Starving, Injured, Dying Dog Gets Help And Treatment In The Nick Of Time

With his last remaining strength, Noble wandered onto the property and collapsed. He couldn’t move anymore. How long had it been? Two weeks? His paws throbbed, his ears ached, his whole body hurt. He couldn’t think through the fog of pain and hunger and thirst. He knew it would be over soon. Why? Why had his people abandoned him? Minutes, hours passed as the dying dog waited for the inevitable.

Suddenly, noises! People.

Someone lifted lifted and placed him in something. Barely conscious, Noble heard voices, doors slamming shut, a motor. They moved for a while, then stopped. He was carried somewhere indoors and deposited on a soft, yielding surface. He felt a slight pinch between the shoulder blades and soon felt comforting fluid pumping into his emaciated body.  Someone was wiping his feet. They hurt so bad! He soon fell into a deep blissful sleep. Little did he know, Noble was safe.

Dying dog rescued in the nick of time

But would he make it through the night? That’s what the Rescue Ranch team asked themselves that August evening. Initially, they hadn’t been sure the skeletal dog would even survive the short ride to the Sanctuary.

Noble was skin and bones, too weak to stand, his body covered in foxtails. His swollen, infected paws were riddled with holes, pierced by the burrowing seed heads as they made their way into and through his body. There were no rope or collar burns indicative of prolonged restraint, but he may have been confined or trapped in a small space infested with the bristly grass. Or maybe he’d been left to fend for himself in a field full of the stuff. Whatever the circumstances, this young dog had been discarded like so much trash. Now, Rescue Ranch was in a race against time to save him.

The team immediately gave him subcutaneous fluids. They did their best to clean his wounds and make him comfortable for the night. Fingers crossed.

Noble was still alive on Friday morning. That afternoon, the medical team at Ashland Animal Medical Hospital (AMH) evaluated his condition and began the long process of foxtail removal. They sent him home  to rest over the weekend. Noble would need multiple sessions at the vet, but barring any unforeseens, his prognosis was generally good. Rescue Ranch had gotten to him in the nick of time.

Brave Noble’s second vet visit

Karen Topping, who is collaborating closely with Rescue Ranch on a number of projects, took over his primary care at the Sanctuary: tending his wounds, feeding him small amounts of canned food and broth six times a day.

On Monday, August 21, I joined Karen and Rescue Ranch Executive Director John Golay at AMH for Noble’s second visit and watched as the medical team worked on him for  three hours. They numbed his paws and began digging for foxtails. They pushed long forceps up into the wounds fishing for seeds. Some had worked their way all the way through Nobles paws and were coming out the other side.

When the vets and techs flushed the wounds, the liquid spilled out of multiple connecting holes.

Noble’s ears were also in bad shape. In addition to seeds and dirty buildup, both ears contained ticks and tick eggs. A foxtail had also perforated his left eardrum; it came out black and vile.

Noble just let medical personnel do their work: pulling, prodding, cleaning, and wiping. He never complained. His demeanor was gentle and accepting throughout.

When they were done, John carried Noble back to his crate and rolled him out to the transport van with Karen’s help. Noble would be back in a week for his next session.

Dogs like Noble are why Kitu’s Fund exists

As of this writing, it’s been less than a week since his rescue, but Noble is no longer a dying dog, abandoned and forgotten by heartless humans. He’s safe, loved, and showing improvement: he standing on his own, eating a more normal diet, wagging his tail, and responding to caregivers. But this brave boy has a long recovery and multiple trips to AMH ahead. When he’s healthy enough, he’ll be sedated for a deeper exploration of his nose, throat, and ears.

Noble is now our latest high-cost medical case. Miss Molly, the Kitu’s Fund 2023 campaign poster dog, was our 32nd case of the year in July. In August, Noble became our 33rd. His and Molly’s situations are very different, but they, and other sick or injured dogs, are why Kitu’s Fund was created. Rescue Ranch can only continue to save dogs like Noble with your help.

Please Give To Kitu’s Fund 

We need your support to treat dogs like Noble, Molly, Benny, Tucker, Zion, Atlas, Cleo, Athena, and so many more. 

If you agree that dogs deserve to live their best lives, and if you have the means to help, please consider donating to our Kitu’s Fund Campaign. Remember, this fund helps both rescue and community dogs in need. Any amount is deeply appreciated.