Duke had a rough start to life. He was very young (likely 4 to 6 months old) when he sustained a broken back. It is believed by the vet, that his broken back is likely the result of him being kicked. He was then left on the streets of Mission, Tx to slowly drag his legs raw, drag bones out of his feet, drag until he was bleeding and infected with no help, no food, no water, no shelter, no vet care, nobody to care. It is thought that he roamed the streets for 2 to 4 months in this condition.
He was found, in desperate need of help, by a loving family in Mission. The family saw Duke begging at a party where people were BBQing, listening to music, dancing, drinking and having fun… while he dragged from person to person, desperately seeking the help he needed to continue to live. He was completely ignored until this family, driving down the street, saw everything… that family stopped and this is where his rescue story began.
He was then transported to a vet in San Antonio where he received his initial care. The initial plan was that Duke would be fostered by a family in San Antonio, but the first time they met him, the foster told the vet to put him down instead.
This is when his current foster family heard of his story and immediately sprang to action because they just couldn’t stomach his life being lost due to his injuries and ailments. They decided that once he was healthy enough to travel they’d do everything they could to bring him to them. On February 25th his transport brought him to West, Tx and that’s when Duke met his current foster family and his new chapter began.
The moment they opened the transport vehicle, his foster family could smell Duke. They knew right away from the smell that he had mange. He was so thin, frail and had bald spots everywhere. His legs were hot to the touch, he could hardly lift his head, yet he managed to lift his head and give them a kiss on the cheek.
They changed Duke’s diaper, got him a drink of water, put him in their car and choked back tears so they could see to drive him home. When Duke and his foster family got home, they set him up in his bedroom, a safe place, where he was quarantined and knew he could decompress until he was healthy enough to join the rest of the pack.
For 4 days, Duke didn’t move off of his orthopedic bed. They changed him, dressed his wounds and turned him multiple times a day. Duke was so anemic and exhausted from the 5 hour trip, he could hardly lift his head. They held his food and water for him multiple times per day as well. They began supplementing his diet with Canine Red Cell to assist in boosting his iron. When he was found, due to the injuries his body sustained, his body was riddled with infection, he had giardia, sarcoptic mange, bones showing out of his foot, damage to other bones in his foot and deep tissue wounds. He was infested with fleas and also had loss of blood from the wounds on his feet, legs and bottom.
Duke had antibiotics for the infection in his legs and a separate one for giardia. To treat his mange, he was given Bravecto and administered medicated baths regularly. To aid his injured legs, his foster family performed hydrotherapy and they also did wound wraps with Manuka honey on his leg wounds. Laser therapy was performed on his legs, back, and the wounds on his feet and bottom. There were dozens of sessions.
Prior to starting the treatments and wraps, it was planned to getting him healthy enough to survive a leg amputation surgery. But the manuka wraps and laser therapy saved his legs. Blood work was done multiple times because to make sure he was improving on all of his values, but, particularly his iron levels. When he was healthy enough, he was neutered.
7 months later, Duke is thriving in his loving foster home with 4 foster sibling dogs and 4 senior cats. He’s received a wheelchair customized for him to help him get around and boy he’s a spunky dog! This boy never misses a chance to give his caretakers a big kiss on the cheek, especially during diaper changes. Speaking of diaper changes, this is something his forever family will need to help him out with, along with assistance expressing his bladder and bowels since he can’t do this on his own.
If you’re like us and just can’t get enough of this boy, you should check out his Facebook page! Duke and Xander get into all kinds of mischief and have tons of fun – something their 500+ followers can’t stand to miss out on.
Please consider sharing Duke’s story or donating on North Texas Giving Day (September 20th) to help us cover the cost of Duke’s medical treatment and supplies totaling just under $1,900.