On June 27 of this year, Toronto Animal Services received a phone call about a stray dog. The dog, a young un-spayed female, was picked up and brought into the Toronto Animal Services east region shelter where staff named her Twiggy. She was a medium to large dog in height, but at only 19 pounds, she was one of the thinnest dogs the staff had ever seen. She was very sick, pale and depressed, but her appetite seemed normal.
Despite care during her first few days at the shelter, Twiggy’s condition worsened. Test results were inconclusive. She was hospitalized on July 4, at Rouge Valley Animal Hospital where she was diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (an inability to properly digest food due to lack of digestive enzymes made by the pancreas). On July 5, she was transferred to Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital and Referral Clinic for treatment and further diagnostics.
With treatment, Twiggy slowly got better. Two weeks after starting treatment, she had gained more than 2 pounds, and was becoming more active. She was discharged from the hospital and placed in a foster home through Toronto Animal Services to continue her treatment.
It soon became apparent that Twiggy wasn’t walking normally. This had not been noticed earlier because Twiggy had been so lethargic. She didn’t appear to be in any pain and other than her walking, her health was improving. Twiggy soon weighed almost 28 pounds – gaining almost 50% of her body weight.
With the added weight, however, it was obvious the issues with her leg needed to be addressed. Twiggy received more tests and an orthopaedic examination. Her veterinarian found that the ligament over her knee was ruptured and her hip joint was dislocated. Twiggy was going to need surgery, but since she wasn’t in pain, she would have to get healthier before the procedure could be done.
Finally, on September 19, Twiggy had surgery. She spent her recovery with her volunteer foster parent and has blossomed into a normal, healthy, wonderful companion.
Twiggy’s treatment and surgery was made possible by donations made to Toronto Animal Services and the generosity of her volunteer foster parent. Without these two crucial elements, Twiggy would almost certainly have died.
Currently Twiggy is living with her foster family, and is seeking a permanent home.
Toronto Animal Services believes that residents of Toronto can help animals right here in Toronto. There are many ways that can be done. Two of those ways are to become a donor or a volunteer foster.
The volunteer foster program provides temporary homes to shelter animals requiring extra care and growth outside of the shelter to prepare them for adoption. Foster parents provide a temporary loving and caring environment for the animal to thrive.
Donations support programs such as spay/neuter, extended veterinary care, shelter enhancements or pet adoptions that can all make the difference between life and death for a shelter animal.