Saving Miss Flo

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Flo’s face may look familiar to those of you who have followed our work for a while now. For those that don’t know Flo, she is a 5 year old American bulldog x boxer.

When Flo entered the pound Hear No Evil rescued her from mid last year she was emaciated, still lactating and she was also suffering from pyometra (a significant infection of her uterus). It was clear that Flo had spent her life outside, living on hard surfaces and with no experience of what it’s like to be a loved member of a family. She had open and weeping callouses on every single joint on her body. Our beautiful girl came into care with HNE after a very sad life. She’d had multiple stints in multiple pounds over the years and lived in multiple homes where she was used solely in an attempt to turn a profit by producing as many litters as possible. Miss Flo’s body showed the wear and tear of an entire life used as a ‘breeding machine’…

Flo also arrived with cataracts in both eyes that had left her functionally blind. We were fortunate enough to raise the $5,000 needed for the surgery to remove the cataracts and return Flo’s sight, but Flo’s health issues didn’t end there.

Used as a breeding machine Ms Flo arrived emaciated and requiring treatment.

When Flo arrived in care her ears were also in a bad state. Filled with gunk and causing her a lot of irritation. She would scratch at them constantly and shake her beautiful squishy head a lot. We administered lots of antibiotic drops and worked hard to address the ongoing infection in her ears that is so common in brachycephalic dogs. The infection and resulting irritation in her right ear led to so much scratching that she actually perforated her eardrum, which on top of the persistent infection, caused even more discomfort to our precious girl. With no medical options available to assist Flo, ear canal ablation (total removal of the ear canal) was all that we could do for Flo. We were able to raise the $3,500 needed for this surgery but we were told at the time that it would be likely that she would need the same surgery on her left ear very soon.

We are now at that stage and until we remove Flo’s other ear canal she’s going to remain sore and uncomfortable and we can’t finish our rescue job and find her the perfect forever family.

Ear canal ablation is a specialist surgery - it’s not something that can be done by just any vet. Fortunately for Flo, the team at the Animal Referral Hospital here in Canberra are experts in ear canal ablation and can do her second surgery at yet another significantly discounted rate. But even with a huge discount we will still need to pay $3,500. As a tiny rescue that has had so many huge vet bills in recent months and having also had the impact of the Townsville floods, we simply don’t have the money available. But this surgery is essential and needs to happen ASAP as Flo is struggling to get through each day with the pain her ear issues are causing.

So, in a weird twist we rescued a blind, hearing dog who, once she has her second ear canal ablation surgery, will eventually leave care as a deaf dog who can see…

To give Flo the chance she needs to move into a forever home, we need to raise the funds for her surgery, if you are in the position to give even alittle please click the button below to donate.  

Flo The Fighter Update 

The exceptional level of care and compassion provided by Dr. Bruce Smith and the team at the Animal Referral Hospital Canberra is keeping our Flo in good spirits. Despite so much of her time in care having been spent in and out of vet practices in Sydney and Canberra, our beautiful big girl still gets very excited about visiting her friends at ARH. She’s always smothered in so much love by the entire team, who we are sure she believes are her own personal fan club!! The entire team spoils her with cuddles and treats and they have all been so dedicated to her recovery. It certainly makes the entire experience a pretty positive one for our girl!

Flo recently had some swabs taken to determine what antibiotics are best to target the infection in her ear. Unfortunately it’s quite drug resistant, but she has just started a new antibiotic to hopefully get the infection under control. We will give Flo until Monday to see if the medication is helping and if it’s not, unfortunately Flo will require a further procedure. We will keep everyone who has followed Flo’s journey so far updated on her progress.

In addition to her ear issues, Flo has had some lameness recently and so whilst under anaesthetic for her ear canal ablation, we requested some x-rays of all her joints. Unfortunately for Flo, some anomalies were detected... At the moment our focus and priority is keeping Flo comfortable and nursing her through her recovery. When she is back to her usual bubbly self we will determine what our next steps are with her.

Flo the fighter

Despite the significant surgery and the challenges that have presented, Flo is coping well. She is mainly on crate rest at the moment to ensure she does not disrupt the surgery site by shaking her head too much. And we have to say, it would appear that everywhere she goes, even with a giant cone on her head, Miss Flo is winning hearts!

When our warrior princess underwent her ear canal ablation surgery, we had raised approximately half of the funds required for the procedure. We couldn’t wait to raise the remaining money as the surgery had gone from being essential to being absolutely critical given the pain she was beginning to experience. The urgent nature of her surgery and the additional costs related to her complications have left our bank account empty. Not just low on funds but actually empty… With around 30 animals in care across the country, the absence of funds to cover even the simplest of issues that may arise, let alone whatever future costs we have for Flo, leaves us feeling rather anxious.

If you  are in a position to help get our bank balance above zero again so we can continue to help follow and the other dogs we have in care please click the donate button below.

Poor Flo can't catch a break..

The medication that Flo is currently on is pretty heavy-duty stuff (it has to be in order to try and tackle the infection she’s currently battling) and as such it can have some pretty awful side effects. Since her surgery we have been monitoring her very closely, with the addition of this new medication she’s being watched even closer.

Yesterday morning Flo was doing well except for refusing water, but over the course of the day she became very lethargic. Late last night she declined very quickly. She wouldn't really move, was still refusing water and then began refusing food too. Her whole body was shaking, she was constantly crying and was seeking comfort from her foster siblings. Usually Flo would literally do ANYTHING for even the tiniest morsel of food, she is exceptionally stoic and is a mumma bear that absolutely rules the roost in her foster home, so we knew she was not doing well. We called the emergency vets and were told to bring her in. Miss Flo had lots of different tests to get a clearer picture of what was going on and lots of fluids to rehydrate her. She spent the night with the emergency team so they could monitor her.

Flo was collected this morning by her foster family and was much brighter and even had a waggy tail! We still don’t know exactly where things are at with Flo, but she has another appointment in the morning with her surgical specialist.

Still Fighting

Miss Flo had another check up recently. One of the main things we’ve been monitoring with her is the level of fluid being released from the surgical site. When there is a fluid build-up, a wound can't heal. Usually the body naturally absorbs this fluid, but in Flo’s case the infection complicated this process.

The check up showed that the fluid volume was slightly less, but certainly not enough to feel absolutely confident that we were winning the battle. So Miss Flo went back in yet againfor another check to determine if further surgery was required. Unfortunately this was the case and Flo underwent surgery that very day with the incredible team at the Animal Referral Hospital Canberra. While she was under anaesthetic it was determined that the fluid build-up was deeper than suspected. The wound was cleaned out and a suction drain was put in place to remove excess fluid.

When we went to pick Flo up, she initially decided she was quite happy to just stay with her friends at the hospital and wasn’t sure she wanted to come home just yet! This was quite lovely to see – despite all the poking, prodding and surgeries, Flo still adores all of the staff at the hospital. This was a further reminder to us of the team’s compassion and dedication to all animals, but especially our big squishy girl. When Flo was finally ready to say goodbye we brought her home!

Miss Flo is doing really well right now. She is alert, cheeky, eating and drinking, and being very patient while we tend to her drain. As you can see in the photo, Flo initially looked a tad miserable - this was a result of the medication from her surgery and the necessity of crate rest.

Our big girl is scheduled to have her drain removed on shortly. We’ve got all fingers and paws crossed that it will be smooth sailing from there and for her to her to be her old cheeky self again.

Getting Flo to the stage where she can enjoy finally enjoy life hasn't been been cheap even with the discounts we have been offered. The rescues bank account is empty, Flo's bill from her most recent surgery came to a bit under $1000. We managed to scrape together the money we needed to pay that bill this morning. We have a duty of care to the animals in our rescue. Sometimes emergency medical issues arise with our animals in care and we have no choice but to immediately seek treatment. From the moment our rescue was founded we have always tried to have funds set aside for situations just like this, but we simply have nothing left and we’re now at a point where medical costs are being personally covered by a few us on the team – reallocating personal grocery, petrol and utility bill money to ensure our HNE kids get the care they need.

We are extremely desperate for funds. We hate asking, but if you could spare a donation - no matter how small - to aid in covering Flo's continued medical costs or assist other animals in our care, then it would be greatly appreciated.

A huge thank you goes to the generous people who have already have so generously donated. - Thank you!

As a result of the work we’ve done over the last 4 ½ years, the message is getting out there that deaf dogs are just dogs. This means that so many deaf dogs are being directly adopted from pounds and shelters across the country and people with deaf dogs are less likely to try and surrender them to us which is simply fantastic . It also means though, that the animals we are being asked to assist often come with a laundry-list of medical issues that must be addressed before a dog can be ready for adoption. This puts an incredible financial strain on our rescue. We are not currently taking in any more animals as we simply cannot afford to. We receive no government funding for our work and rely solely on our fundraising activities and donations from our beautiful supporters to keep our rescue running. Please help us to continue our work by donating today. Click Here

More updates on Flo's recovery to come.....

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