) then came back up the steps and went to lay down in his bed.  Some time after that he lost the use of his hind legs and he seemed to be in pain.

Monday morning Buddy and I invaded Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital.  They were REALLY busy but said, “Leave him with us and we’ll work him in.”  Over the course of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I went to Cedarwood 5 times as they x-rayed, did ultrasound images, performed a blood chemistry panel, poked and prodded, this little boy of ours.

Buddy has a burst disk between the C6 and C7 vertebra (which are between his shoulder blades). Apparently (and this is mostly guess work because it would take an MRI machine to see this level of detail) those bones are grinding nerves that come out there, paralyzing his hind quarters (including prostate and sphincter), working neurological interference on his front legs, and causing a large amount of pain through out his body.

He’s on muscle relaxants, steroids, antibiotics (because he did have a urinary catheter), and pain killers (including one which is an animal form of morphine). He spends his day laying on his side in a snuggle bed, paralyzed except for his head and neck. He’s scared, he’s in pain, and he’s gotten to where if I come sit beside his bed he starts crying out in fear because he knows I’m going to hurt him. I’m supposed to express his bladder 2 or 3 times a day, but when he’s screaming his abdominal muscles tense up and I cannot palpate his belly to find his bladder let alone express it. His bladder is huge: 5 or 6 times the size it’s supposed to be. That presses on his bowels and other organs, as well as inducing pressure on his spine.

The only bright spot in all this is that he still loves to eat, and will eagerly lap up a bowl of soup (sideways, because he’s laying on his side because he cannot sit up).

Nothing is helping. He keeps getting worse. He panted and cried all night last night, even the morphine could not give him relief to sleep.  It’s Thursday morning he won’t let even Marie (whom he adores) touch him without screaming. It’s time to let him go. I want Marie to be there (because he adores her and she will be comforting) but she’s missed too much work this week to take more time off.

An e-mail conference with Dr. Sandra and we’re set for noon. Marie will take her lunch break early, pick up Buddy and me, and we’ll all go set our little buddy free from his suffering.  This is a sad day, Dr. Sandra, Marie, and I have all been in tears this morning, but as the days have passed, we see less and less hope that Buddy will recover.  And he is suffering.

Buddy in better days
Beloved Buddy Beagle

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