Cassie is a 10 or 11 month old boxer. Brett and Amanda rescued her in February because they fell in love with her special needs. When she was a little pup she was kicked in the head by a horse. It caused severe neurological and developmental issues. She is totally deaf and can only see about 10 feet in the distance. She has issues with balance and can be very wobbly. They taught her to go up and down stairs with help.
Around 7pm last night, Cassie slipped her collar and got hit by a tractor trailer traveling around 50 miles per hour directly in front of Amanda's house. Unfortunately, they all witnessed this horrific event, including Colbie (a 5 year old Leonberger and her big sister) and Anna (Amanda's 3 year old daughter) The sound and image will haunt them for a long time. Brett scooped her off of the road, and they immediately jumped into the car to drive to the closest veterinary hospital, Black Horse Animal Hospital. Cassie was not breathing but still had a weak pulse so Amanda began breathing for her on the short drive to the hospital. Once at Black Horse, she was still not breathing on her own and they had to resuscitate her twice. Her immediate chest X-rays showed no evidence of any damage. After about 20 minutes, stubborn and courageous Cassie, began breathing on her own. Brett and Amanda transported her to PETS around 8pm and it was evident she was still in shock. Her breathing was raspy and fast but she was still breathing on her own. The vet at PETS was amazed that she had been hit by a tractor trailer cruising at approximately 45-50mph and was still alive, let alone responsive, and not showing one sign of being in pain or uncomfortable. The PETS staff took follow-up chest X-rays around 9:30pm; this time the news was not so good. Cassie, who seemed to be recognizing her mom and dad (and also her Aunt Laura and Aunt Sarah who came to PETS for moral support), was now showing signs of cardiac and pulmonary contusions, basically bruising around her heart and lungs, with fluid beginning to accumulate in her lungs. But bruising to her heart and lungs was expected after surviving being hit by a tractor trailer. However, what they were not prepared for was the results of her abdominal X-rays, which caused them to take further investigative images. What they found, was that her pelvis is fractured into possibly 2 or 3 different pieces. This completely shocked everyone because she was not standing but was still moving all 4 legs and had still NOT whimpered or whined one single time. Brett and Amanda were left with the decision of what to do with her at this point but both of us could not bring themselves to say goodbye to her last night. She had died and come back three times already that evening; they felt like they couldn't give up on her that soon and needed to at least give her the night so, decided to leave her at PETS under their skilled care. PETS has a "no news is good news" policy and Brett and Amanda did not hear from them at all last night. When they arrived at PETS at 7:30am the vet informed them that Cassie had done very well overnight. She was maintaining an oxygen level of between 95-98% on room air and that her heart was functioning the way if should. Again, the vet commented on how stoic she is; not really presenting any signs of pain or discomfort. She was sedated from the fentanyl drip in her IV and other medications, so they transported her to Smoketown Veterinary hospital. Dr. Shellenberger and the staff at Smoketown were shocked she was in the condition she was after what had occurred last evening. At one point, with support, she even stood on all four legs! Dr. Shellenberger felt confident enough to send her home with Brett and Amanda to monitor her for the weekend. So, they all are now at Brett's house and Cassie is on strict cage rest. We will see how she pulls through the weekend but at this point I consider it a miracle that she is even alive. If all continues on this path, they will take further X-rays earlier next week to assess her pelvis and try to determine what route needs to be taken. An estimated surgical cost is between $2,000-$3,000 with a long road of recovery ahead. Obviously, Brett and Amanda do not have that kind of spare change lying around so if surgery is the necessary route, we will need help keep this "indestructible" girl alive and healthy. Currently, she is resting comfortably on pain meds and IV fluids with her big sister, Colbie, not leaving her side. Please continue to pray for our sweet Cassie girl, she has already been through so much (like a kick in the head by a horse, which is where her previous neurologic issues come from) in her very short life and at this point she is battling strong. I will keep you all updated but please continue to pray for our sweet little girl.
A note from Brett:
I rescued Cassie in February because I fell in love with her special needs. You can just see that she doesn't understand what is happening. She even stood up on the observation table today and has been trying to move her legs.
The real tragedy for me is her whole outlook on life. She is the happiest and sweetest dog and she is my shadow. She wakes me up in the morning and I carry her to bed at night. She comes to school every day and has become the Veterinary Assistant class mascot at the Willow Street CTC. It is impossible not to smile when you watch her play. This truly kills me to see her like this. I don't want to beg for money. I only want to spread the word that if you know anyone who is willing to help out with my little girl both Amanda and I would be beyond thankful.
This photo was taken the week before the accident on a camping trip in southern Virginia.
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