On Thursday, August 16, the IndyHumane medical team received a note from Indianapolis Animal Care Services that a stray dog needed immediate medical attention. Not an unusual note to receive from IACS on any given day, but this particular dog’s situation was abnormal. Pumpkin, a young tan pit bull mix, appeared to be suffering from a gun shot wound to her back. Pumpkin was surrendered that Thursday morning as a stray, but her story prior to arrival at IACS is a mystery.
Pumpkin was rushed to IndyHumane quickly by a transport volunteer, where an initial physical evaluation began. The shy, 42 pound terrier mix was remarkably alert and responsive, but after a series of x-rays it was determined she needed emergent surgery.
The radiographs revealed that the bullet had entered between Pumpkin’s shoulder blades, and exited on the left side of her torso. In it’s path, the bullet managed to cause injury to her diaphragm, a vital muscle that allows the lungs to fill with air, and excess fluid was filling around her lungs. The injury to her diaphragm, also known as a “diaphragmatic hernia”, was undeniably life threatening to Pumpkin. Surgery was immediately performed to repair the damage done to the diaphragm, which also asserted that she would need a chest tube placed to aid in removing the excessive fluid.
With the support of pain management and antibiotics, Pumpkin managed to recover from her life-saving surgery without issues, and her chest tube was removed 3 days following. She received exceptional care and attention while in the Intensive Care Unit, and improved swiftly without issue.
Although it was clear this bashful pittie was unsure of her new surroundings, it quickly became evident that she had a very friendly disposition. Pumpkin was as sweet as pie (see what I did there?) and promptly won over the hearts of staff and volunteers. Though you could always find her resting quietly on her green kuranda bed anytime you approached her kennel door, Pumpkin would never deny a nice walk.
Like most of our shelter pets, we don’t know where Pumpkin came from. But thankfully, Pumpkin’s journey brought her to IndyHumane. We can’t change her past, but we can promise Pumpkin a bright future full of love and kindness.
– Anna Knabe, RVT