UPDATE ON FEBRUARY 15TH: Since our last update, Queenie has been progressing steadily, though her journey has not been without its share of hurdles. Her recovery took longer than we could have anticipated.
As she began to adapt to life as a tripawd, Queenie's back hip, still healing from a previous surgery, caused her some unexpected difficulty. She didn’t want to consistently put weight on that back leg. She even gave us a bit of a scare when she took some strides on only two legs. We took new X-rays and consulted with an orthopedic specialist. Fortunately, they confirmed her joint had, in fact, healed well from her hip surgery, but she didn’t trust that she could put her full weight on it.
As we gathered more information about Queenie’s healing injuries, we began to realize her recovery was complicated by Queenie’s mental condition. She had been through so much trauma in so short an amount of time that she couldn’t believe her body was actually healing.
She was convinced that every time she put a foot down, or someone touched her amputation site, she would hurt. She’d yelp before being touched or standing up, mentally anticipating pain.
Her loving foster family was patient with her, even when she refused to get into or out of their car, both at the shelter and at home. They enlisted the help of DCHS staff to distract her before she was lifted in and out of the car for her nearly daily exams. They also provided her with a ramp to get down the short distance to the backyard until she was again ready for two stairs.
Our vets were concerned that wearing the cone that prevented her from licking her surgery site was just adding to her struggle with navigating on three legs. As the surgery site was healing well, our Animal Medical Services team found her a cloth bodysuit to protect the amputation site. From that one small change, her mental wellbeing almost immediately began to improve.
After a couple more days of her foster family’s ongoing loving care, Queenie finally turned a corner. She realized her body wasn’t betraying her every time she moved, and, in fact, she felt better than she had in a while.
She eagerly waited for her foster to lift her into and out of the car, she quickly hopped down the steps from the house to their backyard, and she raced around their home as she tried to make friends with her foster home’s cats.
Even as her mental well-being exponentially improves, for Queenie to further progress and thrive, she needs specialized physical rehabilitation to rebuild atrophied muscles and regain strength in her hip. Thanks to your support, DCHS could refer Queenie to a specialty canine rehabilitation clinic where she will soon start the next part of her recovery journey.
Alongside Queenie through every step of her rehab journey will be a loving family who has already been invested in her well-being. Because of her extended recovery needs, Queenie stayed in foster care longer than we initially expected, and her foster family soon found themselves developing a deep bond with her. She is often found snuggling with the other dog in the home, and they enjoy running around their big, fenced yard together. After some adjustment, the cats also decided Queenie could stay – she managed to make friends with them and often can be found licking their heads! Queenie’s husky howls now eagerly greet her human and furry family members.
On Monday, February 12th, her foster family made it official. We are thrilled to announce that Queenie is in her new home!
We’re also delighted to share that once she is fully healed, Queenie will have a role as a DCHS Humane Education animal ambassador, teaching kindness and empathy alongside our Humane Education team.
Your support has been the driving force behind Queenie's extended recovery, and we are immensely grateful for your generosity. Your determination to give her a second chance at a joyful and pain-free life has made a profound difference, and with her future role in Humane Education, will continue to make a profound difference for a long time to come.
On behalf of Queenie and everyone here at DCHS, thank you!
UPDATE ON JANUARY 31ST: Last Friday marked a crucial milestone for our beloved dog Queenie as she underwent the much-needed surgeries that your contributions made possible. Your kindness has directly transformed Queenie's life, allowing her to overcome the challenges she faced after being hit by a car in Texas.
During the surgeries, Queenie's front leg, which caused her significant pain due to missing toes and the main paw pad, was amputated. In addition to a broken canine tooth, dental x-rays revealed several teeth were broken at the gumline from the accident and needed to be extracted, making the procedure more extensive than initially planned. It was a lengthy and intricate process, but thanks to your support, Queenie emerged from it with newfound hope for a brighter future.
Since the surgeries, Queenie has been recuperating in a nurturing foster home, surrounded by love and care. Her journey to recovery involves adapting to life as a three-legged dog, and her foster family has been helping her navigate these changes.
DCHS's veterinary team is diligently managing her pain and monitoring her recovery, which is taking a bit longer than expected due to her previous hip injury. However, each passing day brings encouraging signs that Queenie is on the road to feeling better, from her wagging tail to her many kisses for her human friends.
Your heartfelt well wishes for this special pup and your unwavering support throughout her extended recovery are deeply appreciated. Because of you, Queenie is now one step closer to finding her new loving home. We will continue to share updates as Queenie's healing progresses. THANK YOU again for all of your continued support for this very special pup!
UPDATE ON JANUARY 26TH: We're overjoyed to share that today is the day our dear furry friend, Queenie, is undergoing life-changing surgery with the skilled Animal Medical Services team at DCHS, thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors! Your support has made this possible, and we couldn't be more grateful.
Queenie is a resilient soul who first captured the hearts of people in Texas, and now Wisconsin and beyond. Today, she's receiving the care she deserves, all because of YOU! Please join us in sending positive vibes and good wishes to Queenie as she embarks on this journey towards a healthier and happier life.
We believe in her strength and the power of community love. A heartfelt THANK YOU to each and every one of you who contributed, shared, and stood by us in making this happen. Your compassion has made a tangible difference in Queenie's life.
FIRST POSTED ON JANUARY 22ND: Queenie is clearly in pain. She often refuses to put weight on her paw and whimpers when it touches the floor.
She came to Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) on a lifesaving transport from Texas last week. Queenie had slipped away from her family and was running around loose in Texas. First, she was attacked by another dog, and then she was hit by a car. Once returned to her family, they thought she should be humanely euthanized due to her many injuries and surrendered her to an overwhelmed shelter in Texas.
Rescue groups in the area that help advocate for animals in their community’s shelter met Queenie and knew this friendly, gentle dog deserved a second chance. They found a generous donor to pay for her initial medical needs and a foster home to provide her with a safe place to recover. In mid-November, they picked her up from the shelter.
Queenie was examined by a veterinarian, who found that one leg was broken from the collision and one hip was dislocated. Her left front leg was given a cast, and she was put on crate rest for three weeks while the fracture healed. She then had her right hip fixed with surgery.
Queenie’s left front foot was also damaged in the traumatic encounters she experienced while loose, so she had a procedure to remove two severely damaged toes and part of her main heart-shaped paw pad. The rescue in Northern Texas thought it was healing well and determined it was time for Queenie to start her next chapter. She just needed someone to give her a chance.
But they didn’t think Queenie could get that chance in Texas.
Many overcrowded shelters in the south (especially in Texas) are forced to consider euthanizing even healthy, adoptable animals to make space for never-ending new intakes as intakes far outnumber the adoptions. Dogs with medical needs like Queenie often can’t be helped due to limited resources and space. The rescue group that had already done so much for her knew her best chance was in a different region, somewhere adoption demand is higher.
Somewhere like Wisconsin.
Because of our community’s enthusiasm for adopting shelter pets and management of our local animal overpopulation, DCHS can bring in lifesaving transfers of dogs almost weekly from overwhelmed shelters and rescues. And thanks to DCHS’s team of highly skilled and experienced veterinarians, we don’t have to turn away (or consider euthanizing) animals like Queenie who have complicated medical challenges that can’t be easily addressed at most shelters and rescues.
Last week, Queenie joined over fifty other dogs on a lifesaving transport from northern Texas to Wisconsin. Twenty-one of those dogs came to DCHS. When DCHS staff first met her, we could see why everyone in Texas thought she was so special. Even as she limped down our hallway, obviously still in pain, Queenie remained sweet and trusting of humans.
During her initial exam, DCHS veterinarians gently removed Queenie’s foreleg bandages and examined her damaged leg and paw thoroughly. Queenie has significant lameness in her limb and whimpered when her bandage was removed.
The main issue is her damaged paw.
The paw is trying hard to heal, but there are areas of chronic ulceration to the skin. Dogs need their tough paw pads in order to comfortably bear their weight. When they try to walk on soft skin, even if that skin is fully healed, they are prone to reinjuring their paws from the pressure of their weight or scraping their pads on rough surfaces.
In Queenie’s case, because two of her toes had been removed and her main paw pad had been so damaged, she was trying to put weight that would normally be supported by her whole foot on just two toes and very tender paw skin where the pad had been. This had already caused and would continue to cause significant trauma to skin that kept trying to heal.
Sometimes after walking only a short distance, her foot begins to bleed.
“She limps noticeably and tries to lick and chew at the foot,” says Lisa Bernard, DCHS’s Public Relations Coordinator, “all of which indicates ongoing pain.”
Taking all this into account, DCHS’s veterinarians have decided a full forelimb amputation is the best path forward for Queenie’s long-term wellbeing.
“New skin wounds are likely to form frequently in the future,” Lisa explains. “An amputation will allow us to get Queenie comfortable and pain free permanently.”
While Queenie is receiving her amputation surgery, DCHS veterinarians can perform an additional essential procedure: extracting a broken canine tooth. Because our veterinarians are familiar with these procedures and have a high success rate, Queenie can be available for adoption in just a few days, rather than requiring weeks of recovery for an injury that may never fully heal.
Through it all, Queenie has been very friendly and snuggly. She leans in for pets and demands cuddles from her human friends. She is now relaxing in a DCHS foster home so she can settle in before her surgery day and recover after surgery in a familiar, comfortable, and loving environment.
Her DCHS foster says, “Queenie is such a sweet, loving girl! She is eager to play with our dog and absolutely loves the snow. However, it's obvious that front paw is really bothering her.”
Each lifesaving transfer like the one Queenie arrived on costs DCHS around $5,000, because once at DCHS, every dog receives a veterinary exam, any essential vaccines needed, behavioral evaluations, and spay/neuter surgeries if they are unaltered. For example, on Queenie’s transfer, there were ten dogs who needed to be spayed and neutered before they could go to their new homes, as well as a dog who needs eye surgery.
Our team of skilled veterinarians enable us to help animals with complicated medical needs, but more complicated and unexpected medical challenges tend to be more costly.
So, we’re turning to our incredible community to help Queenie heal.
We are grateful to the original rescue for seeing what a wonderful dog Queenie is, funding her previous surgeries, and giving her another chance, and we are honored to have the opportunity to help her on her journey towards healing and finding a loving new family.
You too can be a part of Queenie’s journey by giving today!
Queenie is currently relaxing with a DCHS foster family. We kindly request you watch our website for updates to Queenie’s status, and not contact our Adoption Center at this time. Thank you for your patience and support!
Any additional funds raised will be used to continue the work our Animal Medical Services does every day to provide high quality medical care to thousands of companion animals each year.