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The German Shepherd lost part of his jaw after a blow to the head. Now he wants to find his forever family.
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A Good Samaritan found the young German Shepherd Dog lying between some bushes and the curb on the side of a road in Visalia, Calif. The traumatic injury to his jaw was so horrific, it was difficult to look at. The woman scooped up the injured dog and brought him inside, where she gave him water and called animal control. When the officers who arrived on the scene saw the dog’s broken jaw, they immediately called Lydia House, the operations manager at Valley Oak SPCA.
Alex’s first stop was the University of California, Davis, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, where he was examined and treated by a team of doctors. A burning question, of course, was how did the dog become so injured? Was he hit by a car? Sadly, the veterinarians believed the beautiful German Shepherd was a victim of abuse.
“The doctors let us know that Alex’s injuries were caused by blunt-force trauma,” Lydia said. “There was no ‘road rash’ on him, which is a sign of being hit by a car. They also did a CT scan of his head and found that he had sustained a blow to his skull. It actually fractured his skull above his left eye. I saw the (scan) — it looked like a hammer or bat, a round object.” Alex’s vets estimated that the dog has sustained the injuries two to three weeks before he was found.
Because the break was untreated for several weeks, scar tissue formed, which made it impossible to save all of Alex’s jaw. The veterinarians performed surgery to amputate a portion of his lower jaw, successfully saving the majority of his jaw and all of his teeth other than the two lower canines and one pre-molar. Following the surgery, he was able to drink and eat a soft diet of canned food.
“Alex’s prognosis is great,” said Lydia, his foster. “(Dr. Sophie Döring, DVM) did a great jaw of suturing his lip up — you can hardly tell that he had his jaw removed. They thought his tongue might hang out of his mouth, but it hasn’t so far.”
From his rescue to the surgery and beyond, Alex’s sweet spirit never faltered, despite what must have been an extremely painful injury and surgical procedure. Estimated to be just 18 months old, he’s basically just big puppy, with his entire life ahead of him. “Alex is a super happy dog,” Lydia said. “He loves everyone he has met. He never growled at Peggy (the Good Samaritan who found him), nor did he try to run. He was fantastic with my children and other dogs.”
Lydia said Alex has exhibited a touch of separation anxiety, crying and pacing when he is away from people. It’s a testament to his good nature that he still loves people despite what he’s been through, and seems to hold no grudges or exhibit any fear of humans.
Amazingly, this sweet pup is still available for adoption. After all he’s been through, he has only one more milestone left before his happy ending story is complete: finding a forever home with a loving family. Could it be yours? Inquire about adopting Alex or any of the other wonderful pets available for adoption at Valley Oak SPCA.
Jackie is a freelance writer specializing in the pet industry. She lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and adorable Miniature Poodle, Jäger, who is obsessed with fetch and killing all the toys. She is the former editor of Rescue Proud, Dog World, and Puppies 101. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.
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