Galway's Road to Recovery

ROAR partners report their work each month after receiving a shipment and these reports typically include a hardship or success story. We were introduced to “Galway” via one of our Partner’s reports submitted on January 23. This partner, Sherry, updates us regularly about animals that come into their rescue. Galway was clearly going to be a success story to share.

Galway's Swollen Face Before Care It was clear that the porcupine quills were interrupting Galway's ability to eat.

Galway was brought to us by a teacher in Spring Creek. His face and mouth were full of quills and his body was nothing but bones. It has been a couple months since we first began treatment on Galway. He’s returned to the Vet clinic three times for more quill removals from the interior of his mouth. With a continued treatment of antibiotics, the swelling is finally going down. Galway has gained 22 pounds and is nearing his ideal weight goal. Yippee! He is feeling better and now loves to play…we are committed to doing all we can to help him regain health so that he can begin living a beautiful, well deserved life.

Galway was found on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in south central South Dakota. Sadly, he had a mouthful of porcupine quills. Unfortunately, tussles between porcupines and dogs have been a long-standing problem. In 2006, a Canadian Veterinary Journal published a paper on “Porcupine quill injuries in dogs: A retrospective of 296 cases (1998-2002).” A glaring lesson from the report was,

because of the increased frequency of complication with a longer interval until presentation, clients should be strongly encouraged to bring the dog in as soon as the quill injury is discovered.

It was clear that these quills were interrupting Galway’s ability to eat. Interventions were necessary at various levels of care, each one as important as the next. Kudos to the teacher who was able to convince the injured Galway to trust her enough to travel in a car and to be turned over to Sherry and her veterinarian for the next level of intervention!

Galway's Shiny Coat After Care Galway showing off his shiny coat.

Reservation Animal Welfare (RAR) is also a link in the intervention chain. Through the delivery of food, supplies, shampoos, and some flea and tick medication, we help support our Program Partners in their work with the animals. Many partners have a network of foster families who care for the healing animals. They receive the food and supplies we send to help minimize their out-of-pocket expenses. This is important because many times the medical costs can spiral for high-needs animals. Sherry received six shipments last year and has been a partner for several years.

Another way many of the ROAR partners communicate with supporters to rally around their rescues is by using social media to highlight a specific animal. Galway was actually turned over to Sherry in mid-November last year. They immediately began to introduce Galway and his special needs to their online community. Here are the initial entries the first week of Galway’s rescue and recovery…

11/14/13 - "A face full of quills, starving. Galway is alive due to the tender heart of a young woman, who could not bear to see him alone and suffering. Without her act of kindness, Galway would be dead…Galway is being fed a gruel of canned food as he cannot chew. He seems so grateful for the kindness and care he is receiving. Appreciative of a warm place to sleep, safe and comforted by those taking care of him…Galway had a great day. He was able to meet one of his sponsors and he thoroughly enjoyed those kind words and petting. In just a 24-hour period, being fed several small meals throughout the day, Galway gained 2 pounds. Galway's face remains severely swollen even though he is on antibiotics (and pain medication) as there are still quills inside his mouth, which cannot be removed until the swelling goes down."

In many cases, these posts include advocacy and education to the online community. In one post, it was shared that Galway’s’ condition did not even register on the Canine Body Condition Score Chart — also referred to as a Body Condition Score (BCS). Using a 5-point scale to assess animals, this is the terminology used in animal assessment from several common sites:

    1 - Emaciated/very thin
    2 - Thin/Underweight
    3 - Moderate/Ideal
    4 - Stout/Overweight
    5 - Obese/Obese

Galway's Face After Care "Galway" is named after Sir James Galway, the flutist.

Just a few days after Galway was rescued, there was a big 'shout out' to those sponsors who provided funds for his vet care:

11/19/2013 - Thank you Sue, Torrie, Deanna, and Julie for helping to sponsor "Galway"! A long road to travel yet...A journey of pain and suffering which no animal should have to suffer..."Galway" is named after Sir James Galway, the flutist - as I feel he needs some beautiful music in his life...I anxiously await the day when "Galway" is healed, so we can truly see what he actually should look like, and celebrate with him, the birth of a new beginning. Know you are loved, "Galway!"

After fourteen weeks of rescue, recovery, love, attention, toys, and food, Galway was hearing the music again. He had entered the Canine Body Condition Scale and was close to his ideal weight. Adoption was just around the corner for him.

Health and wellness is paramount to rescues and that’s why many Partners’ adoption process includes:

  • Health Check
  • Spay/Neuter
  • 3 sets of Distemper/Parvo vaccines
  • Rabies Vaccines
  • Micro-Chip
  • Frontline Top Spot
  • Heartworm Preventative
  • Heartworm Test (age appropriate)
  • Dental (if necessary)
  • The intervention chain of Rescue and Recovery is a strong one with many links. We are honored to be part of this chain.

    Thank you for being a strong link in this chain as well!

    Galway's skinny body before care Before

    Galway's healthy body after care After