Guest blog post by Tracy Ahrens, author of "Raising My Furry Children"
It's a Pittie Rescue (Peotone, Ill.) faced great sadness the morning of April 7 as their rescued pit bull, Mama Petunia, died suddenly while in veterinary care.
“The rescue is in shock, I am in shock,” said It’s a Pittie volunteer, Kathy DeMase of Crete. “She deserved so much more. She deserved a chance to know a life without pain, with a warm bed, a fully tummy and more love than 10 hearts can hold.”
The pregnant, 3-year-old pit bull was found approximately March 23. A couple in Park Forest spotted her as she was walking in a neighborhood, according to Debbie Wilke, of Peotone, president and co-founder of It’s a Pittie Rescue. They could tell she was injured and kept her in a yard until police came. Petunia was taken to a shelter that holds strays and was there for five days before It’s a Pittie Rescue was notified.
It was clear to Dr. Lynlee Wessels of Animal Wellness Center of Monee, that Petunia sustained blunt force trauma. Her teeth were fractured and toes on her right front foot were all broken. Petunia was also emaciated and had sustained burns over 25 percent of her body. Those burns, according to Wessels, were between one and two weeks old.
Within days, Petunia gave birth to 10 puppies. Five were stillborn. Wessels believes it was probably Petunia’s first litter of puppies. Despite her traumatic past and painful wounds, Petunia nursed her five puppies and rested calmly in the care of countless rescue workers and veterinary technicians.
Petunia had been transported from veterinary care at Animal Wellness Center of Monee to a specialty facility. She hadn’t eaten for at least three days but was able to drink some water. Veterinarians noticed she was having trouble, DeMase said, so they ran several tests. Her blood sugar was low and then her heart just stopped. “They performed CPR for 10 minutes, tried massaging her heart, gave her medications, but to no avail,” DeMase said.
Petunia had been receiving hydrotherapy and pain medications for her burns and was handling nursing her puppies very well. It was estimated that she would need up to 12 weeks of care for her wounds to heal.
On April 5 her Facebook page noted that Petunia wasn’t feeling well. She had a slight fever and her appetite was minimal. A veterinarian thought she could have a blockage in her stomach. Exploratory surgery revealed no major blockage, but Petunia had fluid in her body that needed to be drained. Concerns over a uterine infection led a veterinarian to spay Petunia while she was under anesthesia.Petunia and her story has attracted over 11,000 likes on her Facebook page.
Her puppies (three boys and two girls) recently were named Huckleberry, Snapdragon (Snappy), Phoenix Caine, Jasmine and Tulip. They are now being bottle-fed.
Her Facebook page post April 7 noted for the world to see: “My little body suffered major trauma and I stayed strong as long as I could. I felt the love that surrounded me and I got my babies to a safe place, I knew it was okay to let go. I am now free of pain and suffering and will be reunited with my 5 little ones that didn't make. Thank you for showing me love and compassion. May God rest my soul in peace.”
Donations to help pay for Petunia's past medical care and for the ongoing care of her puppies are being accepted HERE.
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