Our own Dr. Jim Earley and his wife, Georgia, are happy to announce an addition to their family-and not a four-legged one. Obie is a border collie from West Virginia who suffered severe damage to his right rear leg when he got caught in a leg-hold trap. The leg was so badly damaged and infected that it required amputation. Poor Obie suffered terribly before he was found, but he is now all set for a wonderful life as the beloved three-legged member of the Earley family.
Jim and Georgia are very grateful to a wonderful veterinary technician, Emily Sowards, who was working in Proctorville Animal Hospital (across the river from Huntington, West Virginia) where Obie was taken by a Good Samaritan after being found in the woods. Thanks to Emily, Obie received lifesaving care and a foster home until Georgia and Jim adopted him in the beginning of February. From the first minute he saw him, Jim has been head over heels for Obie, and all of us at AHNA can see why. There could not be a sweeter, cuter or more loving dog. It is humbling to think of what Obie endured and yet he has come through it still happy and loving. He seems to appreciate even the simplest gesture of affection and absolutely loves his new pampered life style. Obie had some very bad luck when he got caught by the trap, but he is among the very luckiest to have landed in Jim and Georgia’s loving care!
With a grin from ear to ear, Dr. Earley says, “Needless to say I am smitten. He is a very special little guy who is still recovering from the rear leg amputation necessitated by his terrible wounds. By the time Obie had his amputation, he was suffering from severe infection and then he underwent the amputation surgery which is major. During my first physical exam of Obie, I discovered that Obie has a heart murmur. I surprised myself at how distressed I became at the thought of Obie having a serious heart problem. The murmur was disturbing to me because he had had exams at two previous clinics and no one had reported a murmur. I was worried that the murmur could be a sign that his heart had recently been damaged by endocarditis due to the infection he had had for so long in his leg. Endocarditis is a condition where bacteria in the bloodstream infect the valve leaflets in the heart and damage them, causing the valve to leak, and the leakage can get worse. We were very thankful that AHNA had just purchased a new ultrasound machine with added features. The advanced technology of the new ultrasound allowed me to evaluate his heart and perform color and Doppler evaluation of his heart valve. I am very happy and greatly relieved because the echocardiogram showed that it does not appear to be an infection on his heart valve and Obie should be fine. Thank goodness, it now appears likely that Obie was born with a valve defect which will not rapidly worsen. He will, of course, have follow up echocardiograms to make sure. Georgia and I feel so fortunate to have added another really special and loving rescue to the beloved pack that is our family.”