The Severely Abused Chihuahua–Pom
As Honey became more stable and we began to control her pain with several types of medications, using a multi-modal approach to control what had to be absolutely horrific pain, Honey seemed to sense that we were trying to help her. After being repeatedly abused over several months (maybe much longer), she had not yet began to trust us enough to handle her, so we needed to use a light muzzle anytime we worked directly on her. Honey’s IV line allowed us to give most of her medications through the IV port. This gave her time to remain quiet and calm. She was experiencing a condition known as “wind-up syndrome” which occurred from the repeated beatings during which we believe Honey sustained an unknown number of bruises and other soft tissue injuries, three fractured ribs and the fractured left femur. Honey received no veterinary care or pain relief for these horrific injuries. The most recent injury was the right femoral fracture that reportedly happened the previous evening. This type of pain is extremely difficult to get under control as the nervous system is overly sensitive to even the slightest touch. Wind-up syndrome requires a lot of effort and a multitude of medications to manage, and when the patient needs to undergo additional painful procedures, such as the surgery that Honey required, it can quickly get out of control.
Over the years, I’ve treated many patients with severe traumatic injuries, but I have never had a patient who had experienced more untreated pain over such a lengthy period as this little girl. I had no idea what the outcome for Honey would be after what I was anticipating would take five to six months and many, many hours of medical and surgical care.
In the few days of extensive treatment to control her pain, the support bandage changes and gentle handling to try and gain some trust, I also witnessed something that I’ve never seen before. Honey would hold her urine and stool for an abnormally long time and then would cry as if she was being beaten whenever she finally did go to the bathroom. She would then attempt to immediately lick up her urine or consume her feces before we had an opportunity to change her bedding. Once, we noticed that she vomited a small amount of bile and she quickly attempted to cover it up and hide it in her blankets.
It was becoming clear that little Honey was being beaten anytime she had an accident, probably as a result of neglect to take her outside on a regular basis.
I completed Honey's surgical plan and she was scheduled for the following morning. You can view her radiographs on the www.kenoshaforgottenfriends.com or facebook under the same name.
Continued next month…
William T. Carlisle, DVM