Dog surgery

Alice, a four-year-old Doberman Pinscher, has a wrecked knee in her right hind leg and is awaiting expensive orthopedic surgery.

Despite being bed-ridden and in constant pain, Alice remains the sweetest dog ever.

“It’s heartbreaking that she’s confined to her bed right now because it’s painful for her to get up and walk,” said Kelowna SPCA supervisor Enjulie Bedi.

“But there’s a steady stream of people going by her bed to give her lots of attention. She likes it best when she gets cuddled and she’s around people.”

Alice, a four-year-old Doberman Pinscher, has a wrecked knee in her right hind leg and is awaiting expensive orthopedic surgery.

Alice has a ruptured cruciate (the ligament that holds the knee together) and a torn meniscus (the cushion at the bottom of the knee joint).

To repair the problem, tibial-plateau-levelling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery is needed, which costs $5,233.

The Kelowna SPCA is doing a fundraiser to cover the cost.

You can donate any amount in-person at the SPCA branch at 3785 Casorso Rd. when it’s open daily noon to 4:30 p.m., or you can phone 250-861-7722 during those hours or give online anytime.

Alice has a special section at Support.SPCA.bc.ca under the Donate tab and the Medical Emergency sub-tab.

The SPCA tries to get as much volunteer time from veterinarians as possible, but surgery has hard costs that often can’t be covered by a vet volunteering.

That’s why it turns to fundraising.

The SPCA also finds pairing the effort to a particular animal in need gives the fundraising a face and a compassionate boost.

That’s why you can contribute specifically to Alice.

Any money raised over the $5,233 Alice needs will go to another SPCA animal needing surgery.

Alice was surrendered to the Kelowna SPCA earlier this month by a couple who were moving into a new place that didn’t allow dogs.

At the time she had a slight limp that SPCA staffers made a note to keep an eye on.

After a few walks, the limp got worse and it got to the point where Alice, a normally energetic and playful canine, didn’t want to get out of bed because the pain was so piercing.

The ruptured cruciate and torn meniscus were diagnosed and surgery prescribed.

It’s hoped Alice can get in for the operation in the next week or two.

She will be spayed at the same time.

After that she’ll need rehabilitation, medication and daily care at a specialized foster home for eight to 12 weeks.

When Alice is ready, she will be put up for adoption through the SPCA’s regular process.

“Because Alice is young and we caught her problem early she should make almost a full recovery,” said Bedi.

“She’ll be able to walk and play and maybe run around the backyard to play ball, but probably not go on long runs or hikes.”

Bedi describes Alice as calm and great with people, but shy.

“But her heart opens up and you see how sweet she is when she gets to know you,” said Bedi.

“She’s great with people, but is what we call dog selective, which means she likes some dogs and she doesn’t like some dogs. She needs to go to a home with no other pets.”

Unfortunately, the SPCA is used by some pet owners as a place to surrender their dog or cat when it gets sick or injured and requires medical attention they can’t afford.

That’s why the SPCA stresses that people don’t get pets unless they are physically, emotionally and financially ready.

That said, the Kelowna SPCA only has seven dogs and 68 cats in its care right now.

“Some people find that number, particularly the seven dogs, low,” said Bedi.

“But more people get their dogs spayed and neutered, so we have fewer dogs coming in and those that do and are healthy usually get adopted in nine days or less. People in Kelowna are also good at wanting a rescue dog.”