OHS veterinarians perform an intricate medical procedure to relieve a dogs painful ear condition.
With her endearing underbite and stocky stature, it’s easy to see why Faith caught the eye of staff and volunteers when she came to OHS. Yet life had been tough for her before she came to the shelter to get some needed medical care and TLC.
She was originally found as stray wandering around an industrial area in Oakland, CA. She was in bad shape and suffering from an ear infection. Despite the pain she must have been in, she was friendly and affectionate. One month later — after treatment — she was transferred to OHS in the hopes that she would find a loving home.
She was adopted and returned when her persistent ear infections became too difficult to manage. The OHS medical team worked for months to get her ear issues under control, but it was an impossible task. Faith was also likely in a lot of pain from the constant infections and polyps that had developed in her ear canal. Her chronic medical issues were deterring adopters. Veterinarians decided she was a candidate for a TECA, total ear canal ablation. Faith was almost completely deaf from the years of chronic infections and scar tissue build up.
“The TECA surgery was a last resort for Faith,” says Dr. Emily Ferrell, OHS veterinarian. “Most shelters and many private practice vets don’t do this procedure. It’s also very expensive and complicated since we are operating near major nerves.”
Recovery after a TECA surgery is typically long and challenging. Since Faith’s ear canals were removed, surgeons also had to stitch her ear holes closed. Faith had to wear a a large plastic cone around her neck for weeks to make sure she didn’t rip her stitches open. She also needed to be on medication to prevent infections. OHS veterinarians monitored her recovery closely, while animal care staff and volunteers helped Faith remain happy and busy during her time in the shelter.
Faith was given an extra-large kennel and lots of soft beds to stay comfortable. She was also given many opportunities to expend her endless energy. Although surgery seemed to calm Faith down a bit, she was still a young dog and needed exercise and training.
Volunteer Margaret Spear worked with Faith every morning and was charmed by her silliness. They would play games in Manners Hall to keep Faith’s mind busy. Margaret would hide treats for Faith to find, play fetch and practice her crate training. Getting Faith accustomed to wearing a harness was always an adventure. “She really hated the harness at first,” says Margaret. “She would fling herself onto the ground, roll around and snort whenever I would put it on her.”
Faith also joined the OHS running team and would go on short runs once or twice a week. She loved the extra outings.
When Faith was finally cleared by the OHS medical team to be placed up for adoption, it only took a few days for her to find the perfect home. Her adopter now chronicles their life together on Instagram @preciousfaith_01.