Injured Saluki Shams recovering from injury

The vet found Shams severely dehydrated, malnourished, slightly hypothermic, and suffering from a swollen knee/hock.“He is a big, beautiful one-year-old Saluki mixed breed with the gentlest nature. We’ve named him Shams, meaning “sun” in Arabic, and will start looking for his forever home as soon as we can get him the help he deserves.”

That’s what Stacy said, the kind lady who learned about and immediately stepped in to help get care for this badly injured dog.

Stacy and her husband received a call about the abandoned dog from workers at a car garage, located in the industrial area of Al Ain. When they drove over to the shop to see how they could help, they found an adult male dog in obvious pain.

The workers, who had been feeding and caring for him, explained that the dog had been a regular visitor to the garage until a few days earlier when two male customers who’d noticed him exclaimed that since the dog had no apparent owner, they would be happy to take him.

According to the garage workers, a few days later the two men returned to the garage to simply drop the then severely injured dog back in their care, saying that the dog had perhaps been hit by a car. The workers quickly sought help from community animal shelter resources, which led them to Stacy, a woman who occasionally fosters abandoned pets.

“The dog was lethargic, was not eating or drinking and had been lying there on the cold floor for two days,” Stacy said, describing the condition of the injured animal. “It took us an hour and a half to ease him into a travel crate. He couldn’t move very far but was lunging, snapping, and trying to bite! He was howling in pain and fear every time we tried to get near him or touch him.”

Because they had rescued him late at night when veterinary clinics were closed, it was impossible for them to immediately and completely alleviate his pain or seek treatment until the next day, but they provided cushioned bedding.

The following day, while driving to a trusted vet they knew in Dubai, the poor dog was unable to lie down and remained standing for the entire hour-and-a-half trip.

The vet found Shams severely dehydrated, malnourished, slightly hypothermic, and suffering from a swollen knee/hock. A radiograph taken while Shams was under sedation also showed that he’d experienced a femoral head/neck fracture and an oblique fracture from the great trochanter to the lesser trochanter. Pre‐operative care was given to stabilize Shams, and prepare him for surgery.

Shams’ surgery was quite complicated and there was no guarantee that he would even be able to walk properly again. Because the surgery cost was high, Stacy and her husband decided to ask IFAW for financial assistance and we were happy to contribute to saving Shams’ life.

Swelling in Shams’s knee/hock had significantly decreased and surgery was performed.

The intensity of Shams’ adhesions – internal scar tissue forming and hematoma (pooling of blood) led the doctor to determine that Shams’ fracture was already nearly two weeks old.

During surgery, she inserted two pins and secured them with a compression screw to hold the two fractured bones in place. Radiographs taken during and after surgery reveal the benefit of this compression.

Presently, the doctor is giving only a guarded prognosis. Shams’ full recovery from this point depends on the re‐vascularization of the femoral artery.

The doctor informed Stacy that if his healing process proves less than satisfactory, Shams may require a femoral osteotomy.

Shams is recovering well. He is stepping carefully on his left foot and got back to his lovely nature: happy and playful with everyone around him.

We take this opportunity to thank Stacy and her husband, the doctor, and the garage workers for doing their best to show care for this poor dog. We also take this opportunity to remind everyone that taking care of dogs is a big responsibility.

When it comes to the Saluki, a breed commonly found throughout the UAE, special care must be taken to protect them because they are designed to run and hunt and many are especially fond of racing with cars along roadsides. Potential pet-owners need to be ready to face consequences of impulsive actions like taking in these ‘cool’ dogs when they haven’t researched them and do not understand the ramifications of such an undertaking.

That said, all the best to Shams!


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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters