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Nicholas, A Pup in Need

Update - Now a Pup Loved!

To everyone who loves Siberians,

I'm posting this to tell you about a very special Siberian Husky puppy named Nicholas who needs our help. He's only about 10 weeks old and has already been through far too much for such a little pup: Late on the night of December 11, 1999, this poor little guy was picked up by animal control after being hit by a car (he would've only been about 8 weeks old at that time).

He was wearing no collar and had no ID, so he was held at the shelter for over a week, in hopes that his owner would claim him. No one did. During this time, he received no treatment for his injuries. The shelter didn't even vaccinate him when he first came in like they usually do with strays. (If a dog comes in that's sick or injured, all they do is hold it. Period.)

The shelter then had only two options: put him to sleep, or call Siberian Husky rescue and see if we could take him and get vet care for him. (They didn't know the full extent of his injuries since they don't have an x-ray machine at the shelter.) So they called me and told me the situation.

I e-mailed Marilyn Lassagne (State Rescue Coordinator for Calif.) to get her input, then I went to see him. I took one look at him and knew I couldn't leave him there to be euthanized. I paid the adoption fee and did the paperwork, but couldn't pick him up until the following Monday (12/21/99) after he was neutered. (Injuries and all, the shelter insisted on neutering him before he left.) He'll be here with me until he's well enough to be adopted.

I took Nicholas to my vet (who is a Godsend, BTW) hoping he wasn't hurt too badly. But as it turns out, he needs surgery to repair his injuries. My vet took an x-ray, and we discovered that Nicholas has fractures in the SI (sacroiliac) joints, both sides, and a fracture and subluxation to the pubis (pelvis). It looks like his whole pelvis is sort of pushed forward from where it should be.

The good news is, his injuries are treatable, and as young as he is, he will heal very quickly, with an excellent chance for a full recovery. The bad news is, the surgery will be expensive. Since both sides of the pelvis are involved, it will probably require two surgeries, one to do one side, then a second surgery to do the other side, which adds to the cost.

In the meantime, we have to keep him crated, which is hard on him because he wants to run and romp and play and be a puppy, but we can't let him move around too much and injure himself further.

Even with all his injuries, he's such an adorable little fireball! He's so exuberant and full of life. He's very vocal, talks, sings and howls, and is not afraid to "tell us off" when things are not to his liking. He lets us know, in no uncertain terms, that he wants OUT of his crate, thank you very much!

December 28, 1999 Update: Nicholas has now been seen by an orthopedic vet, who feels that surgery is unncessary, as healing has already stabilised the injury. She feels that he will continue to heal and grow normally, and that no surgical intervention will be necessary, now or in the future. We can gradually begin to let him spend more and more time out of the crate to build up his muscles and strength, and he should be absolutely fine, in her opinion.

January 24, 2000 Update from Lisa:
I wanted to give you an update on Nicholas. Thanks to your site and the Siberian Husky Rescue site, I received many e-mail inquires about him, (from as far away as TX, LA, and MA!) but we found a great home for him here in So. California.
My husband and I took him over to his new home this last Saturday (01/22/00). He was adopted by a very nice couple who have a sweet, absolutely gorgeous, spayed female Samoyed/Husky mix. The two dogs were crazy about each other, and I think Nicholas will be very happy there!
Health-wise, he's doing great. He only has about 1 week left of "no rough playing or wrestling" (vet's orders, to make sure he continues to heal properly) but he runs and plays, and generally acts like the adorable 14-week-old puppy he is.
To look at him now, you'd never guess he'd been injured so badly. He doesn't have so much as a limp, and the vet doesn't expect he will have any problems in the future. He was very lucky. I'm so happy to have found him a wonderful home, but I miss him terribly!

Lisa Ignacz, Southern California Siberian Husky Rescue
Email: kenandlisaignacz@email.msn.com

Nicholas at his new home, the day we took him there, on 01/22/00.
It shows him on the right and "Dorian", their 3 yr old Samoyed/Husky mix, on the left.