RIP Little Buddy – K.U. Jayhawk: 2006 – February 23rd, 2016
His shelter name was Ryker, but we renamed him K.U. (pronounced k-you) Jayhawk when we fostered him on Thursday, February 11th, 2015 after he had been found wandering Lawrence just down the street from the University of Kansas (KU).
Poor K.U. was obviously sick when we brought him home even though the Lawrence Humane Society (LHS) said that their vet, Dr. Stone, had given him a “clean bill of health”. They told us that he had not been eating and had lost a lot of weight in the past week because he was “depressed”, adding that he was on an antibiotic for an upper respiratory infection.
When we got him home, he was lethargic, would not eat, and vomited much of the water he was constantly drinking, peeing every two hours with zero defecation. When the situation continued into Friday evening, we became very concerned about his health and whether he was dehydrated (he was shaking uncontrollably) or not and that he possibly had an impacted bowel. His abdomen was also sensitive to the touch, wincing when I tried to pick him up by the belly and making me believe that there was a bowel problem. We decided not to call the 24-hour emergency number LHS told us was available, but waited to bring him in the next morning if he had not improved.
On Saturday morning, two days after bringing him home, he had not improved (still not eating, no bowel movements, and vomiting most water) and appeared to be in obvious distress, so we took him back to the shelter. We were led to believe that he would be seen by Dr. Stone that day, that he was “severely dehydrated” and on an IV, and had been given medications to help him have a bowel movement and stop vomiting. He was obviously a very sick little dog, requiring immediate medical attention and suffering needlessly. We received no further updates on his status on Saturday other than he was “the same” and that the Dr. Stone would probably now see him on Sunday. We were also not allowed to visit him.
We went to the shelter first thing on Sunday morning and their medical staff told us that he would not be seen by the vet until Monday, that his condition had not improved (he was obviously still suffering), and that we could still not see him. I was very upset by that point and told the medical staff member: “I hope he is still alive on Monday”, adding that we were also not happy because we were being prohibited from even seeing him.
My wife phoned me early Monday afternoon and told me that he had been hospitalized, that they were running more tests, and that it may “cost too much” to treat him now and that he could be “put down”. I called and spoke with a staff member around 1:30pm, asking to speak with someone about his status because my wife had not understood all that was told to her, but was I told the vet was on still “on lunch” and would not be available until around 2:45pm.
I told LHS in a Monday afternoon email that my primary concerns were as follows:
- Why were we sent home with an animal that was obviously very ill before he was given to us?
- Why was KU not seen by a vet over the weekend and allowed to suffer for two days without possible lifesaving interventions/treatment?
- Why were we, his foster parents, not allowed to even see him while he suffered alone in the shelter over the weekend?
- Had he been seen by a vet on Saturday, it may have allowed for interventions that could have precluded further deterioration and suffering, possibly leading to a more positive outcome than seems likely now.
K.U. is a such a sweet little dog and does not deserve the treatment, or lack thereof, that led to his unnecessary suffering and possible death, either natural or by euthanasia. We became quite attached to him in the two days he was with us, cooking for him to try to get him to eat, comforting him as much as possible, and giving him the love he had not been receiving.
It does not seem very “humane” to me to allow a very sick animal to suffer needlessly for more than two additional days when we were told when we fostered him that “a vet is available in the event of an emergency, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week”. I also do not think it is very fair to us, the people that took him into our home and fed, sheltered and loved him, to not allow us to even see him. Is that any way to treat the people that volunteer to foster animals, expending a great deal of time, resources, and emotion in the process?
I finally received a call from Dr. Stone at 3:45pm in response to my email, telling me that his blood tests were abnormal and had a heart murmur, possibly caused by the underlying condition which at that point was still not clear. Dr. Stone referred to him as a “geriatric” dog on two occasions, qualifying the fact that he could be expendable, at least that is how I took it, so I told her, “he’s only ten years old, he not geriatric”. She then told me that they were doing an x-ray to see if there was an obstruction in his bowel, something they said they were going to do two days ago, and that she would get back to me.
Dr. Stone called back as promised an hour-and-a-half later telling me that the x-ray showed that his kidneys and liver were not where they were supposed to be, indicating that there could be a mass in his abdomen but they would not know for sure or what the prognosis was until the radiologist could finish his analysis.
It seems that from what we have been told that he may now be beyond help or that it would be “too expensive to save him” based on LHS fiscal constraints, but it could very well be benign mass which could be removed, allowing him to lead a healthy, happy life with us until we can find him a permanent home.
So I ask you to help save K.U. by contacting the Lawrence Humane Society @LawrenceHumane on Twitter, on their Facebook Page, by phone at 785-843-6835, or by email at email@example.com using the following verbiage:
We beg you … please do not euthanize KU Jayhawk (aka Ryker) unless he is beyond help and it is the “humane” thing to do
Do it now because today could be his last day on Earth and we will never see him again. Spread the word to all of your friends on social media … PLEASE … and ask them to HELP SAVE K.U NOW!
UPDATE: February 18, 2016 – K.U. is at the Blue Pearl intensive care animal hospital in Overland Park, Kansas, 30 miles from Lawrence, but he is feeling a little better. Turns out he has diabetes, but the doctor at the Lawrence Humane Society didn’t realize it, so he went without insulin for several days. Now K.U. has an enlarged liver and pancreatitis, so he needs insulin and rest while his blood sugar stabilizes and his organs start to heal.
Thank you all for your warm thoughts and support. We hope to have K.U. back home with us very soon.
UPDATE: February 23, 2016 – K.U. passed away this evening after being transferred from Blue Pearl to Gentle Care Vet Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas. We were told he had been improving and was being tube fed, but he somehow died during the night. He is and will be greatly missed.
aka K.U.’s Foster Dad
Title: Help Us Save K.U. Jayhawk’s Life – ACT NOW – Tomorrow May Be Too Late
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