Help Dogs Like Ivy

Animals Animal Cruelty Animal Welfare Pet Care Rescue RSPCA Inspectors Posted May 24, 2023
Ivy needed urgent veterinary care. A tax-deductible donation before June 30 will help more dogs like her this winter.

Poor Ivy was horribly injured by another dog in her own backyard. Despite her injuries being so severe, her owner didn’t take her to the vet.

How anyone could look at Ivy’s injuries and not seek urgent medical attention is inconceivable.

Ivy’s head was swollen, her face and body covered in sore, open bite marks. Infected fluid was seeping from her ears, and she was limping. This sweet-natured three-year-old Staffy cross was also severely underweight.

RSPCA Inspector Natalie went to a property to investigate after a report was received that a dog was whimpering in pain, days after a dog attack was heard by residents in the area.

But when Inspector Natalie spoke to Ivy’s owner, he said he was planning to take her to the vet once he got paid. Poor Ivy had already been suffering for several days since being attacked.

“Ivy’s injuries couldn’t wait – it was an emergency,” says Inspector Natalie. “But it was also clear that her need for medical attention was more than a few days old. She was very skinny, and the infection around her ears made me think there’d been issues there for a long time.”

There is no excuse to leave an animal in pain.

If you can help us be there for animals like Ivy, your donation will help ensure we can continue to rescue animals so they can get the urgent treatment, love and care that they need.

Ivy was rescued in New South Wales, but cases like hers are happening in Queensland too.

From June to August last year, over 2,000 animals entered our care – and we expect this winter’s number will be even higher. The rising cost of living is affecting everyone, and our shelters are feeling the impact. Not only are vital things like medications, veterinary equipment and electricity becoming more expensive, but we’re also seeing more animals being surrendered because people sadly aren’t able to afford to meet their needs.

Kind-hearted people like you are the reason we can continue to help dogs like Ivy.

After leaving a written direction for the other dog at the property to be presented to a vet within 24 hours, Inspector Natalie seized Ivy and rushed her back to the RSPCA.

Ivy was finally given pain relief while the team examined her, “Her face was really swollen and covered in bite wounds. One in her mouth was so deep, her jawbone was exposed,” recalls Inspector Natalie. “Her ears were so badly infected that the tissue was dying. And on top of her external injuries, she was also sick – this poor dog was emaciated, dehydrated, anaemic, had hookworm and a fever.”

Ivy spent a week in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where the team could monitor her closely. She was put on IV fluids and given a whole host of medications – antibiotics, de-wormers, and pain relief – which made her more comfortable. As the days went by, the bite marks all over Ivy’s body started to heal, but it became clear that Ivy’s health issues were very complex and would require extensive care.

Ivy struggled to put on weight.

Underweight dogs tend to get stronger quickly once they’re on a feeding plan, but Ivy didn’t. Her body was working hard to fight off multiple infections – especially in her ears. She needed to be put under general anaesthetic so the vet team could assess the severity, drain the fluid, and remove the dead tissue.

The infection was found to go deep into her ear canal and a sample was taken for analysis. This poor dog was at risk of losing both of her ears. Not only would this mean more surgery and significant physical changes – it could even affect Ivy’s chances of being adopted. The team tried everything they could to heal the infection. A special medicine was even created and inserted deep in her ears every few days. It was a tough few weeks for Ivy.

The other area of concern was her leg. Ivy’s limp was getting more pronounced, and X-rays showed she had a hyperextension injury of her carpus, which is the equivalent of your wrist. It may have happened during the fight, as this type of injury is usually caused by impact. The damage to her ligament wasn’t healing, which meant Ivy struggled to bear weight on her front right leg.

A vet specialist confirmed that the injury would only get worse over time, causing long-term pain for Ivy. She needed surgery to fuse the joint – inserting a plate and screws would allow her joint to heal at the correct angle. The recovery would be difficult, but at only three years old, Ivy deserved the chance to run and play without pain for years to come.

Surgeries like this can only happen with your support.

Today, thanks to the support of animal-lovers like you, Ivy’s leg has fully healed and she’s back on her paws.

Unfortunately, despite months of treatment, Ivy’s right ear continued to cause her ongoing discomfort. Even before her rescue, poor Ivy’s recurring ear issues had resulted in the outer part of her ear becoming extremely disfigured, and heavy with scar tissue – she’d developed cauliflower ear.

The vet team determined that Ivy could keep her inner ear, but her scarred ear flap was so heavy, it was covering the ear canal and preventing vital air flow. As it was also clearly bothering her, the team decided that removing Ivy’s outer ear flap would give her the best chance to live a comfortable and healthy life.

It took a great deal of care to get Ivy well, but I’m sure you’ll agree that it was worth it.

Soon, this beautiful dog will finally have the chance to enjoy life in a new, forever home. The ivy plant, from which this sweet dog got her name, represents love, devotion and loyalty – it couldn’t be more fitting. Despite all she’s been through, Ivy is nothing but loving, friendly and happy.

She has so much love to give, and this time it will be returned.

Emma Lagoon
Share this article
Find the perfect pet