A 5-week-old puppy who was found nearly frozen to death is beating the odds after being rescued from a rural community in northern Manitoba, Canada.
“Just before we left, we visited a community member who had found three 5 week old puppies. One very near death. She was stiff, pale, and you could barely see her breathing. You couldn’t feel a pulse,” Manitoba Underdogs Rescue writes. The rescue group was on one of their regular visits to northern communities where they help feed and pick up stray dogs.
The hypothermic puppy would need to be driven two hour drive to the nearest city, Winnipeg, if she was going to make it. “She was kept against one of our volunteers for direct body heat, had hot packs, and corn syrup rubbed on her gums,” said the rescue group.
“Throughout the drive, she began wiggling a bit. Then, the groaning and protests of being disturbed to be checked on start. Our team began to have some hope! Although, she would still not open her eyes or hold her own body weight.”
She made it to Winnipeg Animal Emergency Hospital where vets said her body temperature was so low did not even register on a thermometer. Although she tested negative for parvovirus, she was obviously hypothermic and hypoglycemic. The vets put her in an incubator and tried to raise her body temperature over several hours.
When her temperature finally stabilized, she was offered a meal and she was very hungry. Staff at Winnipeg Animal Emergency Hospital shared a video of Demi alert and eating. “We’re very excited to see this little girl perking up and acting like a puppy again!”
“I’ve never seen a puppy recover after being that cold,” said Manitoba Underdogs Rescue executive director Jessica Hansen. “I thought she was going to pass away in our arms on the drive to Winnipeg. She was nearly dead.”
Manitoba Underdogs Rescue regularly visits First Nations communities where Demi was rescued with other rescue groups to help the animals there. They work hard to build relationships with the communities they visit and have a policy to not identify them, as it could cast “a negative shadow on the kind people that live there and work so hard to give these animals a better life”.
Although everyone is encouraged that Demi is doing better, the husky-shepherd mix still has a long recovery ahead of her.
“Demi is improving, but she still has a long recovery ahead of her. She is having diarrhea still, and did vomit this evening,” said Manitoba Underdogs Rescue. “This puppy is fur and bones – that’s it.
They visited her at the vet hospital and “were so happy to see her standing, albeit wobbly, on her paws. She is still requiring the incubator to keep warm. She has eaten small amounts of food.”
The little pup “really loves being held and touched – otherwise she tries her best to howl so someone pays attention to her. She certainly likes the attention she has been receiving!”
With her foster caregivers she’ll never be cold. They got her a special winter jacket, but we’re not sure if she likes it – too cute!
A few weeks after her arrival at Manitoba Underdogs Rescue she went for a special vet visit to treat a rash and mange and, although she lost the tip of her tail due to frostbite, she “is growing like a weed and doing amazing.”
Pupdate: Demi has been adopted and has a loving home.
Visit Manitoba Underdogs Rescue’s website if you would like to help other puppies like Demi. Share this rescue story with your family and friends and encourage others to foster and support their local rescues!