Life has taken a turn for little Gordo, a young Shih Tzu who required expensive spinal surgery. Gordo had been surrendered to Manhattan Animal Care and Control by his owner after he was unable to afford Gordo’s surgery. Gordo was paralyzed and unable to use his back legs or urinate on his own. This left him with a full bladder, as he waited in the city shelter for his death sentence. Lucky for Gordo, a New Jersey rescue group saved him just in time.
Robyn Urman of Pet ResQ Inc. is all too familiar with homeless pets and their depressing fate. Approximately 30 000 are euthanized each year. Unfortunately for dogs like Gordo, who require expensive medical care, their fate is usually grim.
With a strong compassion for animals and the belief that every dog deserves a second chance, Urman acted quickly to save Gordo.
Gordo was transferred to a New Jersey veterinary hospital. His prognosis from the vet stated he had “little hope that he would ever stand, walk or even go to the bathroom on his own.” The vet told Urman they would be better off buying a wheelchair for Gordo, and forgetting the idea of treatment all together. Little did they know, Gordo had more spunk in him than the veterinary hospital gave him credit for.
The next day, Urman and her team took Gordo to a neurologist at the Animal Specialty Center. After an MRI, it was clear that Gordo suffered from a ruptured disk and had severe bruising on his spine. This vet, however, believed that Gordo did have feeling in his legs. This meant there was hope for the young pup to recover. They did believe that Gordo was in a lot of pain, and treatment needed to happen as soon as possible.
The team had Gordo penciled in for surgery the next day. Unfortunately, Gordo ended up developing a high fever and kennel cough and needed IV fluids to stay alive. The fever miraculously broke and little Gordo bounced back and was ready for his life saving surgery on July 26.
It took four days for Gordo to recover. Once he was ready, Gordo was sent to the River Pet Resort in Edgewater, New Jersey to receive physical therapy and electro-stimulation. Gordo also took part in water therapy to help regain strength in his legs.
The therapy and love from volunteer Karen Colangelo, who has been caring for the pup every night in her home for three weeks, has been very successful. So far, Gordo has shown significant improvement. These days, he is going to the bathroom on his own and happily wagging his tail. As each day passes, he is even able to put more and more weight on his hind legs.
“Gordo walks most of the time with the help of a sling,” said Colangelo. “But you should see him scoot around on the floor when he wants to travel on his own. Gordo is really quite a determined character and has the sweetest temperament.”
“We expect Gordo will be in rehab for 3 to 6 months. We are looking for a foster home that will be able to take care of him during that time and help him with his physical therapy at night.”
The medical care, however, is just as expensive as originally anticipated. Gordo’s surgery alone was over $6000. Pet ResQ Inc. also estimates his rehab will cost between $4000 and $5000. Many businesses and individuals in the community have rallied support for the strong-willed Gordo. With the help of the public, and a generous donation from the Mayors Alliance for New York City’s Animals, almost $4000 has been collected to cover Gordo’s medical costs.
Things are really looking up for the young pup, who just a few weeks ago was nothing but a write off. These days, Gordo prepares himself to get ready to find his forever home. Pet ResQ is already building a network around Gordo to ensure he gets the love and care he deserves.
To check in on more Gordo updates, check him out on Facebook at Find Gordo a Home.