COOPERSTOWN – Cabela, a new mom with seven puppies at home, was so sick she couldn’t eat and wouldn’t nurse her pups.
Her owner, Donna Robinson, Worcester, reached out to Stacie Haynes, executive director, Susquehanna SPCA, for assistance, after Cabela was rushed to Heritage Veterinary Clinic for emergency spay surgery. SQSPCA staff picked up mom and puppies and, at Heritage, Cabela was diagnosed with pyometra, a life-threatening infection in the uterus.
“Cabela spent the night at Heritage after her emergency surgery, and the puppies went home with SQSPCA Shelter Manager Sara Haddad, a licensed veterinary technician, who fed them a mixture of formula and puppy food every few hours,” said Haynes.
Her surgery was covered by the shelter’s Emergency Medical Fund, founded after the SQSPCA took in Zoe, who needed an 11-pound tumor removed from her shoulder after she was seized from deplorable conditions in Exeter Center.
Following her surgery, Cabela returned to Worcester with antibiotics, pain medication and her babies. The puppies were not allowed to nurse, so the Robinsons continued the improvised feeding regimen. Though all seven puppies were thriving, Cabela’s condition did not improve. Several days later, she was returned to the shelter for further medical attention.
“She had gotten very thin, was vomiting and was not eating, and very likely had developed a stomach ulcer from the pain medication,” explained Haddad. “We gave her fluids, anti-vomiting medication, injectable antibiotics, and an antacid to coat the stomach while feeding her a very bland diet including chicken, rice, and baby food.
“Cabela remained in my care for several days until we began to see positive results,” she continued. “When she had regained her appetite and was able to resume oral antibiotics, we sent her home again with a different prescription.”
Back at the SQSPCA on Monday, May 11 for a checkup, Cabela had put on 10 pounds and was acting like a different dog entirely, according to Haddad. All seven puppies – four males and three females – are happy, healthy, and on the way to their forever homes. Cabela and one of her pups will remain with the Robinsons, who are delighted to have their family pet restored to good health.
“This emergency care for Cabela is an example of what we can do with our new Emergency Medical Fund. Zoe was the impetus for that fund, created specifically to help animals in crisis. You could say that Zoe has paid it forward to Cabela,” Haynes added. “This case is certainly special and was only possible thanks to the generosity of people in our community who care.”