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Special Labs in Need

Charlie's Broken Femur

April 2011
Little Charlie came into the Bakersfield shelter as a stray. He is a darling 3 month old chocolate Lab and it was immediately obvious that there was something badly wrong with his rear leg. He couldn't put any weight on it at all and was clearly in pain. GGLRR got him to a vet clinic where X rays revealed a very bad break of the head of his femur.....a break that would never heal on its own without specialized surgery. An orthopedic surgeon in southern California, who was a friend of the vet in the initial clinic, offered to do the surgery at 50% off if we could get Charlie to him. We did just that, and Charlie had the very complex surgery. It was a complete success and Charlie is now smiling and recovering. The pain is gone and now we just have to keep him quiet....good luck with a puppy who is now feeling great....until he's fully healed. He will have no further problems with the leg and will be a perfectly happy puppy.

5/23 Update (photo on right): Charlie arrived at his foster home where this darling boy gave lots of kisses and wiggled his whole body when being pet -- obviously so happy to have his leg no longer bothering him. He was quickly adopted by a fabulous dog-loving family on our pre-approved waiting list who have 4 teenage kids and another dog who love playing with Charlie now that he's recovered. Charlie's fur has grown back after surgery and the future is looking bright indeed. Quite a change from being scheduled for euthanasia just a couple of months earlier.

Thank you to all the supporters who helped to cover the $1800 surgery cost (and that is WITH the 50% discount). Special thanks to Camp Four Paws for their very generous donation to the surgery fund. Charlie thanks everyone too! He's been a trooper through all this and is so happy to finally be feeling good and in a FOREVER home.

Shadow's Eye Tumor Removal

This darling 3-year old boy just melted our hearts and we had to help him. Shadow's previous Mendocino family contacted us at their wits' end because they were moving and couldn't take him, AND because he had developed a tumor in his left eye that they couldn't afford to take care of. They didn't want to take him to a shelter where they knew his eye would likely ruin his chances. We had our vet evaluate Shadow, and the x-rays showed that the tumor hadn't spread so we scheduled the recommended eye removal surgery.

Shadow was an ideal patient making him a quick favorite at the vet clinic. He handled the procedure with the grace and ease that is so typical of happy Labs. He's glad to have the problem eye out that he use to rub at. Shadow says "who needs two eyes when you have a nose like mine!". He is recovering well and will be placed in a forever home soon (his foster parents became very attached after seeing him through the surgery so didn't want to let him go which was fine with Shadow!).

Please help us recover the cost of Shadow's eye surgery so we can continue to rescue "special needs" Labs. Our vets help by giving us greatly discounted prices, but medical care is still the main expense our non-profit incurs. Shadow and the other Labs say "thanks for saving our lives!".

Bruce the 3-Legged Lab


Lab Rescue stepped in to help a very special Lab. Bruce is a cute 1-yr-old Lab who had an accident in March that left him without the use of his front left leg. The owner couldn't afford to keep him and no one was willing to adopt him "as is", so Lab Rescue decided to get his costly medical issue addressed so he could have the full life he deserved. The vet recommended amputation since dogs get along fine on 3 legs, and dragging a useless leg is much more limiting. Bruce had surgery and quickly adjusted to life with a 1" stump. In fact, the day after surgery he was pulling people around by his leash since he had been practicing 3-legged walking/running for months and no longer had the problem leg in the way.

Last month after Bruce was on the road to recovery, we put him up for adoption and he was quickly placed in a wonderful loving home. Bruce is now named Jake and his new mom, Holly, says: He such a great dog! My dogs love him and he and Robbie have started to play tug o'war! ...Bruce/Jake is a happy boy and I love him! Thanks!

Fundraising progress for 3 LabsMany thanks to our generous supporters who provided the funds to cover the cost of the surgery so we can continue to help special Labs in need like Bruce/Jake!

Joe - injured eye

JOE is an 11 week old chocolate male purebred AKC Lab puppy. Lab Rescue received a very disturbing call from an independent rescue person in the Stockton area on Thursday afternoon (1/14). She mentioned that she received a call from her vet about two purebred Lab puppies that were being surrendered by a breeder with instructions for the puppies to be euthanized. The breeder wanted to end their life just because they both had eye issues. Joe, the little chocolate boy incurred eye trauma while living at the breeder's home. Luckily, the vet had a heart and refused to euthanize them and felt these issues didn't warrant ending their lives. The vet office immediately contacted a local rescue person who then contacted GGLRR. We received the puppies on Saturday afternoon and took them to our vet in Menlo Park. Our vet fell in love with them and feels that they are both happy, healthy puppies that deserve a long, happy life in a loving home. They both have great personalities and the foster feels they will become wonderful K-9 citizens. The vet said Joe's injured eye is causing him some pain so we immediately made an appointment with a local opthamologist who recommended removing his injured eye to relieve his pain (this will be done on Friday 1/22 along with neutering while he's under). In spite of his painful eye situation, he is still playful and loving.

The surgery went well and Joe is almost recovered enough to meet the family who wants to adopt him!

Joe was quickly adopted by a loving family who wasn't bothered by his special needs!

Fundraising progress for 3 Labs

Denton - eye cataracts

Denton has cataracts in both eyes. Denton is less than 2 years old but has cataracts that seriously impair his vision -- but not his zest for life! Since the cataracts are located in the “middle” of his line of vision, he has extremely limited sight. But, besides the cataracts, his eyes are very healthy and he is expected to be able to see normally when the cataracts are removed. He is having surgery on 12/28 to remove the cataracts. Thanks to Lab Rescue and those who generously fund these surgeries, Denton now has a new forever family.

Maggie May - torn cruciate ligament

With GGLRR recently sponsoring 3 labs through torn crutiate repair surgery, we thought you might want some more background on the condition. Torn cruciates usually start with small tears which get worse over time until the dog can't put any weight on the leg. Since they are in the knee area, it's usually a twisting, spinning move that causes it to happen. It can also happen if a dog jumps off something too high or pushes off to jump INTO something too high and puts too much stress on the joint. It's unfortunately becoming more common in Labs. The long term prognosis is generally very good, but it depends how torn the ligament is and for how long it's been torn. When the ligament tears, the bones are no longer lined up properly and rub against each other. If caught right away, the prognosis is for 100% recovery, as the bones haven't rubbed for long and arthritis hasn't started. If the dog has had the tear for a long time, the prognosis is still good, but the dog may develop arthritis in that joint and have to deal with that for the rest of its life. There are two surgeries for cruciate ligament tears. The old surgery is called a TPLO and the newer surgery (that we're doing for our rescue dogs) is the TTA.

Maggie May’s surgery was 2 weeks ago. She’s recovering quite well and within days was putting weight on the leg that had the ligament repair. Full recovery is approximately 6-8 weeks. She is expected to make a full recovery. Her original owners were going to take her to the shelter because they couldn’t afford the surgery to fix Maggie’s leg.

This wonderful Lab now has a new forever family who is helping her with with her rehabilitation!

Magnus - torn cruciate ligament

Magnus was rescued from a rural, high-kill shelter where his family had surrendered him due to the fact that they had lost their home and he needed expensive surgery to repair a painful torn cruciate ligament in his rear leg. Being 6 years old and needing surgery he had no chance of being adopted. Fortunately, Lab Rescue saved him, paid for his surgery and found him a special home committed to nursing him through recovery. Magnus has fit right in to his new home and is recovering quickly from his surgery. We will continue to update you on his progress, along with our fundraising for the $2,000 cost of his surgery (thanks to a discount from our vet). GGLRR couldn't help dogs in tremendous need like Magnus without help from people like you!
Here's an update from Magnus' new owner who is helping him through recovery: I took him down to get his two week check up. He has been cleared to come out of his pen and have his e-collar removed. I now need to slowly walk him each day and physical therapy on his leg (stretching). His next check up is in 2 weeks when he will get his 4 week x-ray to make sure all is healing well inside the leg. Magnus has been great. He is so calm and loves hanging with the kids. He is always by the baby waiting for food to drop and is under my feet all the time.

Lupin - torn cruciate ligaments in both knees

Lupin Lab photo We rescued Lupin, a 6 year old girl, from the San Leandro shelter. Her family put her in the overnight drop box at the shelter, where she stayed alone, all night long, wondering why her family had left her there. She had torn cruciate ligaments in BOTH knees. GGLRR knew this girl was a gem and we quickly found a loving home for her with a wonderful gal who takes Lupin to work with her where she is already working as a therapy dog (as shown on our home page). But Lupin is in real pain from her bad knees and GGLRR is having the surgery done on the first knee this week. In two to four weeks, we will do the surgery on the second knee. The recovery period is about 8 weeks for each surgery and Lupin's new mom is committed to do all she can to help with her rehab. Even with a huge discount from our vet, Lupin's bill will top $4,000. This amazingly sweet dog is worth every penny, but it's a huge chunk out of our budget. If you can help, even just a little, we would be so grateful. Please help us help Lupin.

Lupin has had her first surgery to repair one of the torn cruciate ligaments. When this has healed, we will do the second surgery on the other leg. She is doing well and her pain is already much less.

It's been almost a week since Lupin's surgery and she's doing well. She even puts up with her E Collar. She's just happy to be getting so much attention.

Lupin is now through her 2nd week of recovery and is doing really well. She is back going to work as a therapy dog with her mom, who uses a sling to help her up the stairs. Inspite of her surgery, Lupin LOVES her work. She sat next to a reclusive patient the other day and really drew her out of her shell. She's a natural therapy dog. Her incision has healed nicely.

Lupin 9-6-09 9/6/09
Here's Lupin at the six week mark of her eight week recovery period following her FIRST surgery. As you can see, she's doing great, and the scar is being covered by her fur growing back in. Lupin is feeling so much better and now has one good leg, but she had had this condition for some time before rescue found her and the muscles in her repaired leg are atrophied (Lupin just couldn't use her rear legs much as they caused her so much pain). So we're giving her until the end of October to strengthen the muscles in her repaired leg....which is now her GOOD leg. The other leg is giving her lots of pain and we are anxious to do the second surgery, but need to wait until the repaired leg is strong enough to take all the stress. Lupin has been such a trooper and feels so much better that she really WANTS to go chase those squirrels that are just out of a few more months, she'll be able to. She continues to go to work with her new mom and is a wonderful therapy dog. She has a special sense about people in pain....probably because she understands pain....but it's amazing to see. She is a special dog. Please help us meet our goal to raise enough money for her second surgery. Lupin thanks you!!!

Newsflash!! Lupin is scheduled for her second surgery on September 25th. Her other leg is really, really sore and we have decided to do the surgery sooner than planned. We know she'll be really happy to have two good legs and be able to chase those squirrels again...right now she can only dream about chasing them.

Lupin before second surgery 9/22/09
Lupin has had her second surgery was moved up because her still unrepaired leg was giving her so much pain. Here she is the day after her surgery, feeling so much better. She is no longer in pain and now just has to heal (another eight weeks of recuperation). Lupin's mom informs us that she has never seen Lupin this happy (she adopted Lupin with two torn cruciate ligaments and although Lupin was always sweet and loving, she has always been in pain). Now she smiles all the time and is warning those squirrels that it won't be long before they will have to make a real run for it. It's an expensive surgery (called a TTA), but so very, very worth it. Please help us meet our goal. Lupin and all of us at GGLRR thank you!!!

Lupin is now well into her recovery from her second surgery and is feeling really good. She is walking without a limp, looking forward to dashing after those squirrels again soon, and so thankful not to be in pain anymore. She and her "mom" want to thank all of you who so generously donated to make her surgeries possible. Here was a girl who was dumped in a night box and scheduled for euthanasia...who is now whole, healthy, loving her new life with her new mom and giving back as a therapy dog. Life is good and we have you to thank.

Fundraising progress for Lupin

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