Help Zeke Heal

Help Zeke Heal2023-07-13T10:05:13-04:00
Zeke came to us in April from our Rescue Partner Paws4Life, he had a wonky paw that he dragged along the ground, though he never missed the chance to play or get a good scratch. The paw was damaged beyond repair, and this week doctors removed the paw to help this young pup have a better quality of life.

Don’t be sad for Zeke, though. This is just the start of his new journey. Zeke was fostered by Angelica, a member of the nursing team at our Pet Health Centers. Angelica met Zeke early on and fell in love with this silly, playful puppy. After fostering him for a few months, Angelica signed the adoption paperwork and made it official! Now with a new home, new mom, and new canine sibling, Zeke also has a new name — Riggs! Watch the video below to learn more about Riggs and his new life, all thanks to the support of our Help Me Heal Program.

As Zeke has been spending time in a Foster home, he’s been getting bigger and stronger every day. There is even a friendly three-legged canine in the home who has been showing him the ropes. This has been especially helpful considering Zeke’s recent follow-up at our Pet Health Centers.

After seeing a specialist, it was determined that the damage in Zeke’s paw was too great, and that removing it would be the best thing for Zeke as he continues to grow. The surgery will soon be scheduled but for now Zeke, a very optimisitc puppy, is happy for a sunny day and a roll in the grass.

Help Zeke Get to Be a Puppy

Though his front leg drags along the ground, three-month-old Zeke is still playful and curious, running up to greet everyone around him. Now it’s up to the team at our Pet Health Centers to address Zeke’s medical condition, in order to prevent significant problems for him as he grows. It will require all our veterinary expertise, but we are determined for Zeke to have the active, happy life he deserves.

For the homeless animals we rescue, their medical histories are often unknown, which can make treatment a greater challenge. We first heard about Zeke from our rescue partner in Louisiana, Paws4Life, who asked if we could help this adorable, white Lab mix with a wounded front limb. When Zeke first arrived, it seemed his knuckled under paw was the result of a tendon issue. “Some growing puppies can get tendon contracture where it pulls their wrist down,” said North Shore Animal League America Chief of Veterinary Staff Dr. Mark Verdino, “but then we noticed that while Zeke’s wrist does have motion, he just can’t control it.”

Additionally, our veterinary team observed that Zeke appears to lack feeling in his paw. “Even when we squeeze on it, he doesn’t react,” Dr. Verdino said. “Now we think he may have suffered nerve damage.” Fortunately, Zeke is not in any pain, but our specialists must determine the best course of action to provide him with the best mobility possible. “The question will be do we fuse the wrist so it’s in a functional position,” Dr. Verdino noted, “or would he do injury to himself if he can’t feel it?” Another option for Zeke could be a prosthetic, but all surgical intervention must wait until his bones are done growing at about 6 to 7 months of age.

The next step for Zeke is a full orthopedic consult to get a better understanding of his condition. Then a treatment plan will be put in place for when he’s bigger and stronger. Until then, Zeke will spend some time in one of our dedicated foster homes where he will be nurtured as he grows. Zeke has a long road ahead, but this sweet pup has two very important things in his favor. His playful, resilient attitude and the support of our lifesaving Help Me Heal Program. Your donation today can change the world for sick and injured animals and give them a healthy, joyful future.