Showing posts with label Sam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sam. Show all posts

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sam Day 8

Sam is going home today! He is eating well and able to control his urination. While he is still unable to stand or walk, he is getting stronger every day. Sam has a long way to go with weeks of physical therapy before he will be able to walk again. He still has no feeling in his left front limb, there is a strong chance he will not regain use of that limb. Caring for Sam is going to be a lot of work for his owners, but I know they are excited to have him home and grateful for all the help he has received. Over $6000 in donations were made to the Sam Moreno Fund at Friendship. The majority of this money was used to cover his hospitalization, daily physical exams, nursing care and medications. Friendship also donated a portion of the fund to Dr. Bush's BVNS Rascal Foundation who covered the cost of Sam's CT scan and MRI. Dr. Covert who cared for Sam during his first five days in the hospital and drove him out to Leesburg to see Dr. Bush should be commended on her dedication to seeing him through this taxing ordeal. His technicians did a wonderful job of keeping him comfortable and making sure he had everything he needed while in the hospital. The outpouring of donations and well wishes from members of the community illustrate how much we love our dogs. Thank you to everyone who helped in getting Sam back to his family.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sam Day 7

Sam is doing much better today. He is eating very well and on all oral medications, including pain management. Since he presented to us a urinary catheter has been in place to control his urination. This was necessary due to the high doses of pain medication which made him very sedate. Monday night he was a little frisky and pulled it out. It has not been replaced in order to determine if he can control his urination, this is the last hurdle before he can go home. We do not expect Sam to regain the ability to walk while in the hospital. He will need weeks if not months of intense nursing care at home and physical therapy before this is possible, but I am sure that both Sam and his owners are anxious to have him home. He is stronger every day and everyone at Friendship is very pleased with his progress.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sam Day 6

Sam ate this morning for this first time since his injury! This is definitely a step in the right direction. Once he is eating well we can transition him to oral medications rather than giving all his medications through his intravenous catheter. He still has a long way to go before he is able to stand or walk on his own, but we are very pleased with his progress.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sam Day 5

Sam seemed less painful today so we have started to decrease his constant rate infusion of pain medication. This is an important step because often dogs will not eat while on such large amounts of pain medication. It then becomes a delicate balancing act between keeping him comfortable enticing him to eat. He is not yet able to bear weight, but again we hope that once his pain medication is decreased he will start trying to stand. He seems to enjoy his bed which is in the middle of our treatment area. With all the excitement that is always going on at Friendship there is plenty of mental stimulation for him which is another stimulus to get up and move around. I feel in today's picture compared to yesterday's he is much brighter which is a good sign.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sam Day 4

Considering everything he has been through Sam is doing well today. He is still on a constant rate of intravenous pain medications to help keep him comfortable and broad spectrum antibiotics. We are now dealing with the secondary effects of a 100 pound dog not moving around very much and eating very little. From his extensive wounds and non-existent caloric intake he has developed low protein in his blood which is causing swelling of his limbs. We have him on medications to help counter-act this and are starting physical therapy to increase movement in his limbs. He remains unable to bear weight but his motor function has been improving daily which is a positive sign.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sam Day 3

Sam has been doing well after returning from Dr. Bush's last night. We continue to manage his pain and treat him with broad spectrum antibiotics for his wounds and pneumonia. For the first time since the incident he ate a few bites of food this morning. He is resting comfortably while the inflammation in his spinal cord cause by the bullet fragment resolves which will hopefully allow him to walk again. Dr. Bush feels that he has a very good chance of recovering function in three of his legs. The bullet lacerated a nerve left front limb which may cause permanent damage, it is just waiting game now.

I am happy to report that people have donated over $3700 to Sam's fund. This is a true testament to how much we love our pets; it warms my heart and is why I love coming to work every day. If you would like to donate you may call (202) 363-7300 and mention the Sam Moreno Fund. A sincere thank you from all of us at Friendship.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sam's Story

Friendship was mentioned in Thursday’s Washington Post and that night on ABC 7 (
in regards to Sam a 2 year-old German shepherd who was shot by police during a robbery investigation. He presented to the hospital late Tuesday night in extreme pain with a bullet lodged near his spine and almost completely paralyzed from the neck down. He was started on aggressive pain management and antibiotics until he was stable for more aggressive diagnostics.

Throughout the day on Wednesday Sam owners worked desperately to find the funds to pay for Sam’s hospital expenses. The article in the Post reports that Sam needs an $1800 surgery to get better, this is not quite true. Sam in is critical condition, with many days in the hospital followed by weeks of physical therapy ahead of him, if he survives at all. His veterinary bills would be thousands of dollars and it is possible that he will never walk again.

During the day on Wednesday Sam showed some improvement by moving his hind legs, but he was unable to bear weight on any limb which made standing impossible. Despite use of the most aggressive pain medication we have in the hospital he continued to be in excruciating pain. At this point we recommended that Sam’s owners consider humane euthanasia given his poor prognosis and the extensive cost for treatment. They refused and continued to search for funds.

On Thursday, after exhausting all their options Sam’s owners could not pay for his hospital bills. At this point Friendship offered our Brudder Sullivan Fund to cover the cost of hospitalization and treatment pending a neurologic evaluation by a veterinary neurologist. Dr. Bush (my very favorite neurologist) of Bush Veterinary Neurology Services in Leesburg, Virginia agreed to examine him at no cost to the owner. Dr. Covert who has been caring for Sam since Wednesday morning took it upon herself to drive Sam over an hour away so he could see Dr. Bush. This is an example of another Friendship doctor going above and beyond the call of duty.

After performing a complete neurologic exam on Sam, Dr. Bush was hopeful and that a CT scan and MRI would give us a better idea of what type of damage the bullet had caused. Dr. Bush then offered to pay for these expensive diagnostic procedures with funds from his BVNS Rascal Foundation. The images below show that a bullet had shattered a rib head and a bullet fragment was lodged in Sam’s spinal canal. These results may seem like bad news but there is hope that Sam may recover and regain use of all four limbs.

Thursday night Dr. Covert brought Sam back to Friendship for continuing care. We are treating him with pain medication and antibiotics which will treat both his wounds and the secondary pneumonia that has developed. Friendship will continue to cover Sam's medical expenses and we have been receiving donations from our wonderful and generous clients. He has a long road ahead of him but with aggressive management we are hoping he will pull through. Please check back in frequently for updates on Sam’s condition.