On Saturday October 2nd around 2pm we received a message from a citizen we had helped with stray dogs before. She said "There's a dog abandoned at the apartments. I'm not home but it's alive and my co worker said bugs are eating it". I was 4 hours away attending a friend's bachelorette party and thankfully Tara and Doug were nearby and quickly jumped into action.
They rushed out to the apartment complex and were led directly where Toby laid to die. He was covered in maggots. His mouth, anus and wound were all full of maggots. They quickly tried to offer him water and to our surprise he lapped up the water. They wrapped him up and then rushed off to Vergi. The ER hospital wasn't a long distance from where Toby was found, but time seemed to drag on. While Tara drove Doug was in the back comforting Toby and begging him to hang on just a little longer. His shallow breathing and lifeless body wasn't very reassuring to us, but we had to give him a chance!
When Toby arrived at Vergi they were shocked that he was still breathing and quickly got to work on trying to stabilize him. The veterinarians mentioned that it would not be unkind to end his suffering through euthanasia. But Toby drank water just moments before and that was a sign enough for us to continue to fight for him. He remained lateral and lifeless with them. His neutrophils were down to zero and that was sign his body was septic. The ER hospital quickly hooked up his IVs and NG tube to start feeding him. He was pumped full of antibiotics to start to attack the infection in his body. The veterinarians mentioned to us many times that Toby could likely pass away at any moment. We all agreed that we would give him 24 hours under their expert care and see where to go from there. The last thing we wanted was to keep a dog alive and suffering.
Toby is about 5 years old and only weighs 6 lbs. His body was failing due to a very old wound (likely dog bite) that was left untreated. His hind end is missing hair and calloused showing us that he had been on the streets quite some time. The staff at the ER hospital instantly fell in love with him. I went to sleep Saturday night just hoping that I would not get a call in the middle of the night.
When I woke up Sunday morning I was relieved to see I had no missed calls. As the saying goes "no news is good news". I called the ER clinic around 11am on Sunday to get an update. The vet excitedly told me that Toby had STOOD UP. And even walked around a bit. We were all stunned that he was not only still alive but he was MOVING around. His initial care estimate for the first 24 hours was around $4,000. The second 24 hours of care is an estimated $2,700. We hope that Toby will continue to improve and these amounts will decrease as less support and diagnostics are needed.
Toby's next steps are to get the NG tube removed and eat/drink on his own. As of 10/4 around 12pm he was eating and drinking some but still needs the support of his NG tube. The staff at the hospital are just in love with this guy and celebrating every new milestone with him. He is standing, walking and resting A LOT! He is negative for heartworms (which was a shocker). He is processing the fluids well and his urine in the catheter bag looks normal. Kidney function is normal. His blood pressure and glucose are normalizing. Initially Toby had trouble maintaining his body temperature on his own and needed heat support. He is now maintaining his body temperature well.
Toby is not out of the woods yet, but we are VERY hopeful for this guy. Long term he will likely need a soft tissue specialist for continued wound care and a game plan to close up that hole.
If you'd like to donate towards Toby's care you can donate at https://donorbox.org/donate-now-to-lola-s-lucky-day