Amber, December, 2000
This young chocolate girl started her life to be a hunting dog but her owner gave her up when she was two years old; he told the staff at the shelter in Pasco, Washington that he could not keep Amber because she was "gun shy".
Amber's adoptive parents were told by shelter workers that Amber had been hit by a car the previous year and that there was some damage to her right rear leg. They decided to adopt her; the shelter is a "kill" shelter and even though Amber was spayed and microchipped by her previous owner, her time there was very limited.
Amber's new parents had her examined by two vets; both came to the conclusion that she had Medial Patellar Luxation with possible Cranial Cruciate Rupture. They made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon who concurred with the other vets and told them that the injury could be corrected with surgery. X-rays would have to be taken to determine which of two surgical options would be needed in Amber's case. But the estimate for the treatment was awfully high and Amber's parents started looking around for some help. They wrote LABMED explaining what was needed. Amber had already become a cherished member of their family and a companion to their 12 year old Lab mix. They described Amber as a sweet and loving dog, a joy to be with. Amber's parents also contacted Puget Sound Labrador Retriever Association and LLL for help.
PSLRA not only offered to fund part of the treatment but also referred Amber's parents to one of their regular vets, a vet who was willing to give a large rescue discount. During the first visit the vet noticed that Amber's breathing was labored and she was panting more than normal. She suspected kennel cough or even a possible chest injury that may have occurred during Amber's accident the previous year. Amber was put on antibiotics and responded nicely so an appointment to x-ray the leg was scheduled for late January to determine if the vet could attempt the repair of the leg herself or if Amber would have to be treated by an orthopedic specialist.
The news was good and the vet went ahead with the surgery at once. Amber recovered well and was allowed to go home the next day. Her parents were able to pay part of the bill and LABMED, together with PSLRA and LLL, took care of the rest.
Update: February, 2001
Amber's mom sent us this note:
"We are returning to the Vet. Hospital early on Wednesday morning. Amber will be x-rayed, and checked to determine if she can go from a cast to a splint. She is managing remarkably well, and the good news is that she goes to the door to 'ask' to go out! We grab the leash and take her, then praise and reward! She has completed her antibiotic regimen, and continues to get her 3 Cosequin DS daily, for her Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements. Ambertakes her medications happily, with tail wagging!
She has put on a few pounds since we adopted her, so we are watching her weight very carefully. I make vegetable soups for her and Muffy. Both really enjoy it, and the scale reflected a slight loss, the last time she was weighed at the vets."
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