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Meat Trade Survivor Needs New Hip

£3,405 of £8,000 goal

Raised by 57 people in 10 months
Funds needed: £8,000
Funds needed for:  Total hip replacement
Funds needed by: 15 Sept 2017

Nibble was rescued in Feb 2015 from a meat truck in China.  There were hundreds of dogs crammed in to too small cages.  Nibble was taken in, along with seven other Tibetan Mastiffs by an amazing woman named Camilla.  Through extreme dedication and successful fundraising, Camilla was able to rehome seven of the Tibetan Mastiffs, including Nibble, who was sent to a new family in Sweden.  Another of the mastiffs, a male named Moomkin, was rehomed to England with my husband and I.

The meat truck Nibble was rescue from.

Sadly for Nibble, life did not improve for her in Sweden.  From August through the following March, Nibble suffered in the hands of her new family.  Eventually, her life was put at risk again, when she attacked a neighbor after he used a live cattle prod on her.  Her new owners wanted to euthanize her, but once again, Camilla stepped in.  She reached out to us, and we agreed to take Nibble in to try and rehabilitate her.  We had low expectations, and were prepared to have to put Nibble down if she proved too dangerous or unable to be rehabilitated. 

Nibble facing euthanasia in Sweden.

Camilla flew to Sweden and drove Nibble to Hamburg, Germany, where I had driven from England.  The dog that came out of that car was heartbreaking.  She was matted, emaciated, and clearly traumatized.  My husband could wrap his hands around her waist and touch his index fingers together (she was about 30 lbs under weight).  Her prospects weren't good.


Nibble the day we picked her up in Germany.

We got Nibble home, barely.  When we got there, I watched one of the most amazing moments of my life... the reuniting of Moomkin and Nibble, who had been separated for nearly ten months at this point, after being rescued together off the meat truck.  For the first time, there was some life in Nibble's sad eyes.

Nibble after two weeks with us, learning to trust.

Nibble and Moomkin, reunited.

Over the last year and a half, Nibble has become almost unrecognizable from the dog we first met.  She regained her weight, and her coat was saved with lots of effort and hours of brushing.  She is sweet, loving, and a ferocious guard dog.  She loves peanut butter, my husband, on whom the sun rises and sets, and of course, her Moomkin.  The dog who many, including some of her original rescuers, told me was never going to be rehabilitated, is now a much loved member of our family.



All that being said, Nibble isn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the box.  And today, she apparently was so excited from playing with another of our dogs, that she decided to throw herself out of the first story window of our house.  Nibble has successfully managed this feat once before, and we responded by carefully watching our windows.  But this time, Nibble caught us off guard, and she landed badly.

Nibble dislocated her right hip in her fall.  X-rays showed that she also suffers from severe arthritis in that hip from her previous poor nutrition and abuse.  The arthritis is so bad that the veterinarian was unable to return the hip in to the socket, with no hope of ever being able to do so.  We are left now with two options: a total hip replacement, or euthanasia.

When we took Nibble in, we intended to rehabilitate her and rehome her.  But it was clear within a matter of weeks that Nibble had already found her home, with us and with Moomkin; separating them again was not an option.  We agreed though, that we wouldn’t do any life saving measures should she ever become sick or injured…  we’d give her a home and lots of love, but with six other dogs, three cats, bunnies and horses already to support, we weren’t prepared for another.  So today, when the vet told me the quote for the hip replacement surgery, I asked to see Nibble in preparation for putting her down.  And Nibble, who was taking her own sweet time waking up from anesthesia (she was under to try and return the joint to the socket), finally raised her head, lumbered to her feet, and walked the few steps to me to drop her head trustingly in my lap.  And I couldn’t say the words that would end her life.  

The vet was relieved when I said I wanted to take her home while I raise the money to replace her hip.  She informed me that if there was any hope at all of raising the funds, that euthanasia was the wrong call: Nibble is otherwise very healthy and the prognosis for a full recovery with the surgery is very, very good.  Nibble has a long and pain-free life ahead of her if we can get her a new hip.

Nibble visits the groomer every 8 weeks now.

Nibble has survived so much in her short life.  She’s only three or four years old, and has survived inhumane breeding conditions in China (she's had at least two litters), the disgusting conditions on that meat truck, months in a Chinese shelter, transport to Sweden, a failed rehoming there, transport to England, and the very long road to recovering her weight, her health, and her sanity.  She suffers from dog post traumatic stress disorder to this day, often having nightmares, anxiety about leaving our home, and she still guards food as if her next meal may never come, because in her experience, it may not.  This dog has suffered massively at human hands, but this time, I am determined to do right by her.  Please help me raise the money we need to get Nibble her new hip, and let her continue living the life she has finally found.

Nibble now... help us give her another new lease on life.
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The final bill for this round... ouch!
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WE’VE GOT HER!

The awesome news first! Nibble is doing amazing! Both the vet and the veterinary nurses told us that her recovery is one of the fastest they’ve seen; she is up and around almost as if the surgery never happened! Wait until we get a walking video, it’s truly amazing!! We go back in two weeks for a post op check up, but if she continues like this, she’s going to be back to her silly self in no time!

The less good news: I got the final bill, it’s scary to look at. Even with all the generosity, we came in over £4000 short today. We’ve got some more funding coming from an amazing organisation in the States later this week, but please, if you can, take time to share Nibble’s story and fundraiser; we have a lot of physio ahead of us, and we don’t want funding issues to stop us from giving her the very best recovery treatment!

The bad news: The vet re-evaluated Nibble’s hips and elbows with new x-rays following the surgeries. Her elbows look very promising, we got the best case scenario there. The right hip replacement is “picture perfect” and should last her the rest of her life. But the left hip is not good, it needs to also be replaced. We had hoped that these surgeries would buy us some time, but after a frank discussion and review of the x-rays myself with the vet today, it’s obvious that replacing the other hip is going to be necessary. The vet says we can do it as early as six weeks from now, though we can push it back and baby it along for a while if needed... however it won’t hold up forever, and after everything we’ve already put her through, not doing the second one will have been a waste.

So there is some good with the bad, as is often true in life. For now, I’m revelling in having Nibble back with me and knowing that she is doing so, so well. We will attack the second hip in due course, as her recovery takes shape and we work out the likelihood of being able to successfully head another major fundraising campaign. Until then, share, share, share Nibble’s story! And visit often to follow every step of her recovery, and the joy she will find in having a new lease on life!
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SHE CAME THROUGH GREAT!

I’ve just gotten off the phone with the vet, and I am so, so happy to announce that Nibble has come through the surgery beautifully. The vet is pleased with the total hip replacement, saying that the follow on x-rays show the replacement is perfectly placed. He did a concrete socket with a titanium joint for those that are interested, as her size and poor bone structure (he specifically pointed out that her mistreatment and neglect early in life was the cause of these hinderances) make dislocation a continued risk, and he felt the concrete base would provide her more security in the long term. He was pleased to say that this hip should last her for the rest of her life.

In addition, we got the best case scenario in her elbows! The vet was able to remove fissures and fractures in both elbows to alleviate friction that causes her pain. He also cut the tendons in both elbows, in a procedure he called “BURP” which he described to me as essentially like cutting the belt of a fat man... the tendons are not needed for her to be comfortable, and while cutting them doesn’t change that the elbows are what they are (just liked cutting the belt doesn’t change that a man is fat), it does relieve her of major discomfort. The vet is confident that she will have a much improved quality of life, and very hopeful that she shouldn’t need surgery on her elbows for a very, very long time, most likely never.

I can not even begin to express how relieved, grateful, and overwhelmed I am feeling right now... despite being long prepared for this day, I have spent the hours waiting on edge, anticipating the worst while hoping for the best. The release I felt when the vet informed me that all had gone the best we could have hoped is simply unexplainable.

I can not thank all of you enough for your thoughts, prayers, encouragement and support. It is because of all of you that Nibble has been given this chance to live a pain free life, at long last.

We have a long road of recovery waiting for us, but the biggest hurtle has been overcome...

With all of my love and gratitude,

Nicole
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Good news!!! The campaign is back up and running, yay! Please share again with your friends and family.... only 12 days until surgery!
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£3,405 of £8,000 goal

Raised by 57 people in 10 months
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£25
Elizabeth Christakis
8 months ago
£25
Elizabeth Christakis
8 months ago
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9 months ago
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£25
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