A Weimaraner rescued from a kill shelter has been given a chance at a normal life after having a cumbersome, watermelon-sized tumor removed from his chest/abdominal area.
A few days ago, a dog was brought into the Tickled Pink Weimaraner Rescue in New Mexico after being left at a kill shelter. They had seen bad cases before, but staff members could not believe their eyes when they saw the downtrodden dog, encumbered with such a massive tumor.
“We feel sympathy for him while at the same time we struggle with the fact he was so neglected. How could he have survived all of this time? All we can hope for any animal who is being given a second chance is that it’s not too late; this dog is no exception,” their Facebook page read.
The six-year-old was named Gilbert Grape, and the nonprofit organization took him to the emergency room. He was given pain medicine and antibiotics, and put on an IV catheter. Blood and urine were tested, and an ultrasound performed. He also needed a blood transfusion. He was made comfortable, and vets were consulted about the tumor.
“We consulted 4 veterinarians and a board-certified surgeon. The consensus is that the tumor very well could be benign, as it is pedunculated, meaning it is a stalk of tissue growing independent of other tissue. Yes, it could be malignant as well, there is always that chance. His blood work is relatively normal (with the exception of elevated white cells from the infectious, necrotic tumor) and he is otherwise seemingly healthy, even though we are aware there could be malignancy not showing up on blood work.”
Tickled Pink didn’t want to wait, and prolong Gilbert’s suffering. Their choices were to go ahead with surgery, or humanely euthanize him. It was a difficult decision, one they felt was unfair for them to make after only knowing him a few hours – who were they to decide?
“After all of our consults and a few hours of iv treatment, the Weimaraner stood up and walked towards our volunteers looking us in the eyes. We felt that he was telling us he’s not ready to go; he’s fighting to live and we want to help join him in his fight.”
Surgery it was. They began a fundraiser with a goal of $6,800 for medical expenses. People touched by Gilbert’s story rallied and nearly $12,000 was donated.
He made it through the surgery and has spent the last few days recovering. But it will take more than just rest; Gilbert is believed to have been living with the tumor for over a year, and has a hard time walking without it. His center of gravity was affected by it, and his weight distribution is unbalanced. He requires some physical therapy, but will likely learn how to walk normally.
Gilbert Grape-less is currently in a loving foster home, and some have already expressed interest in adopting him. The gratitude and sparkle in his eyes has overwhelmed Tickled Pink staff and supporters with happiness.
UPDATE: Gilbert is healing well and looking happy with his new bed and toys, thanks to the generosity of strangers who sent them to him!