Tickled Pink Weimaraner Rescue quickly responded to a report about a Weimaraner in a high-risk shelter facing euthanasia. The organization was shocked to discover that the dog, subsequently named Gilbert Grape, had a significant tumor on his underbelly, which made it difficult for him to stand. TPWR is unsure how long Gilbert suffered without medical attention or how he survived. Keri Pink, a media relations volunteer with TPWR, spoke with DogHeirs to explain the rescue and ongoing recovery of Gilbert. Gilbert was discovered as a stray during an extremely hot Arizona summer day and was confined to a shelter’s isolation area due to a diseased tumor.
We lovingly dubbed him Gilbert Grape because of the huge grape-shaped growth hanging from his chest. Gilbert was rushed to a veterinary hospital that specialized in round-the-clock care, where the medical team determined that he required blood transfusions and catheter stabilization before the surgeon could attempt to remove the tumor and save his life. The cost for the diagnosis, stabilization, and surgery was roughly $7,000 – a hefty sum for rescue volunteers and veterinary staff who made it their mission to rescue Gilbert. While private pet owners have the freedom to decide on their animal’s treatment, rescues depend on public support and must balance the necessary medical interventions with their limited resources.
The age and medical background of Gilbert were not specified, but the outcomes of his blood test showed that he had a high white blood cell count due to the infected tumor. The team guessed that he was approximately seven years old. Despite this, Gilbert’s eyes gleamed with hope and the team was determined to provide him with an opportunity. Nevertheless, they understood that public assistance would be necessary to achieve their goal.
We sought advice from multiple veterinary specialists and surgical professionals to ensure that we were making the best decisions for the dog’s health. Furthermore, we initiated a social media drive, informing our Facebook audience about the matter, which led to a notable increase in contributions.
After going through a check-up, the doctors finally removed the surgical staples from Gilbert’s chest and gave him a clean bill of health. Unfortunately, carrying the tumor for more than a year took a toll on his body, resulting in a loss of muscle mass and physiological strain. The veterinarians reported that Gilbert’s rear legs were ataxic and he had very little muscle mass throughout his body. As a result, he tends to walk awkwardly due to his incorrect center of gravity. Despite his physical fragility, Gilbert’s foster parent is thrilled to see his charming and humorous personality shine through every day. To help him recover, Gilbert is set to undergo a physical therapy program consisting of massages, manipulations, and water treatments.
Gilbert’s tale has captured the attention and affection of many, most likely resulting in numerous proposals for adoption. Although he is not currently up for adoption, Gilbert’s prospects are optimistic. His adoptive family’s love and devotion have enabled him to flourish since his rescue a year ago, despite the diagnosis of hip dysplasia. To ensure his well-being, his family even built a pool for him to undergo regular water therapy. Furthermore, Gilbert has formed a strong bond with his newfound family.