Tracker: A One Way Trip to Happiness
At 6PM on a blisteringly hot Friday evening in the South Peninsula, two friends discovered an injured dog on the train tracks as they crossed to a tidal pool in Kalk Bay. As they approached the dog, they found that it had a missing a leg with what appeared to be a partially amputated tail and dried blood caking the injuries. The dog has likely been injured when it had been hit by a train.
Unsure where to turn on a Friday evening, they phoned TEARS to find help for this dog. TEARS Operations Manager quickly phoned Noordhoek Veterinary Clinic who still had a vet on duty who began to prepare for surgery.
On arrival, veterinarian Dr Tracy Dicks, TEARS Operations Manager Mandy Store and veterinary technicians were waiting in the parking area to rush the dog straight into surgery. The leg was completely gone; the tail was completely amputated but was being held on by matted hair. The dog was a boy about 3-years old. He was covered in ants and his injures were about a day old.
His rescuer dubbed him Tracker since he had been found on the train tracks.
X-rays revealed that Tracker had also suffered a broken pelvis but that his spine was still intact. His blood work uncovered yet more complications – that he was suffering with both biliary and erhlicia. As they shaved Tracker for surgery, the extent of the damage continued to be uncovered. Tracker has been completely neutered by the train as well.
After several hours in surgery, Tracker had made it through, but his chances of survival were only 50/50. The next two days would be critical. Tracker went home with the Dr Dicks and Mandy arranged that Tracker would be admitted to TEARS.
That night, Tracker ate chicken and drank water. A good sign! The next day, he peed! Another good sign. Tracker then moved in with TEARS Kennel Manager Luke Kruyt to be in a safe and attentive foster home while he healed and learned how to be a three-legged dog.
Tracker has incredible will to live that has lifted him through this horrific injury but without crucial veterinary intervention, he would not have survived. The TEARS Veterinary Outreach Programme gives forgotten dogs like Tracker a second chance. Many people passed him without giving him a second look.
An average of 1057 animals are rescued every month being brought into the TEARS Veterinary Clinic for medical emergencies, admissions and/or treatments. Tracker is just one of these stories.
Thanks to our supporters, TEARS Veterinary Team can be there for animals at the edge of death. Your donations are the driving force that powers rescues, treatment, rehabilitation and rehoming for dogs and cats with stories just like Tracker.