Hello friends! After quite a bit of observation and adjusting to the new challenges that have come, we're here with the latest news on Doctor. He's happy and energetic, but he has grown so needy! All the attention has gone to his head. We are happy for all the love we are getting from him, but he is not happy unless he is touching one of us. :) It's OK. We're so lucky to have him.
We think his mouth is shrinking. His jaw is misaligned and he has inadvertently bitten off a good part of his tongue on the left side. His mouth is always open, still. When he yawns, it does not open wider. We are still waiting to give him kibble or solids, and we are still blending his food. Thankfully one of our amazing friends, Liz donated a milk crate full of canned food, as the blender exploded this morning. I threw a marrow treat into the blending food and it went through the container. Huge mess. :0
What we would love is for him to be able to play with toys. That should be some time this winter so we stay ever positive. Doctor loves the snow and we're looking forward to a great time playing when he heals.
Doctor's misaligned mouth complications
Doctor's healing jaw in action!
We are back with news from the oral surgeon, but it is the same. Doctor will be on a liquid diet for at least another month when we have another exam. Still no chew toys. No kibble. No jaw fun. That makes sense. He still only opens his mouth about 1/2 of it's former capacity. His tongue does most of the work when he's eating.
The doctor tells us he will never regain full mobility. We have been watching him very closely and his jaw is healing very crookedly. One side is definitely lower than the other. He rarely closes it. We follow him around with a towel and it looks like that will continue.
We are only just now seeing the long term effects of the damage, and while Doctor is happily alive and just as awesome as ever, he's a different dog. It's like the gunshot took a lot of years from him. He walks soberly with measured steps. He is still healing. We will visit the dentist again in a month and again in three months to inspect what should be his final new form.
Thank you for coming with us on this rough journey. We reread your supportive words often and it helps us a lot. Every day, we tell Doctor about how much his friends love him.
As we wait for Doctor's next check-up, we want to update you on his mood today: Happy.
Doctor wants to play.
Hello, friends. It has been a while and we are sorry for the lapse in updates. Since visiting the dentist we have been in observation mode with Doctor.
He is using his mouth, but he can only open it about half way. He stretches it when eating and he looks eager to use it. He is very hungry and still tired. We are still blending all of his meals and giving his fractures a rest.
We hope that he will be able to use his jaw with strength again. He searches everywhere for a chew toy, but they are put away until we complete his checkup on 8/26.
Today we saw the CT scans of Doctor's injury. Number 1 shows the entry wound at his TMJ. Number 2 shows the exit at the rear of his jawbone.
Left side. Entry wound at the jaw hinge.
Right side. Exit wound at rear jawbon
Doctor is springing back in a wonderful way. He is happy and energetic, although he doesn't have a lot of energy to spare. He gets carried away and starts looking for a chew toy. He really wants to play. It's amazing. These days, we are not constantly visiting the vets. He is eating blended food and his feeding tube is now out. Now we have time to pet him and play with him and just relax into this post-trauma life.
His regimen is antibiotics and pain killers until we visit the oral surgeon again after Labor Day. Then, we will get some more x-rays of his healing jaw and TMJ.
He is doing great and he thanks you. Melissa and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your kindness in helping us support Doctor's wellbeing. He in the prime of his life, and with care, his life will be a happy and healthy one.
The donations have pretty much kept up with the bills, and at this time we have the money to cover the next two checkups. The next one is really important and will tell everything about what we can expect next. We think he will be on the road to recovery.
Doctor is still pretty nervous, but he's a calm dog at his core. He's literally sleeping through a thunderstorm right now.
Doctor without the feeding tube!
We have entered a new phase in Doctor's recovery and it's a pretty good place to be. Doctor was examined by the oral surgeon and the course of action is thus: We are going to leave the metal and bone fragments in the soft tissue and keep him on antibiotics and pain killers for the next 15 days. We will see the surgeon again after Labor Day and he will check the healing. There are so many fragments that removing them would be very invasive and probably cause more damage than it helps. The same goes for the fractured mandible and TMJ. The damage is too complete to do anything but watch them heal as they will. There really aren't bone ends to joint together and cast. A surgery would be total jaw replacement and that is so incredibly invasive, again, it would hurt more than help. The TMJ is so dense and compact, that even though the bone is shattered, everything stayed more or less in place when the bullet hit him. It should heal with expected arthritis as long as we keep it safe from any harm and exercise it. Doctor can't open his mouth more than 3/4 of the way, but his mouth works. We need to baby it. If the healing looks good at the end of the month, will be checking in with the surgeon every six months thereafter.
We are up to the task of coaching him through his rehabilitation. He was always a happy dog and I see that showing through his confusion over what happened. Even though he is not going to ever achieve full mobility of his mouth, he is alive and loved. Thank you for caring.
Well friends, Doctor sees the oral surgeon tomorrow and we will get an idea of where his recovery stands. We know that we will be getting more x-rays as we need to more accurately describe the fractures. We are really hoping to hear that he will be able to use his mouth more effectively soon. He nibbles at food and he swallows fine, but he is still not really opening his mouth.
He is as active as his healing allows, meaning he tires easily. We started the day with a short walk and the way back took a lot longer than the first half. He slept that off. We are concerned with keeping his body healthy. We're hoping that routine behavior will provide some comfort or distraction from his wounds.
We can't wait to tell you what the surgeon says. We are very optimistic, as Doctor seems to be. He is hopeful for an active, rough and tumble life again. We are looking forward to that, but for now we have a quiet house filled with love. Thank you for being here.
Doctor takes in the backyard
Hello friends! I have some great news.
Doctor's doctor, Dr. Timothy James recommended that we try very soft food and at first nothing worked. This morning Doctor thoroughly enjoyed a dollop of yogurt and tonight he finished a can of pumpkin. Yum! His mouth doesn't move very much, but his tongue seems happy and healthy. :)
AND, our Knoxville veterinary dentist referred us to a local specialist in the field that she looks up to. That means Monday has about eight hours less driving involved, so that's fantastic.
Doctor is comfy in his collar and it's finally the weekend. A happy and peaceful night, and the same to you.
We went to the pet store today to get Doctor an inflatable collar. Here he is getting fitted. The new collar is SO much less trouble than the cone of shame he was sporting.
He's a good dog.
Hello, Friends. It was a rough night. The feeding tube was going so well but it slipped out of his throat at about 9:00 pm. 10 inches or so were exposed so we were back at the vet until about 11:00. Doctor spent the night and he's there now, getting another one installed and doing a checkup. This little detail cost another $750, as he will need sedation, sutures and x-rays to make sure the tube is in the right place, along with the regular iv drip, etc....Yesterday was relatively calm before this happened. It's going to be OK though. Monday, we see the oral surgeon and we are looking forward to that. Thank you for caring. We love you, too.
I just got off the phone with the dentist. Doctor is going to need more x-rays when I see her on Friday or more likely, Monday. She is going to first address the extensive damage to the soft tissue. This is the consensus from her peers. The bone and metal fragments need to be removed. Then his multiple fractures of the mandible will be worked on. Doctor was shot by a 40 caliber hollow point bullet and it is a disaster in his mouth. There is a lot of special care being taken for Doctor. I wish every wrongly injured animal had the same chances at healing that he is being given, thanks to you, our friends. As hard as all this is, we rejoice in his being alive. His presence fills us with love.
These updates are posted so late because our days are so long. I'm sorry for the hour.
9:00 am 7.29
I hear panting looking at this pic w Doc
Doctor's orapharynx appears to be healing well on its own. The left TMJ is fractured. The right TMJ is questionable, and both sides of his jaw have sustained considerable damage. A 3-D reconstruction is currently being processed. "
That's from the vet's report today. We're glad to have a clearer picture, and we find it complicated.
In addition to the major damage listed above, Doctor has multiple bone fragments in the soft tissue of his mouth. This poses an infection risk. Maybe it won't be such a problem with his new feeding tube. We both love it! The syringe screws right into it and dinner is served!
From here, Doctor visits the dentist, who will determine how to best stabilize his jaw.
Thank you for caring!
It's been a busy day. The internal investigators were here at 7:00 to try to piece together what happened on Thursday. The officer that shot Doctor resigned from the force today. We would like to urge Dekalb County police to train his replacement to more responsibly deal with dogs and medical emergencies. A life is more than a paperwork hassle. We are all much, much more than that. To that end, let's all go take a walk and enjoy the amazing fact that we are still breathing today. Just be careful out there.
Doctor is hungry. He wants to eat, but he just licks at his food and doesn't get much in. I administer his pills and food with that big, hated syringe and he's getting most of it, I think. He's fasting for the night in preparation for his procedure tomorrow morning, and he'll be getting intravenous nutrition at St. Francis Vet.
The CT scan will let us know exactly what the damage is and how we will proceed. We can't wait to start the mending process. Doctor is pretty uncomfortable - if you have ever been on antibiotics you have some idea how awful that feels, but he's showered with sweet talk and petting and he knows he's loved.
The wounds look healthy but they seem to be closing. I need to prevent his with more warm compresses. He tries to dive onto the ground to rub his face and roll around on his back, but he's stopped by the pain of the wounds. He just doesn't know what to do with himself. He's restless. We just can't wait for this ordeal to be over and we are just on day four!
We are working towards healing and you are with us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Doctor had a good breakfast this morning and is napping. Tomorrow is a big day for him, so we're taking it easy as much as possible around the house. We've taped a sign on our doorbell asking not to ring it, as it stresses him out to hear it. All we want to do is give him his regular treats or a bone to cheer him up, but he can't chew. The key to a dog's heart is usually food, so it hurts not being able to reward him for his strength. He is getting a lot of head rubs from us and we help scratch where we think he must itch. Constantly giving him praise. We sometimes get a tail wag in response. It's good to see him happy, even if it is just for a second.
Hello everyone and thank you for keeping us in your thoughts. Your help with Doctor has brought tears to our eyes so many times. It's steeling out reserve to do whatever is necessary to keep this kind of horrible tragedy from happening to another dog.
Doctor spent the night at home last night and he really enjoyed the constant love we had waiting for him. The house is set up with towels and blankets as his wounds are still seeping and his jaw does not close. I thought he was drooley before. I was wrong.
He does not want to eat, so I am feeding him with a watered down solution using a large syringe. I had brought home some ham bones for him on Thursday before the shooting incident and he really wants the ham, but he is unable or unwilling to actually eat it. (I took some off the bone, of course. He's taken a few bits.) It's been a hard day of just trying to get food and medicine into him and then cleaning up. We are sleeping in shifts and we'll keep up the work as long as it takes.
Doctor is really jumpy and really needy. He takes bathroom breaks, but he does not like being outside. He does his business and then makes his way as fast as he can to get back inside.
The detectives will be here tomorrow morning to continue their investigation of the shooting. Tuesday, we will be back at the vet for Doctor's CT scan. Any news will be posted here and on Doctor's Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007394328673&fref=ts
Doctor has a Facebook page! Please find him by searching Doctordog Dekalb or clicking the link below.
I'll post all updates on his recovery there. Thank you all. Not having to worry about the medical bills has been incredibly helpful to our keeping our focus on Doctor's physical state. He's not interested in eating today, even though he is home for the weekend. I'm going to give it another try right now. He needs to get 4 pills and some calories down.
Here is a picture of Doctor being fed by Tim. Forgot to add to my last post.
Doctor being fed
The day flew by too fast for us today. Couldn't get all we wanted to get done, but we are glad our Doctor is home for the time being with us. A Facebook page is in the works. Doctor is getting his appetite back very slowly. He's on a high caloric, soft food diet. He can get up and walk around, but does get out of breath due to swallowing issues. It's heartbreaking opening our cupboard (where we store his treats) and have him rush up (he can't eat anything he has to chew due to jaw). Going to take it day by day. We can't believe he's still alive. It's a miracle. Gratitude, love, appreciation...
Please know that we still do not know how much surgery is going to cost. We are getting a CT Scan done on Tuesday to figure out how much damage is done to his jaw. Depending on how bad the damage is, there's a possibility of taking a trip to Knoxville for dentist work. I did some research online when I first made this page and came up with a rough estimate of $8,000 for costs. So far, costs are up to around $4,000, which have mostly been paid, except for the CT Scan, which is $1,500 by itself (and will be paid on Tuesday, when it is done). I never dreamed we would even reach, what felt like an unreachable goal. We are very thankful for all the contributions and kind words from all the contributors! Would also like to thank St. Francis animal hospital for all their great work! Such a great hospital with a great staff! We have no intentions of keeping any excess in money and are going to donate any leftover money to a no kill shelter or organization that helps dogs (and other pets). Organization not decided yet, but will be when we know the financial situation more clearly. I will update everyone as soon as I know anymore information. Thank you so much!
Found out at our 2 o'clock visit that he is licking food. He is coming home today! As soon as I know more details on surgery, I will post updates.
Sorry it has been quiet on our end. We have been prepping the house for Doctor's return, buying blankets, buying soft food, etc. We might be able to take him home today, but he wasn't eating this morning. They've lowered his dose on pain meds and they're going to try to get him to eat again soon. If he ends up needing a feeding tube, then he will have to stay at the vet. All procedures are going to start this upcoming week. I want to hug each and every one of you.
Here's Doctor's first picture - edited, as gofundme does not permit blood in the pictures posted here.
Apparently, some of our pictures were removed due to blood. Please know that this will limit progress photos on this platform. Good news is we are making a Facebook page for Doctor tomorrow . Hopefully, we can post update photos there. The wounds have to stay weeping to prevent infection at this point, but can understand that the pictures were disturbing.
The vets at Saint Francis Veterinary Specialists have been so nice. They love Doctor. They are amazed at his good demeanor in the face of such trauma. He's not angry. The pain meds keep him very out of it and he just goes along with whatever we need him to. He looks terrified and confused sometimes. I think we have a long recovery ahead.
Here's a nice picture from better times.
I want to thank you all for this incredible outpouring of support. In every way, you are all saving Doctor's life and it is incredible. He is really sedated and has been fed with a tube all this time. His face is mostly working and they are going to try to coax food into him tomorrow. He may come home tomorrow. I am on my way to drop off some blankets and you are all with me. Thank you.
Looks like we're going to get a CT scan ($1,500) and see how bad the jaw is fractured. Depending on how bad, we might be taking a trip up to Knoxville this weekend to take him to a Vet dentist. I'll continue to keep everyone posted. Thanks so much, everybody!
Our dog has stabilized and is still waiting for a dentist to look at his jaw. The doctor that operated on him during the night said they removed a lot of the bullet fragments, but there are still a lot of metal fragments in his head. He thinks he will need an acrylic jaw piece, but doesn't want to say for certain now. I will keep everyone posted. Thanks for all the love and support!
A false alarm sent a cop to our house. My husband was in the backyard at the time, so was unaware of the cop knocking on our door. Bad timing resulted in our dog getting shot in the throat. To make matters worse, the cop wouldn't allow us to drive him to the vet. He even followed us in the police car and blocked us from leaving our neighborhood. He said we couldn't leave due to procedure. Second cop arrived 20 minutes later and we found out that procedure was just to take pictures of the bleeding dog. The whole time we are waiting, the cop that shot our dog promised us that he had called animal control and that they were on their way to help. They finally let my husband take our dog to the vet. I stayed behind to be further harassed. 15 minutes later and animal control arrives, along with 4 more cop cars. I find out that animal control was told to come pick up a dead dog and had no idea about the dog needing help aka still being alive. I asked the cop who shot him why he lied and he stated that he never promised help was coming. Our dog is at the emergency vet with a fractured jaw and busted palate. Oral surgery is going to be very expensive. I'm asking for any help you can give, as we don't have large amounts of cash lying around. We are feeling pretty helpless at this point. Please help save our puppy.