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Forrest is lucky he came to IHS as a stray this month. During a routine neuter, Dr. McGrath discovered that he was born with a congenital condition called “pectus excavatum” where the sternum curves upward towards the spine instead of downwards toward the belly. Forrest’s condition is severe and unfortunately. this leaves less room for the heart and lungs to work which can cause cardiac and respiratory issues since the lungs or heart cannot fill as they should.
The window to correct this condition is relatively small and surgery must occur before they are four months old; thankfully is only 2.5 months!
Dr. McGrath first made a custom split to fit Forrest’s chest, then performed surgery by looping thick, non-absorbable sutures around the sternum’s affected bones. This procedure is challenging because she had to avoid puncturing the heart and lungs! The sutures are then passed through the splint and tightened, so the sternum is pulled outwards and into normal contour.
Forrest had a successful surgery and was in excellent hands for care. Dr. McGrath will check the splint weekly and retighten as needed for the next 4-6 weeks. After that time, his cartilage should be “retrained,” and he can live a normal life!
Your donations help animals like Forrest gain new leases on life! Thank you all for your continued support of our homeless animals.
Shae came to our shelter with a dislocated wrist and quickly became a staff favorite. Dr. Rosenthal provided a medical exam and concluded that she needed an arthrodesis (joint fusion). This surgery has many potential complications, but luckily none of those complications occurred. Months later, during her follow-up exam, her x-rays showed the joint fusion healed perfectly.
A slight hiccup occurred; the morning following the joint fusion surgery, we noticed discoloration on Shae’s back foot. The discoloration was a very subtle sign that the paw had sustained vascular damage, likely due to an overly tight bandage. In advance of the surgery, a bone graft was harvested from her tibia wrapped to prevent contamination during surgery.
Even though the bandage had been removed quickly, over the next 10 days, that small area of devitalized tissue would grow circumferentially around the paw as more and more tissue died. Several surgeries were performed to remove dead tissue until, finally, the tissue destruction was complete. Shae was left with all four toes intact and alive. However, digits 2 and 5 (the inside and outside toes) had no sensation, and the first joint of these toes was destroyed, leaving them floppy and useless. This isn’t too problematic as dogs only need two inside toes (3 and 4) to have a near-normal function. Digits 2 and 5 could be amputated, but the much trickier part was that she needed a metacarpal pad to function normally and unfortunately, hers was entirely dead and needed to be removed.
Shae went through weeks of bandage changes and wound treatment to allow the tissues to heal as much as possible. Dr. Rosenthal decided to try a digital pad transposition procedure to build Shae a new pad. He used two pads from the digits that were no longer useful as toes but could serve as “spare parts” to make a new weight-bearing metacarpal pad. The bones and claws were delicately removed from toes 2 and 5, a procedure called “phalangeal filleting” while trying very hard not to damage the blood supply. With the bones removed, the pads can then be moved with blood supply and tissues intact and sutured into place.
All of this took several more surgeries. Months later, we now have a nicely healed and tough metacarpal pad replacement that requires no bandaging, and Shae has no lameness. Critical to salvaging, Shae’s paw was an extraordinarily committed foster parent, Kara, who (of course) ended up adopting her. For weeks Kara had to bring Shae into our hospital roughly every two or three days for treatment.
Opal came to our shelter as an owner surrender. His family was moving and could not take her with them. Dr. McGrath completed a veterinarian exam after Opal arrived. Unfortunately, she found a cancerous mass on her left shoulder. Dr. McGrath was able to remove the mass without complications successfully. Opal recovered beautifully and is now living with her forever home.
Riley was hit by a car, the weight-bearing articular surface of his shoulder joint (the glenoid) of his scapula was fractured. This is an uncommon fracture with a relatively poor prognosis for complete recovery. Statistically, only about 15 percent of dogs that have surgery for shoulder fractures recover with no residual limp.
Surgery was performed and the fracture of the scapula was repaired with screws. The surgical approach to the fracture is complicated and involves cutting through other structures, including a bone process of the scapula called the acromion in order to avoid severing tendons. Hence, beyond the screws that repaired the scapula, additionally, pins and wires were also placed during this surgery.
Riley has recovered with imperfect function of his shoulder joint.
It’s not uncommon to see stray cats arrive with bite wounds on their face or neck from other cats, but Percy was suffering from a gruesome infection in his sizable neck wound. This four-year-old boy was covered with maggots and in a great deal of pain. Dr. McGrath, our Director of Shelter Medicine, flushed the wound, removed the larva, and bandaged him for the first of several wound cleanings to come.
It took several weeks and procedures to clean the wound and free it of infection; however, the wound was still too large to close even with these steps. Dr. McGrath took a flap of skin from Percy’s neck/shoulder area to close the open wound for healing.
Percy still has a small wound near his head and stemming over to his shoulder that is still healing but should not present any issues in the future.
Archie came to us after a Good Samaritan called Animal Care and Control for assistance after a cat had been found injured and limping. Dr. McGrath, our Director of Shelter Medicine, diagnosed him with a Brachial plexus avulsion; a condition where the nerve had been separated from the spinal cord, typically from a high-speed impact. Our team monitored him and provided pain medication to ease his stay, hoping that he would regain the use of his arm.
Unfortunately, his owner didn’t come to redeem him, so we sent him to foster care for some TLC and careful watching to see if his arm would improve outside of the shelter. Eventually, Archie came back for another evaluation and Dr. McGrath determined the best course of action would be a leg amputation so he could live a pain-free life. Your donations help animals like Archie discover new chapters in their lives.
Archie was a champ through it all and found his forever home.
Meet Ginger, she’s an 11-year-old female terrier who was brought into our Veterinary Medical Center by her family because she started to act out of character. After a thorough exam, our doctors diagnosed her as having an infected uterus, known as pyometra, a life-threatening uterine infection that affects older, un-spayed female dogs.
Symptoms include lethargy, depression, anorexia, excessive water intake, excessive urination, and bloody vaginal discharge.
Pyometra is a medical emergency that requires immediate veterinarian attention, otherwise, your beloved pet could pass away suddenly. To officially diagnose, a veterinarian will run complete blood work, urinalysis, conduct a radiograph, and an ultrasound. We see a great number of dogs needing life-saving surgery with pyometra each week, leaving the owner in unexpected financial distress. We recommend spaying your pets to prevent this from happening. There are a number of additional benefits from spaying such as a longer life-span, prevention of masses, decrease of infections, better behavior from not going into heat, and more.
Buck came to our Shelter Medical Center for emergency care since he had swallowed a 3-pronged (treble) fish hook! This was a sticky situation as our shelter didn’t have the perfect piece of veterinary equipment needed to remove the hook from his esophagus, but thanks to the quick thinking of Dr. McGrath, our Director of Shelter Medicine, Dr. Palchek and their veterinary assistant, the three of them were able to sedate Buck and safely remove it using the veterinary tools on hand.
Thankfully, Buck recovered quickly and made his way to the adoption floor.
We’re thrilled to report that he was adopted just 48 hours later! Congrats to Buck and his forever family!!!
These two sweet boys do not know each other, but they have one traumatic aspect of their life in common. While outside enjoying some fresh air, they were shot. Their owners brought them about a week apart thinking their cat had been entangled in a fight. Our Veterinarian Medical Center performed exams, where the owners were shocked to find out their cats had been shot. Our veterinarians and medical staff quickly went to work to ease their pain. Oliver had his leg amputated, while Blaze had to have teeth removed as well as severe tissue damage to the face.
Thankfully after surgery, both cats went home to rest and recover comfortably.
Dunkel was brought to our Veterinary Medical Center by his owners after he was found limping around the house. Our vets determined that he had dislocated his hip. Dunkel is 12-years-old and had an age-related injury. His owners mentioned that he may have been prepping his bed for a nap when his hip was dislocated. Usually, when we see hip dislocations in our clinic, it is the result of a traumatic accident from being hit by a car, but other times pets can find danger chasing after cars, falling into backyard holes, or other age-related causes.
Thankfully, we have two different ways to correct a pet’s dislocated hip. Closed reduction is non-surgical, and is almost always attempted first. The leg is manually re-placed while pets are anesthetized to reduce pain and to help the leg muscles can relax. However, sometimes the hip join cannot be re-placed manually, and open reduction is required where a surgical correction of the hip is needed.
Unfortunately, Dunkel would need hip surgery, however, it is 35% more likely to keep the joint in place when compared to closed reduction.
You are a champ, Dunkel! Here’s to a better life ahead!
Cody’s 2020 wasn’t going so great… earlier this summer, he was attacked by a dog which resulted in his leg being amputated after a lot of damage was inflicted on him. The good news is that now he’s resting comfortably in foster care after being sent for recovery.
His foster family has taken him in with open arms and given him the love he needs. Cody adores lap time and likes to sleep with his head in the palm of a hand. He enjoys being held, purrs a lot, gives licks and tiny nips, and loves having his face, neck, and belly rubbed.
Cody is managing life amazingly well on three legs; there’s a saying that all animals are born with an extra leg because tripods do so well getting around. Cody enjoys hopping up onto his favorite ottoman where he likes to sleep, watch videos, and sit at the window to check out the backyard wildlife. He is adamant about using his litter box and goes to great lengths to cover up everything.
Simon’s owners became worried when Simon’s eye was frequently closed and had goopy discharge. When he was brought to our Veterinary Medical Center, our veterinarians discovered his eye was severely infected and unfortunately, was past the point of treatability by medication. It was decided the best course of action was for Simon to undergo an enucleation (eye removal).
We understand that it may be quite shocking to learn that a cat will need an eye removed, but it’s the kindest option if it’s been badly damaged, is causing unmanageable pain, is affected by an untreatable condition or contains a tumor.
After an enucleation, cats (and dogs) tend to adapt very well, in fact, owning a one-eyed cat can be very similar to owning a fully sighted cat. We recommend talking to your cat when approaching them on their blind side to avoid startling them, especially in the beginning. After an adjustment period, pets can go on to live happy and normal lives after an enucleation.
We are so glad we were able to help Simon. Now he can live without pain, and strut his new pirate look!
Sadie is a 13-week-old Husky and is as cute as a button.
Sadie attempted to jump out of her owner’s truck bed while it was parked and severely injured her leg. Poor pup! She came to our Veterinary Clinic and had orthopedic surgery for a femur fracture. The surgery went well, and Sadie is ready to get back to her puppy duties of playing and, most importantly, being adorable!
Puppies can injure themselves quite easily at a young age because their growth plates aren’t closed and bones are still growing. It’s important to keep an eye on the activities of young dogs to ensure they aren’t running for too long or jumping from too high of surfaces, as the strain can lead to injury.
We understand that accidents can happen, even with very attentive owners. We are so happy that we were able to perform surgery for Sadie so she can recover and lead a happy, pain-free life!
Meet Sweet Baby Sophie.
Sophie was brought to our Shelter Medical Center as a stray last week by a Good Samaritan. She was badly injured. Both of her right legs were broken; she had fractures in her tibia, fibula, and humerus. Although we are not sure how she sustained her injuries, our best assumption is that she was hit by a car. In addition to her leg injuries, she had many live mites and eggs in her ears. Poor little fluff ball!
Our Shelter Medical Center was able to administer medication for her ear mites, and tended to her broken legs with surgery. Sophie didn’t quite like her bandages and tried to remove them herself, but our Shelter Medical Center team replaced them in no time.
Sophie is healing and growing by the minute! She is a playful kitty who now has the chance to live a full, happy life!
Lacey is a 9-year-old American Pitbull Terrier mix originally came to us as a stray, and we found a mass on her leg when we gave her our veterinary exam. They removed a sizeable soft-tissue sarcoma from directly over her stifle (knee). This area is challenging to operate on because it puts pressure on the incision site every time her knee bends. Our Director of Shelter Medicine, Dr. McGrath, performed a special technique to relieve the tension by making small incisions in the surrounding skin to stretch the skin like a “mesh” to help it cover the area. While it looks a little different from most other procedures, the small incisions are healing well.
It is excellent news for Lacey; we just received word that her margins are clear, and her cancer is gone!
Wyatt is a 5 month old kitty, and he’s got grit!
This brave mouser had some serious injuries when he was brought to us through our in-state transfer program. He suffered 4 fractures – 3 in one hind leg, and 1 in the other hind leg. He couldn’t walk or stand, and needed intense surgery. Soon after being brought to our Shelter Medical Center, Wyatt underwent surgery performed by Dr. McGrath.
Only a few days later, Wyatt was up and walking again! Thanks to the can-do cattitude of this brave little kitty, the skilled hands of our doctors and staff, and generous donors, Wyatt is recovering at a rapid pace! Congratulations, little guy!
Snoop came to us with an injury, the Good Samaritan who found him believed he was possibly hit by a car. We immediately gave him a veterinary exam in our Shelter Medical Center and his x-rays revealed that he was actually shot in the back leg! The injuries to his leg were so severe that unfortunately, his hind leg had to be removed.
We sent Snoop to foster for recovery and to learn more about his personality; he adjusted very well to being a tripod!
Soon after, he found his forever home. “Basically he is a perfect angel,” exclaimed his new owners.
Oddie was in need of life-saving surgery. She was suffering from a ruptured uterus, and considering her circumstances, shouldn’t be alive! Our Veterinary Medical Center performed multiple surgeries on Oddie, and not only did she survive, but she is also thriving and was recently adopted!
Beau jumped from his owner’s truck bed as they were on their way to the mountains. After a 12-day search, Beau was found stranded on an island in the middle of the Payette River, and soon after was reunited with his family. During Beau’s escapade, he suffered a fractured ankle, deep road rash, and had lost about 16 lbs. He was brought to our Veterinary Medical Center for a fracture repair and some TLC. Beau has recovered and is now enjoying love from his family!
Sage’s owners noticed something was wrong when she came into the house walking on three legs. We don’t know exactly how Sage was injured, but it could have possibly been from falling out of a tall tree. She is one tough gal!
Soon after her owners found her, Sage was brought to our Veterinary Medical Center and underwent surgery for a fracture repair with Dr. Rosenthal.
She was a star during surgery prep, through surgery, and during recovery! She was reunited with her family the next day and will continue her recovery with her humans. Way to go, Sage!
After swallowing a bear-shaped pacifier (photo top right), Zeke was not eating or drinking and was vomiting. Poor pup! His owners had CT scans taken, and then brought him to our Veterinary Medical Center for an enterotomy (surgical opening of the intestine), to remove the pacifier.
The surgery went well, and Zeke is recovering like a champ!
Omar was brought to our Veterinary Medical Center in need of urgent care last night after getting his tail caught in a fence. He suffered a degloving injury on his tail (where the skin/fur was completely removed from the tail bone). This must have been terribly painful for him; thankfully were able to provide amputation surgery yesterday, and he did fabulously. He is one tough cookie!
Omar’s recovery is going smoothly, and he was reunited with his family. Now he can go home and strut his new physique, lest anyone forget how resilient he is.
Steve was transferred to us from another shelter in order to have an FHO (femoral head osteotomy) on his left hip after it was dislocated and was unable to be replaced in the socket. Thanks to generous donors, we are saving lives and safeguarding animals like Steve!
Steve has recovered, is doing very well, and is ready for adoption! He is a very mellow cat and quickly became a staff favorite in our medical center while he received TLC from them. He even comes with his own adorable pair of boots. Come see him at our cattery at 1300 S. Bird Street Boise, ID 83709.
This July, Humane Officers sprung into action after learning of a cat that was walking around a neighborhood with a trap caught on its leg. The cat gave chase, but thankfully our Humane Officer was able to capture it and bring it into our shelter for care. We sedated the cat before we removed the trap to ensure that the animal didn’t further harm itself or our staff. Thankfully, this cat’s injuries were limited to its paw and we were able to provide medical care and reunite it with its owners.
Poor Rick came to our shelter in rough condition after he was hit by a car in mid-June. A good samaritan brought him to West Vet but, because he was a stray, they transferred him to us so we could offer medical treatment and search for potential owners.
When Rick arrived at our shelter, he had SEVERE head trauma and was neurologically inappropriate. He could not see or walk and was practically comatose. It was very touch and go just how much pain he was in and whether or not he would survive. We opted to treat him with aggressive support: Mannitol to reduce brain swelling and IV fluids. Day by day, we saw more improvements in his neurological status and – finally!- on day 4 or 5 he started walking and eating on his own. It’s been just over two weeks since Rick initially arrived at our shelter and it’s like he’s a completely different cat! You would never guess that this cat had been hit by a car. Rick now walks, eats, and plays like any other normal cat and he is very sweet with our cattery staffers.
Kirby, a 13-year-old Chihuahua mix, came to our shelter as a stray in May, 2020 with a HUGE inguinal hernia. An inguinal hernia occurs when tissue, such as part of the intestine, protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal muscle. Most of Kirby’s small intestine and all of her uterus was in the hernia. If you look closely at the x-ray photos, you can see that the sac under her belly is filled with intestine. This hernia was the size of a small cantaloupe and it looked even bigger on such a small dog! Kirby had surgery earlier this week to repair her hernia. We also spayed her and removed a couple mammary masses.
Riley is a 5-year-old Labrador Retriever mix who was hit by a car on June 6th. He was taken to All Valley Animal Care center then transferred to our shelter for continuous care and evaluation. This poor guy had lacerations on his limbs and severe lung contusions but, despite his injuries, was still friendly and sweet with our medical staff. We cleaned up his wounds and took special care to monitor the injuries on his chest over the past week. Riley had an orthopedic surgery this week to repair his fractured shoulder. We will likely send him to a foster home once he’s a little more mobile.
In late-May, we transferred a puppy from Burley to our shelter so we could provide life-saving medical care. The puppy, a 10-week-old Chihuahua mix, was extremely dehydrated and emaciated thanks to a raging case of Parvo. She was only 3.5 pounds and had bloody diarrhea and vomit. Her initial prognosis was very poor, but we immediately placed an IV Catheter and prescribed her antibiotics. We also had to place a feeding tube to help her receive nutrition and give her a fighting chance. She was hospitalized in our care for about 2 weeks and our medical staff regularly checked on her throughout the day. When an animal has parvo, we have to play the waiting game to see if the animal’s immune system is strong enough to fight the virus. Even with medical assistance, parvo can be fatal.
It was touch and go for a while, but the puppy ended up pulling through and is doing much better!
Abby, a 6½-year-old Great Dane mix, had a Gastropexy in late-May. Gastropexy is a surgical procedure that tacks the stomach to the abdominal wall. These surgeries are performed to reduce the chances of an animal developing Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV) in the future. This is also known as torsion or bloat. GDV is a life-threatening surgical emergency where the stomach fills up with gas and then twists, which can cut off blood supply to their vital organs. This is a surgery we commonly perform on Great Danes and other high-risk breeds who enter our shelter in order to help try and prevent a catastrophe in the future.
While this seems like a pretty intense surgery, it didn’t really slow Abby down or dampen her spirits. In fact, she was adopted and went to her new forever home on June 4th!
Congratulations, Abby!! We wish you a long, happy life with your new-and-improved stomach and your newly adopted family.
Our veterinarians see these injuries all the time because they are the most common orthopedic ailment of dogs. We perform a specialized surgery called Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) in dogs with this injury to restore them to pain free mobility. In a giant breed dog like Alden, a double TPLO could easily cost over $10,000 at a private veterinary hospital. Because of the extraordinary expense it would take for Idaho Humane Society to send such patients to an outside hospital, we have to perform these procedures within our Veterinary Medical Center. We typically perform at least one TPLO on a shelter dog each week; in fact, Alden is the third shelter dog that received a double TPLO surgery just this month! If we didn’t have this capability, dogs like Alden would go to homes where a new owner would immediately be subjected to thousands of dollars in expense, or the pet would suffer from debilitating arthritis for the rest of its life. It can be hard to find a home to adopt a giant breed dog, let alone a new owner that is willing and able to spend thousands of dollars on a newly adopted pet!
Alden will now recover in our foster program, following a healing and rehabilitation plan that takes about 14 weeks. At that point he should be doing great and can resume an active lifestyle. If you have room in your heart, and your home (including sufficient space on your California King) for a dog like Alden stay tuned for his release for adoption in the near future.
Specialized surgeries like the ones performed on Alden happen every single day at our Shelter Medical Center and Veterinary Medical Center. Only through the support of donors can the Idaho Humane Society perform lifesaving and quality of life preserving procedures that most other shelters in the country are never able to provide. Please consider donating today to help us provide medical care to shelter animals like Alden!
Meet Darby – a 10-month-old Catahoula mix who is as friendly as she is cute. This sweet girl was a patient at our public veterinary clinic and we had seen her a number of times for waxing and waning gastrointestinal (GI) issues. Over the past couple of weeks, Darby had been acting strangely. She was vomiting, lethargic, losing weight, and disinterested in food. She received an abdominal ultrasound by a traveling radiologist who came to our medical center and they diagnosed her with an intussusception. This is a condition where the one section of the bowel telescopes into another intestinal section which then causes an obstruction or blockage. Darby’s owners ultimately decided to surrender her due to personal and financial reasons surrounding the surgery. She was immediately transferred to our Dorman facility so our shelter veterinarians and WSU veterinary students could perform an emergency surgery to resect her obstructed bowel. Less than 12 hours after surgery, Darby had her appetite back and was feeling much better. She was almost feeling TOO well, seeing as she was practically bouncing off of the walls despite a fresh incision site! We have since placed her in a foster home where she can heal in a calm, controlled environment. Her foster parents are closely monitoring her to make sure her bowel movements are normal, her incision site is healing, and she’s gaining weight. Darby is doing very well in her foster home and especially enjoys taking naps with the other animals.
Baine was transferred to IHS in mid-May after he was found on someone’s property, wounded and unable to walk. It was reported that he may have been hit by a car but All Valley veterinarians found a small bullet wound between the eyes as well. The bullet went in through the skull between the eyes and fragmented. Thankfully, the bullet missed Baine’s brain or else this would have been a fatal wound.
It was unclear if Baine sustained neurological damage as he was unwilling to walk the first two days in our care. However, he was finally able to walk on his own Wednesday morning so his prognosis is looking good. If you look at the x-rays, you can see the fragments are spread throughout his neck. Baine did have some swelling in his neck because of this but surgery was not recommended. The fragments are small enough and hard to find that there is a good chance we would have caused more damage if we were to try looking and removing them.
Baine’s swelling in his neck eventually went down and he is currently in a foster home recuperating. We will continue to post more updates!
Most people are familiar with ear mites in cats: a nasty, itchy infestation that can cause black discharge. But ear mites can affect rabbits too. In mid-May, a rabbit named Thomas Jumperson was surrendered to our shelter with, according to Dr. McGrath, “the worst case of ear mites I have ever seen.” In rabbits, untreated ear mites can get severely out of control and affect their entire head and ears. Thomas had severe hair loss, ulcerations in and on his ears, and a lot of pain. Our shelter veterinary staff anesthetized him so they could clean out his ears and apply medication to kill the mites. Thomas is now in a foster home and receives daily medicated ointment to help the soothe the pain and allow the hair to grow back. He will likely need a second set of treatment to ensure all the mites are killed. Ear Mites are a highly infectious parasite, and they are easily transmitted from bunny to bunny.
In the video below, you’ll see some before and after photos of Thomas Jumperson receiving treatment. In one photo, the bunny’s ear is nearly all black from the amount of discharge from the ear mites. And another photo depicts just how extensive the damage was inside of his ear. The canal was FILLED with thick crusts of blood, discharge, and mites. We even included a video from Dr. McGrath when she examined the ear mites swimming around on the microscope slide. Gross!!
It’s always a good idea to check your pets’ ears for ear mites and infections, especially if they frequently go outdoors. Thankfully, ear mites are usually pretty easy to treat if you spot them early on.
Smithers is an affectionate feline who has been in a foster home for over three months due to his ongoing struggles with anorexia. Smithers was surrendered to our shelter in December when his previous owners felt they did not have enough time to adequately care for him. We placed Smithers on our adoption floor but noticed he had a severe kitty cold and was not interested in food. A lack of appetite is typical for cats with URIs so we prescribed him some antibiotics and our cattery staffers handfed him until he felt better. While his URI cleared up, Smithers’ appetite never returned. Concerned, cattery staffers brought Smithers to our shelter veterinarians for a recheck appointment and medical staff hospitalized him for further treatment. Our veterinary team ran several blood tests to screen for underlying diseases that could be causing a lack of appetite, but test results showed no abnormalities.
For weeks, Smithers was anorexic and continued to have a strong food aversion. He would gag every time food was presented to him, and appetite stimulants did not affect him. Smithers was an otherwise healthy, affectionate cat, so Dr. McGrath decided a feeding tube was the next step for Smithers. She surgically placed a feeding tube in Smither’s throat, and we sent him to foster with one of our more experienced foster parents. Our goal was to restore some much-needed nutrients into Smithers’ system and help him overcome his food aversion in a more comfortable environment. We believe that Smithers’ food aversion came from being extremely stressed in the shelter environment, despite his friendly and easy-going demeanor with staffers.
A couple of weeks after Smithers went to a foster home, one of our foster coordinators received some photos and happy text messages depicting that Smithers was finally showing interest in food and eating little pieces on his own. We scheduled a recheck appointment so we could remove his feeding tube, but Smithers beat us to the punch and removed it himself the night before. Thankfully, he did not do any harm to himself.
After three months of no interest in food, two months of tube feeding, Smithers is finally eating meals on his own and was adopted on May 9th, 2020.
Ice is a 9-month-old Siberian Husky mix who was surrendered to our shelter in late January due to health and behavior issues. During an evaluation with our shelter trainer, we noticed that Ice was leaking urine and she seemed completely unaware of it. Ice was treated in the past for UTIs and possible incontinence but with no success, so our shelter veterinary staff took x-rays and determined that Ice had an Ectopic Ureter. This means Ice had a ureter that wasn’t connected to the bladder so the urine would leak and drain elsewhere (usually through the urethra). Ice had no bladder control because of this and would unknowingly urinate throughout the day.
This condition oftentimes results in euthanasia but our Director of Shelter Medicine, Dr. McGrath, opted to perform an ectopic ureter surgical repair on February 15th to see if we could eliminate Ice’s incontinence issue. Our shelter staff was optimistic but knew that this surgery could be a shot in the dark — female dogs with Ectopic Ureters have a rate of only 25-50% for incontinence resolution.
Our medical staff monitored Ice for a few weeks then sent her to a foster home in early March where she could work on house-training and be observed in a more comfortable environment. During one of her check-up exams, Dr. McGrath noticed that Ice unconsciously leaked a large amount of urine when she sat down during an exam. Unfortunately, it seemed that the ectopic ureter had become patent again and Ice would need another corrective surgery to reattach the ureter. Ice underwent a second ectopic surgery repair on March 21st and went to another foster home afterward to recover.
The great news is that Ice’s newest foster family decided to adopt her and the official adoption paperwork was completed on May 27th. Hooray!! Congratulations Ice!
Duckie, a 9-week-old Boxer/Great Pyrenees mix puppy, was surrendered to our shelter in early March because his previous owners were concerned about his health. Duckie acted like a normal puppy in every way except for one: his previous owners had never seen him have a bowel movement. On his medical exam, we discovered Duckie was born without an anus. Yes, you read that right.
Duckie was born with a genetic defect called an ‘imperforate anus’. This means that he has a fully functioning digestive system except for the lack of an anal opening which never developed during gestation. It is extremely uncommon, but we see it more often in puppies than kittens. Animals can survive without an anus for short periods of time, but it is fatal if left untreated.
Dr. McGrath, our Director of Shelter Medicine, believes that Duckie was able to survive for as long as he did because his large intestine was absorbing all the nutrients from his feces back into his body. Even still, we’re sure this must have been very uncomfortable for Duckie as this caused extreme bloating. The only treatment for an Imperforate Anus is to surgically create an anal opening.
On March 14th, Dr. McGrath performed a colotomy to remove the feces from Duckie’s colon as well as an anal atresia surgery where she created an artificial anal opening to allow future bowel movements. Duckie stayed in our shelter veterinary clinic for a few days for monitoring and observation, and he is now living in a foster home with one of our staff members.
Duckie is healing very well and acts like a typical puppy — lots of playtime energy and lots of kisses! He is having regular bowel movements with his new, surgically made anus but we are still determining if he is “consciously” defecating. Prior to his surgery, Duckie would act as though he was trying to poop (spinning, flexing, spinal curvature) but, obviously, was never successful. We are fairly confident that Duckie IS trying when he defecates but we want to be sure before we place him on the adoption floor. We will post another update if he becomes available for adoption!
In mid-December, a group of volunteers from the Friends Forever Animal Rescue answered a call in Jerome County to pick up some dogs being surrendered by their owners. During this trip, volunteers noticed Dandy a Spaniel/Dachshund mix who was stuck in a nearby ditch. The volunteers rescued Dandy and visited the neighboring house to see if they could locate Dandy’s owner. After speaking with the homeowner, they discovered that not only was Dandy a stray but that she had recently given birth to a litter of puppies. Sure enough, volunteers found a door leaning up against the side of the house and a group of puppies huddled underneath. The volunteers brought Dandy and her puppies back to the rescue where she could be examined by a veterinarian and placed in a foster home.
Dandy was an attentive mom who did a wonderful job caring for and protecting her puppies. She was terrified of people and would growl or nip if they got too close to her, but allowed volunteers and staff members to handle the puppies. Shortly after being placed in her foster home, Dandy had to make a second trip to the veterinarian when her foster mom discovered blood in her stool and urine, as well as trash in her feces. Dandy had been fending for herself for so long that she was suffering from a severe UTI and intestinal bleeding as her body tried to expel all of the garbage and rotting food she had been eating. Despite being prescribed antibiotics, Dandy wasn’t getting any better and had to be transferred to West Vet. The veterinarians there determined that she was in critical condition and would need round-the-clock care because her intestines were full of parasites and fluids had built up in her abdomen.
Dee Dee Bowring, our Director of Shelter Programs, heard about Dandy’s story and reached out to the Friends Forever Animal Rescue to see if IHS could be of any assistance. Daisy was then transferred to our shelter where our medical staff could hospitalize Daisy and bottle-feed her puppies. It took some time but Dandy’s health steadily improved, as well as her tolerance for human interaction.
After Dandy and her puppies were medically cleared to go to another foster home, there were no further health issues and their foster mom was able to focus on socializing them. It was amazing how much progress Dandy made overcoming her fear of humans. We were able to place Dandy and all of her puppies in their own forever homes at the beginning of March and they are loving life with their adopted families.
Sweet Cheeks, a 3-year-old Domestic Longhair mix, was brought to All Valley Animal Hospital when a good samaritan found him stuck in a fence with an injured right hind leg. He was transferred to our shelter for further medical care, but his leg was already so damaged that amputation was the only option.
Dr. Castillo amputated Sweet Cheeks’ leg on January 27th and he was then placed in a foster home where he could comfortably heal. Along with recovering from surgery, Sweet Cheeks needed to learn how to walk with only three legs. Thankfully, most animals can adapt quickly when they have a limb surgically removed. Sweet Cheeks was no exception and it wasn’t long before he was back to moving and playing like any other feline. Being a tripod didn’t slow him down one bit!
Sweet Cheeks made a full recovery within two weeks and found an adopter on Valentine’s Day. We’re thrilled that Sweet Cheeks did not have to stay in our shelter for very long but we’re not surprised that he was adopted so quickly. Sweet Cheeks was a veterinary staff favorite, thanks to his easy-going personality and his affinity for having his cheeks rubbed. We hope he’s doing well in his forever home right now!
A family was referred to our veterinary clinic when their very pregnant Chihuahua mix, Patty, was having difficulty giving birth. Patty was having poor uterine contractions and her puppies appeared to be stuck. Dr. Koob met with Patty’s family and determined the best thing to do would be to perform an emergency C-section to try to save the puppies. It was all hands on deck from that point on.
Dr. Strope performed a C-Section surgery/spay and many of our veterinary technicians were there to assist and care for the puppies. We’re happy to say that our medical staff was able to save all of the puppies and Patty is now the proud momma of five healthy boys. What could have been a complicated, expensive surgery had a very happy ending and we’re thrilled we got to be a part of it.
Mocha, an 8-week-old Domestic Shorthair, was diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia. CH is a disorder found in cats and dogs that causes jerky movements, tremors, and generally uncoordinated motion. Mocha was originally surrendered to the shelter to be euthanized because of this condition, but we were able to find a foster home for her instead. Thanks to fostering, Mocha was given a second chance at life. Mocha’s foster parents were able to closely monitor Mocha and see just how much she could do on her own. For the most part, Mocha acts like any other kitten – she’s just a little wobblier! They determined what Mocha’s needs were in a future home and were able to find the perfect family to adopt little Mocha. Congratulations, Mocha!
Archie, an 8-year-old senior Shepherd mix, was transferred to us from another Idaho shelter after he was hit by a car. Dr. Rosenthal performed orthopedic surgery to fix his shattered hip and remove a football-sized tumor on his chest. This surgery was able to be done at a lower cost thanks to charitable donations from local animal lovers and IHS supporters.
This sweet poodle mix, Maxine, is just two months old and was brought in as a stray to our Veterinary Medical Center after being hit by a car. Luckily, this sweet pup came in with only one broken elbow after what easily could have been a deadly situation. Our medical staff also noticed that Maxine was wobbly on her feet and she was soon diagnosed with cerebellar hyperplasia, a heredity neurological condition that affects balance, posture, and coordination. Maxine’s spirit wasn’t dampened by this injury and went to foster care for recovery and eventual adoption.
This adorable 3-month-old Chihuahua-mix, Ms. Tilley, was transferred to our shelter from the Pocatello Animal Shelter with a broken bone. They knew that our Veterinary Medical Center could give her the care needed to successfully heal her and help her find her forever home. Our veterinary staff successfully repaired Tilley’s fractured ulna/radius and she recovered in foster care. We are happy to report that she has been adopted!
Cloud, a 1 ½ -year-old Ragdoll mix, was born missing the upper part of her eyelid in both eyes and underwent a unique double eyelid surgery in our Veterinary Medical Center. She had been unable to blink and needed lots of medical assistance like eye drops and pain medication. Her eyes were damaged and scarred, but there was hope that her vision could be saved and to live pain-free in the future. IHS veterinarians performed surgery and we’re happy to report that she has successfully recovered!
The healing process is going very well as she recovers in our foster care program. Your donation helps animals like Cloud receive veterinary care from our hospital and live free of painful medical conditions.
Our staff and volunteers care so much for the pets we rescue, shelter and rehome, when we encounter suffering and abuse it is especially hard on all of us. So, when a tragic case of neglect has a happy ending, it’s cause to celebrate.
One recent victory was this badly neglected little terrier, rescued by our staff and volunteers from a deplorable hoarding situation. Check out the amazing before and after transformation of Wilma!
Your donations help pets like this lucky lady recover from abuse and neglect.
Lois, a geriatric Chihuahua, was rescued by the Idaho Humane Society from a terrible animal hoarding situation in which many dogs were suffering from neglect. She was born with deformed knees that needed to be surgically corrected and she had lived in pain for years. Lois was emaciated and suffered from severe, painful dental disease and our Veterinary Medical Center veterinarians had to remove all but two of her teeth.
Our shelter, veterinary hospital, and our foster care community treat and rehabilitate thousands of pets like Lois each year. Lois has been undergoing care and is recovering very well at the Idaho Humane Society. Thanks to your donations, the medical care she received will prolong her life and allow her to live comfortably with her new forever family.
Big Bertha came to the Idaho Humane Society in dire straits due to many months of criminal neglect. She had a collar embedded so deeply into her armpit and neck that it required surgical removal. We successfully stabilized her and performed several surgeries to remove the collar and close the wounds. This was a particularly difficult surgical challenge due to its location. After eight weeks of care in our Veterinary Medical Center and foster care network, Bertha has recovered is now ready to meet her forever family.
Our shelter, veterinary hospital rescue, and our foster care community treat and rehabilitate thousands of pets like Bertha each year. Thanks to your support, animals like Bertha are able to get a second chance for a happy life with a caring family.
Phoenix came to us after being rescued from a burn pile where she was found abandoned. After her injuries were treated by our Veterinary Medical Center, she was transferred into our correctional facility based foster care program (known as WISKR). She received round the clock care for her burns provided by the inmates at the South Boise Women’s Correctional Center (SBWCC). Our WISKR program helps the Idaho Humane Society save hundreds of cats with conditions requiring care that is difficult to provide for long periods of time in our shelter, including bottle baby kittens, cats with upper respiratory infections, and other conditions.
While hundreds of dogs and cats leave our inmate staffed programs to be adopted by local families, Phoenix made a special impact on the staff and inmates at SBWCC. We’re proud to announce that Phoenix is now the official mascot of the facility. Your donations mean that even more cats and kittens like Phoenix recover from life-threatening conditions and go on to live happy, pain free lives.
Lady, a 5-year-old Pomeranian mix, was brought into our Veterinary Medical Center after her owner was unable to afford care at local emergency hospitals. She was diagnosed with a pyometra, an infection of the uterus which is often seen in older, unspayed female dogs and is usually fatal if left untreated. Our veterinarians provided emergency surgery, removing her uterus and ovaries. Lady’s owner was grateful for the financial assistance that IHS provided and for our excellent medical care. He wrote:
“I just had to write you this letter to tell you how impressed I am with your wonderful people. Everyone I dealt with was so kind and caring. Sitting in your reception area and seeing how you all interacted with everyone and their pets was a real blessing for me. I thank God that there are people like you doing what you so incredibly do. Thank you, thank you.”
Last year, we provided more than 1.5 million dollars-worth of free or discounted veterinary medical care to low-income families and shelter pets. Your donations allow us to assist pets who would otherwise go without life-saving care.
Tucker arrived at the Idaho Humane Society as a transfer from another southern Idaho animal shelter. He had a very painful gait and was limping on his front legs. X-rays revealed that Tucker had a disease called osteochondritis dissecans that affected the cartilage in both his shoulders.
OCD is a painful disease the cartilage, usually affecting the shoulders of young, growing dogs. In this condition a defective area of cartilage forms which may separate from the underlying bone.
At the Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center Tucker was scheduled for surgery to alleviate the pain associated with his shoulders. Surgery involved removing the malformed cartilage which then allows the body to fill the defect with fibrocartilage. Surgery for OCD usually has a very good outcome and the dog quickly returns to normal function.
After a few weeks of healing in the Medical Center, Tucker was moved to the shelter to find a new family and he quickly found an adoptive home!
Yasha was one of twelve neglected dogs rescued by the Idaho Humane Society from a horrific animal hoarding situation. She had suffered from a severe allergic condition made worse from being forced to live in extremely unsanitary conditions. Months of constant scratching had resulted in the loss of most of her fur, and her skin had thickened and cracked from chronic inflammation. Our veterinarians provided emergency care for all the dogs, and Yasha was prescribed a special diet, therapeutic bathing and medications. After a time in our Veterinary Medical Center, she went to the home of one of our foster volunteers for continued care in a loving home environment.
After making a miraculous recovery, she is now enjoying a new coat of fur and loves spending time with her foster family hiking and exploring the outdoors.
“Z” is a 14 week old yellow Labrador Retriever that was accidentally stepped on. His owner’s sought care for Z at the Idaho Humane Society’s Veterinary Medical Center. Unfortunately, he suffered a fracture through the lateral condyle of his elbow joint. Articular fractures like this are extremely debilitating and without surgery Z would likely lose most or all of the function in his foreleg. A surgeon at the Medical Center repaired Z’s fracture using several pins and an orthopedic screw and he is recovering very well at home with his owners. This particular fracture is more common in young dogs with soft, growing bones.
Calypso, a 1-year-old female Abyssinian guinea pig was surrendered to the IHS shelter. Calypso’s check-up with a shelter veterinarian diagnosed her with a severely damaged eye caused by an unknown trauma that required her eye be removed. The eye globe was dry, non visual and had pus discharge. Calypso was otherwise was a very healthy guinea pig and her left eye, luckily, was fine. She was also a very nice guinea pig who was friendly and enjoyed being handled and held.
IHS Veterinarian, Dr. Strope, performed Calypso’s surgery and removed the damaged blind eye. Calypso recovered quickly from surgery and was eating and drinking by evening. Due to her outgoing and friendly personality, Calypso quickly found a loving, adoptive home!
March 20th, a 1-year-old, brown merle, female/spayed, un-microchipped Australian Shepherd mix was brought to the Idaho Humane Society as a stray. Upon arrival, it was noted by a shelter animal care assistant that she walked funny on her right hind leg, but she otherwise appeared healthy.
Unfortunately, after the 7 day waiting period she was not reunited with her owners, so she was named “Phoebe” and started her journey to find a new home.
Since she had a funny gait, she was examined by Dr. Koob, one of the veterinarians at the I.H.S. Veterinary Medical Center. He noted that she probably had previously broken her leg and it didn’t heal properly. Since the fractured leg wasn’t repaired correctly, the leg was much shorter and the muscles were weak. X-rays were taken which confirmed Dr. Koob’s suspicions. Although Phoebe was able to get around well despite an injured leg, she wasn’t able to use it when she was running and playing. Therefore, it was decided by the Veterinary Medical Center veterinarians that it would be best if her leg was amputated, as some animals will re-injure themselves if they have a dysfunctional limb.
On March 27th, Phoebe had surgery by Dr. Janie Mori, to amputate her right hind leg. She did very well post surgery and had an uneventful recovery. In fact, due to Phoebe’s big happy personality and her ‘smile’ you didn’t even notice she had a leg missing.
Soon after surgery on April 8th, Phoebe was adopted and is doing great in her new home!
Butch was having difficulty urinating. He would try and try, but only a few dribbles would come out. His owners took him to a veterinarian where they determined he had a small urolith (bladder stone) stuck in his urethra. The veterinarian there was unable to move the stone out, so they flushed it back into the bladder. The cost of surgery to remove the stone from the bladder was more than the owners could afford all at once. They brought Butch to the Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center where, thanks to the STAR Fund program, they would be able to make payments over several months.
The veterinarians at the Idaho Humane Society performed surgery and successfully removed the stone from Butch’s bladder, as well as performing a routine neuter. Butch was a bit uncomfortable from the surgery for a couple of days, but after 3 days in the hospital, he was urinating normally and was happy to go home!
Willow is a purebred Doberman Pinscher that was brought to the IHS shelter in February of this year in horrifyingly poor body condition. She was found as a stray when she broken into her finder’s chicken coop in search of food. Willow was severely malnourished, weighing just over 30 pounds when she arrived. Her coat was dull and she looked essentially like a walking skeleton. The IHS medical center did a full evaluation on Willow and found that she had no medical condition causing her to be so underweight, she had simply been starved.
Staff veterinarians placed her on a regimen of being fed a specific amount of high quality food every three hours for the following week. After just a few days Willow was feeling much better and had already gained 6 pounds! After a month in a loving IHS foster home Willow had gained 14 pounds and was ready for adoption. After being featured on the IHS Facebook page, Willow (now named Rogue) met her new family, complete with another Doberman buddy!
This is what her new family had to say about Willow/Rogue, “Rogue is doing wonderfully! She is amazing with our daughter and our other Doberman Aries. They have really bonded and now they don’t go anywhere without each other. Our cat and Rogue are still learning to tolerate each other but it gets better each day. We recently took Rogue to the vet and are happy to report she now weighs 51 lbs!!! She seems to be so happy these days. She has really taken to Astrid, our daughter and loves to cuddle with her, if she isn’t sleeping in our bed she is most definitely sleeping on Astrid’s. We are so happy to have her in our lives.”
Madison is a 3-year-old female St. Bernard. She was brought to the shelter because the owner couldn’t take care of her anymore. Specifically, the owner couldn’t afford the surgeries that were necessary to correct her eye conditions.
The veterinarians at the Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center examined her and determined that her eyelid problems were challenging, but they’d give it a try. Madison had a condition in the muscles around her eyes, called extraocular myositis, that caused the muscles to atrophy (become smaller). This condition then caused the eyes to sink back into the eye sockets which caused the third eyelids to cover most of her eyes, severely restricting her ability to see. In other words, she was essentially blind.
The IHS Veterinary Medical Center has 5 full-time and 8 part-time veterinarians that, together, have over 100 years of veterinary experience. Even with all that experience, none of the veterinarians had seen an eye condition like this. After consulting with eye specialists, it was decided to do a very delicate surgery to partially remove the third eyelids.
The surgery was performed by Dr. Fiona Caldwell, one of the IHS staff veterinarians on April 27th. Madison recovered well from the surgery, and except for a small irritation from one of the sutures in her eyelid, has been doing very well. She can see just fine now, and is a very nice 150 pound dog!
After spending a couple of weeks in the Veterinary Medical Center for observation and care, she was adopted by a great family!