Veterinarian-ing is My Superpower

One of the many things I love about Mazie’s Mission are all the wildly crazy cases I see.

I feel that I should pause here and reflect a moment. To you, the layperson, my “crazy case,” is probably pretty horrific and sad. We see the worst of the worst: our patients are abused, neglected, injured, maimed.

I suppose that if I took the time to REALLY think about that, I should be paralyzed by despair. How could people do things to these poor helpless animals? I’m not sure if I would qualify myself as an optimist or a pessimist, I’m something in the middle. But at Maizie’s, I’m free to unleash my inner optimist.

When I see a patient: injured, maimed, shut down & scared. I look beyond “how did he get this way?” to “I get to fix this”.

It’s my superpower.

Point in case:

Fifi.

To date, she’s the worst case I’ve seen at Mazie’s Misson.

Sidebar: I only work at Mazie’s two days a week. Often, those two days are completely physically & emotionally exhausting. I’d like to take a moment to commend my coworkers: Dr. Shults, Emily, Rachel, Kat and Louise. They are there full time, fighting the good fight. They are the real heroes of this story: working so very, very hard to help as many pets as they can. We’ve got such an amazing team, y’all.

OK, back to Fifi. (I just love her name)

She had wandered into someone’s yard and promptly collapsed. The people who found her, thought she was dead. Fifi was indescribably emaciated, literally a little dog shaped pile of bones. She wasn’t dead, but oh so close.

Through sheer luck, she ended up in the care of an amazing foster with Dallas Pets Alive, who nursed her through the weekend until we could see her on Monday.

When I saw her, Fifi was an absolute nightmare. She was so skinny that one of her hip bones had worn through her skin due to lack of padding. The wound was blackened and infected. She had another infected wound under her eye from a rotten tooth. Actually, her whole mouth was full of rotten teeth, including her lower jaw, such that her tongue constantly sticks out. She was full of intestinal parasites, anemic and at the hairy edge of kidney failure.

However, here’s the truly amazing part: Fifi was eating. Despite her deplorable condition, this dog ate willingly (soup, wet food, because…rotten teeth). Fifi had fight in her. She wanted to live.

I was worried about that wound on her hip. Bones are never supposed to be outside of your body, y’all.

I posted to a couple of veterinary Facebook groups, asking for advice on how to manage the wound. The overwhelming consensus from these veterinarians was: She’s suffering, put her out of her misery.

That. My friends, did not sit well with me.

This dog was now warm, loved, fed, having her medical needs met & fighting to live.

Euthanasia was not an option here.

This dog deserves a chance. We could always make the difficult decision later, if she didn’t respond to treatment, care, and good nutrition.

I’m ecstatic to report that Fifi is thriving. Her foster is incredible. With her dilligent nursing care, Fifi has gained over a pound and a half, her bloodwork is almost back to normal (we’re still working on a few things), and the best thing:

Her terrible hip wound HEALED. (That, folks, is a complete and total #MaziesMiracle, the exposed bone just broke off and the wound immediately closed after that. I was sure she was going to need some crazy skin graft or something to get it healed).

The goal at this point is to get her strong enough to fix her teeth and spay her.

I have to admit, I unabashedly love this little dog. *So much for professional detachment.

Here are some pics (warning, this might be a little graphic for the squeamish…?):

The First Day We Saw Fifi
This was Fifi’s first visit to Mazie’s. She was just so weak and shut-down. We had to help her hold her head up.

 

 

 

 

Fifi
Fifi today. Look at this little princess.
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