I was at work last night. The dog warden brought in a staffy puppy. He is very sweet. Someone found him Sunday and kept him overnight. They finally rang the dog warden Monday evening to say when they had found it and it had been limping.
He was limping all right, the femur was fractured and the leg was literally "swinging in the wind". It is too high a fracture for us to put a supporting dressing on so he has had a strong dose of pain relief and anti inflammatory. He may have a concious x-ray overnight if he lies still enough.
He had some food when he came in so a GA is out. If not then he will have a GA Tuesday and the surgeon will assess him. I do not know what will happen to the pup, chances are it will be repaired and rehomed but that will depend on the x-ray.
If you find an animal and there is anything amiss please make sure that you contact the dog warden or rspca, as soon as you find them. Even if they are fit they need to be taken to someone (vet, rescue centre,dog warden, etc) that deals with strays who can scan them for a microchip and hopefully trace the owner.
The RSPCA in the NW are often slow at collecting, blame the head office not the ACO. They do a bloody hard job in the face of extreme abuse often over how long they take. There are about 4 ACO (animal collection officers) and they cover a huge area, the whole of the north west UK.
The local dog wardens may also be slow. Help them all by arranging to take the animal in to a vet, ask them to let the vet know you will take it in and they can arrange collection from there.
By law UK vets have to offer first aid, even if that is just putting an animal to sleep. I know some practices that begrudge even pain relief and l have had to sneak it to them with a junior vets ok on the strong drugs l have used. Nothing is noted and drugs given passed on verbally so only the nurses and one vet knows what’s been given and when. A nurse or vet will sneak back overnight unpaid to give more pain relief. Yes it is shameful but the animals will always have someone in the practice to supply their needs above or below the management radar.
Where l went last night they are the opposite. Blood tests, x-rays and general anaesthetics, chest drains, feeding tubes, oxygen therapy, fluid therapy about 90% of the strays need iv fluids and all drugs are supplied.
Each animals needs are assessed. Uninjured strays are shipped off to rehoming /rescue centres as soon as possible. Terrible injures to animals means put down on admit. Those too old, too old and ill, young and too ill, if they are dangerous, or it is just not cost effective to repair them. The animals in these categories are given 3 days, this allows for owners to come forward. The 3 day patients are the worst ones. You nurse them, often intensely over 3 days, then they are put down.
If an operation is possible then major operations are carried out. Amputations, eye removals (one only eye if both needed removal they would be put down) Legs and pelvis are repaired, wounds repaired, spay or castrate is done, and the nurses arrange re homing.
3 nurses tend to specialise and have “black books” although all of the nurses join in.
There is an internal stray fund and anyone that gives a donation, the money goes into that and is put to good use. Check if your vet runs such a fund. To be fair someone has to pay for the drugs used, they are not cheap.
On the other hand when you see the amount of healthy strays that are destroyed, are you doing right by major operations and taking a home a healthy animal may have gone to? That healthy animal is often then destroyed?. Many agree, others see those that agree as cruel. Generally those who think it is cruel, have not had to deal with the sharp end. A rescue centre that is snowed down under healthy unwanted dogs or strays. No where to put them and seeing long term animals getting cage sick.
If anyone has any answers please let me know.
Putting anything down healthy or ill is not easy. You learn to sit hard on your feelings and make excuses or you would tear apart. Even so all of us have those moments when emotion takes us and when it does it is a really hard belly kick. Stress and depression is rife in the veterinary profession. I understand vets have the highest suicide rate. A lovely vet l knew committed suicide about 4 weeks ago. Veterinary Nurses also have a high suicide rate.
The problem is not easy to resolve and until breeding animals and unregulated sale and ownership of animals is brought under proper control it will continue.
Dogs Trust and Cat Protection League (CPL) and some of the smaller charities have packages to help with neutering contact them and do not let your pet have even one litter. Each of those "sweet babies" will grow up and someone may well breed from them and continue the problem.
The stray puppy snuggled under a blanket.