Update: Baby Sugar (IV)

It’s been a week after Baby Sugar’s surgery to insert an external fixator and try to save her leg. She was back at the vet for a review.

3 months into life and she has never known happiness

Have you ever seen such a sad puppy?  Puppies are supposed to be happy and boisterous. 

Watch her here.

Her wound was bleeding a little because callouses had formed, causing her leg to swell and push against the external fixator. The vet used a spanner to loosen the fixator. Throughout this process, Sugar just lay on the table comfortably, allowing the vet to do all that without a single protest. Pretty amazing for a tiny 2.5 month old puppy.

Trying her best to hold herself up

Checking on her other wounds

Sugar is really sugar, she is such a pleasant dog. Even the vet kept commenting what a darling dog she is.

The vet adjusting her external fixator and look at that sweetheart just lying there!!

In our eyes, Sugar is a PERFECT PUPPY <3

Her wound was bleeding because the external fixator was too tight

After adjusting; the metal must never touch her skin - which is why she needs to return every week to have it adjusted

Sugar has lost a few hundred grams but hopefully will start eating better. We discovered something else too, her front right leg is deformed. 

Her front right leg is deformed. She was probably born this way and will require a surgery when she is fully grown.

The vet says she would need another surgery when she is fully grown, to insert a metal plate in her front leg. That metal would remain in her leg forever.

Sugar taking her first steps at the vet

We're in this with you, Sugar <3

Such a pretty & perfect puppy

Poor Sugar, her problems seem never–ending.

Email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg if you'd like to help baby Sugar.


Harper's Vet Visit & Bad News

These past few weeks have been one blow after another.

Last week, Harper was taken to the vet for leg spasms. Instead, we were told that she's suffering from a degenerative neurological condition and that there is no cure.

Dr Ly checking Harper's pupillary light reflex (PLR)

For those who aren't familiar with Harper's story, she is 4+ years old and was rescued when she was just 6 weeks old. She was born with many deformities. The vet suspected that her mother might have been exposed to high levels of toxins, or maybe hit by a car when she was pregnant. Only Harper survived; all the other unborn puppies died. Harper was born with a broken spine, under-developed organs, and neurological issues. Despite all her problems, Harper was a cheerful puppy, a brave little fighter. Her foster has raised her like any other dog, always encouraging her to try new things. With the help of a wheelchair, Harper gets around just fine and even goes for regular hydrotherapy and massage sessions.

A week ago, Harper's foster noticed that her hind legs were trembling on and off, with sporadic muscle cramps. Her leg would seize up and became bent like a chicken wing. The muscles were so tight that her leg couldn't be straightened. Massaging her leg for about half an hour helped her muscles to relax and straighten, but only for a while. Before long, she would cramp up again. Occasionally, both her hind legs would even become locked together and we would have great trouble separating them.

Over the past 1 week, Harper's nerves have deteriorated and she can no longer stretch her left hind leg

Harper's hind legs locked together while she sleeps - foster needs to check on her regularly and uncross her legs

So we took her to Dr Ly, the vet who saved her and gave her a chance when all the other vets suggested that we put her down. The good vet immediately suspected that Harper's problem was not a muscular one, but a neurological one. He shone a torch into Harper's eyes and confirmed that her pupillary light reflex (PLR) was slow, which is a symptom of a neurological problem. We realized that Harper's difficulty with drinking water was also another symptom. She has trouble coordinating the slurping action, so we have been giving her 400ml to 500ml of subcutaneous fluids per day. She is also unable to pee on her own, and needs help with expressing her bladder.

Getting a jab for her nerves

Dr Ly delivered the sad news that Harper's nerves are deteriorating, and that there’s nothing more that can be done for her. He can give her supplements to slow the deterioration, but there will come a day when Harper will have difficulty eating. We dread that day but deep down, we know it’s inevitable. For a dog born with a broken spine, Harper has come a long way and had an amazing journey. For now, Dr Ly has asked us to stop hydrotherapy but continue with massages and short daily walks.

Oh Baby Harper <3 <3

If you would like to sponsor Harper's vet bill of $150/- or her ongoing massage sessions ($195 for 5 sessions), please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Written by : Elena


Update: Baby Sugar (II)

Sugar has been discharged from the vet. She's now temporarily under the care of a HOPE volunteer, and we're in the process of looking for a foster home for her.

Watch her video here.

Eyes that show no emotion

Sugar needs to be fed 3 to 4 meals a day. Her current caregiver is monitoring her wound closely to make sure that it's healing well, and that it's not bleeding or weeping pus. Since her surgery last week, Sugar has tried to get up and put weight on 3 of her legs, but she's still in too much pain to stand properly. The vet expects recovery to be slow.

Holed up in a corner, that's all she does 

The vet also commented that Sugar is terrified of everything, such as the vacuum cleaner at the vet's office, and any sudden or loud sounds. Poor Sugar spends a lot of time huddled up in fear and shivering in the corner of her cage. It seems like she isn't just timid, but has actually been badly traumatized in some way. You can just take one look at her eyes and immediately see how much pain and fear she's in. One of the volunteers even asked, "I wonder what she has seen that has made such a young one become this way?"

Sugar with her external fixator to hold her shattered bones in place
Sugar has a large open wound under her left arm, probably got scraped when she took a tumble

Shortly after this photo was taken, she crawled off the bed. She doesn't yet know what a bed is for and prefers lying on pee pads. If you would like to donate a waterproof bed, please let us know. (for easy cleaning)

At least, we're relieved that Sugar has started eating again, even though her appetite is extremely poor. She is also now free from ticks and fleas. She will be back to the vet for a review in 1 week's time, and we hope that she'll have made more progress by then.

If you are able to foster Sugar or would like to know more about fostering requirements, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Written by: Elena


Update : Baby Sugar

Baby Sugar went in for surgery yesterday. The 3-hour surgery was successful, and she will remain at the vet for observation and recovery until the weekend. She's still not feeling well, is not eating and her spirits are very low. Poor baby.

Read her rescue story here.

3-month-old Baby Sugar was found on the fourth floor of a multi-storey carpark, with injuries on her face and body. The vet suspects that she had been hit by a motorcycle.

Just out of her surgery

She has an eternal fixator on her leg, to hold her bones in place

Her right leg was completely shattered, so the vet had no choice but to use an external fixator to provide stability during healing. Since she is a young puppy, her bones are still growing rapidly, and the vet might need to make adjustments to the external fixator as Sugar slowly heals. She will have to come back to the vet every week for a review. If all goes well, the external fixator can be removed in about 6 weeks.

So much suffering for a tiny puppy just 3 months into life

Sugar will be discharged from the vet in a few days, but she still needs post-surgery care to ensure that her wound remains clean and free from infection. She will be fed 4 meals a day, given cage rest, and restricted to minimal movement. 

If you are able to help with Sugar's vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Sugar thanks everyone for showing her kindness, and we can’t wait to see her well and cheerful again!

Written by: Elena


Baby Sugar

It started as a regular day. We had no idea that it would be a day filled with pain and sorrow.

Today we received an email, “This is regarding a puppy I saw in the carpark at 492. Her back limbs are injured and she can't seem to walk normally. Though my fiancé and I tried to keep her warm and fed her milk but she was too afraid of us. So we didn't want to trouble or hurt her. Please is there any help available as both limbs are injured. She is in pain and there are open wounds in their body. She is in deck 4B. I really hope you can help asap as I tried to find a contact number to call you but I couldn't. Thanks.

Photo we received via email

We haven’t been rescuing for some months as we have been low on funds, and we have many special needs dogs to care for, although we have been actively sterilizing strays. But when we saw this email, we instinctively felt the need to rush down and look for the puppy.

Two volunteers collected a carrier and rushed down to the car park, driving up to level 4B as the email mentioned. Thoughts ran through our minds – what was an injured puppy doing on the 4th level of a multi-storey car park? How did it get there?

Sitting in the drain for God knows how long

As we approached her, she sat up but made no effort to run. She allowed us to carry and place her in the carrier.

We headed to the vet, she lay quietly in the car, very quiet and subdued for a puppy this age. She only cried once, really loudly, when she tried to turn. We thought perhaps her spine was damaged.

Help make SUGAR smile again

Upon Vet’s examination :
Female Puppy, 3 months old
Open wounds on head and body
Extremely listless
Hind legs very little reflex 

Shattered bones

X-Ray Results :
Upper right leg bone totally shattered
Left leg swollen and very little reflexes

Conclusion :
She may have strayed from her mommy and wandered out into the housing estate to look for food. Someone may have scared her or beat her and she panicked and dashed into oncoming traffic; there were tire marks on her tiny body.

Tire marks on her body

Some questions remain :
1)    Why do humans prey on the sweet and innocent?
2)    How did she end up on the 4th level of a multi-storey car park?

Feeling extremely dejected

Sadness in her eyes

She has been warded, to be stabilized. Stay tune for more updates on sweet baby Sugar.

Watch her rescue here.


Matthieu; Black Gold

At HOPE Dog Rescue, we are no stranger to senior dogs and dogs with special needs. Among those, we have Matthieu, a sweet senior dog who has been through a tragic experience. Matthieu is our oldest rescue dog, and is 15 years old!

Matthieu’s hind legs were paralysed due to a terrible and unfortunate incident several years ago, when he used to live as a stray on a work site in Jurong Island.

Now, in order to walk, he requires a wheel chair, kindly donated to us by our donors and friends; we really, truly appreciate it!

Our lovable old man, even though he is 15 years old and paralyzed, his health is in tip-top condition, really enthusiastic – especially when people shower him with love and affection! He is so handsome and charming, we guarantee that you will find him simply irresistible!! 

He is still waiting for his FUR-ever home, even after all this while. Given his gentle and sweet personality, rest assured that caring for him is relatively easy! All you need to make sure is to express his bladder 2 - 3 times a day, to maintain his health and take him for short walks, or even just chill with him at a park.

Even these young ladies find him irresistible!!

Would you be willing to give this sweet old gentleman a chance and give him his FUR-ever home? Email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg or simply fill up this form!
We hope to hear positive responses from you soon!


You Are What You Eat

Food is important for all living things. It nourishes you and keeps you going every day. You've probably heard of the adage "you are what you eat". If you want to be healthy, you have to eat healthy. And this concept applies to our pets as well.

HOPE advocates home-cooked food for all our rescue dogs. It's the healthiest and safest option for our furry companions. After all, if you're the one doing the food preparation, you'd know exactly what's in your pet's next meal. The same cannot be said for commercial kibble or canned pet food.

Did you know that, unlike human food, the pet food industry has little to no regulation by the government? This means two things:
  1. The labels on the packaging may not be accurate and may not include a full list of ingredients used.
  2. Ingredients that are listed may not be safe.

The bottom line is, it's difficult to be sure that commercial pet food is actually safe. Are you willing to take that chance and gamble on the health of your pet?

In a bid to make their products more "nutritious" and thus more “attractive” to consumers, some companies add vitamins and minerals into their kibble or canned food. But this often makes things worse instead of better. Our pets' bodies are not designed to break down these synthetic vitamins, and so they build up as toxins in the liver and kidneys. Over time, it may even lead to organ failure.

These packaged food are produced with profit-making in mind; thus an extended shelf life would be ideal to generate more earnings. Can you imagine the amount of chemical preservatives that will go into these commercial pet food in order to extend their shelf life? If we ate instant noodles or processed food day and night, it would only be a matter of time before our organs start failing due the accumulations of toxins and chemicals – the same applies to our furry friends! Assurance of premium quality does not make a kibble any less of a kibble.

Then you might think "Well, I've been feeding my dog the same brand of food for 5 years, and he's still in the pink of health!" While our dogs may look healthy now, it's when they get older that we'll begin to see the negative health effects brought on by the synthetic ingredients they've been fed their whole lives. This might also mean increasingly expensive vet bills to deal with their health problems.

The only way to be absolutely sure that your pet's food is safe and healthy is to cook it yourself. It's easier and less time-consuming than you might think!

Written by: Wee Yen


Thyroid In Dogs

There are many health conditions that can affect dogs, but thyroid problems are especially prevalent in senior dogs as they have lower hormone levels due to old age.
What are the symptoms of thyroid disorders in dogs?

Matthieu, our oldest rescue dog. His fur loss and dry flaky skin was part of his thyroid symptoms. 

-       Lethargy, general weakness and inactivity
-       Mental dullness
-       Unexplained weight gain
-       Excessive shedding or poor fur growth
-       Dry coat
-       Excessive scaling
-       Recurring skin infections
-       Intolerance to cold
-       Tilting of head to one side (uncommon)
-       Seizures (uncommon)
-       Infertility (uncommon)

Drawing blood for a thyroid test

Doing a skin scrape to check for fungus

Sometimes the symptoms may not be obvious – take for example Matthieu – his fur has been shedding for almost two months and despite two visits to the vet, he has not improved even after finishing his rounds of medications and creams. To get to the bottom of his symptoms we had him tested for bacterial and fungal infection as well as ringworms – but it turns out the he has a very low thyroid hormone level – with one of the symptoms being loss of fur.

Plucking some fur to test for ringworms

To diagnose thyroid conditions, the blood test T4 will be administered and usually yields results within half an hour. If tested positive for a thyroid disorder, the dog will require thyroid medications or supplements all their lives, like poor Matthieu here. He was calm and collected throughout his test and we couldn’t be prouder of this brave chap!  

Our favourite old man, feeling extremely proud of himself after the vet consult 

Ain't he cute? He's 15 years old and still going strong!!

We hope you can help contribute and sponsor his monthly thyroid medications. If you would like to help dear Matthieu, kindly email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg and we will be in touch soon!

Written by: Wee Yen