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  • Writer's pictureFlorida Urgent Rescue

Marcus was Surrendered to the Shelter in Critical Condition

Updated: May 16, 2023

๐—ฌ๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—”๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—˜๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐˜†! We always know it's bad news when we get a call from a shelter after hours. We got an SOS from Bradford County about a 5 month old puppy who was surrendered at closing because he has been vomiting, he had bloody diarrhea and hasn't eaten for 5 days, and he couldn't drink water. He was acting like he was in major pain.

The person who surrendered him said "he's a huge chewer and chews everything" so he might have a blockage, but she didn't want to take him to the vet. For 5 days! Parvo test was negative, so it sounded like a blockage.

He was in critical condition, and the shelter staff didn't think he'd make it through the night. Every rescue is full and struggling. It was late in the day, and regular vet offices were closing, so our only option was an ER vet. We didn't have a foster and we didn't have a place for him to go, but we knew we needed to help.

We scrambled to come up with a plan on the fly. We texted Dr. Apolo, one of the ER doctors at Capital Vet, telling her what we knew so far. She wasn't working, but she asked "how can I help?" She relayed what we knew so far to the doctor on duty. Susan Merrill worked the phones trying to find the fastest way to get him there.

The Bradford County shelter is an hour and fifteen minutes from Capital Vet, so it would be a 2 1/2 hour round trip. We cut that in half by calling some trusted volunteers who dropped everything to help. Torena Rowe has transported for us many times, and she immediately headed to the shelter. Any time there is an emergency, we also know we can always count on Kelly MacDade to help. She also jumped in her car and headed in that direction, and Torena and Kelly met halfway for the handoff.

When Kelly was about 10 minutes away, we got a call from Capital Vet telling us they had too many major emergencies already, and they couldn't take him. While we were on the phone, Dr. Apolo texted us with the same message, saying she was working on it. Before we even wrapped up the call, Dr. Apolo texted again telling us that she was going into the clinic (on her day off) and she would take care of him. She arrived with her husband, Dr. Nichols, who also came in on his day off to help.

Our critical pup didn't have a name yet, so we decided to call him Marcus, after Marcus Aurelius. Drs. Apolo and Nichols immediately hospitalized Marcus, ran bloodwork, Xrays, and did an ultrasound.

The news was even worse than we expected. This poor boy is in very bad shape. He is septic, extremely dehydrated, tachycardic and he has a fever. His white blood cell count was only 900 (normal range is 6,000-17,000), and his neutrophil values were only 90 (normal range is 3,000 โ€“ 12,000 per microliter).

The possible good news is that Xrays and ultrasound don't show an obstruction, but he's so dehydrated they could not rule out a foreign body yet. He has severe gastroenteritis, and he may have a bowel intussusception (a life threatening condition where the bowel telescopes into itself). If that's the case, he'll need emergency surgery.

Dr. Apolo gave Marcus a bolus of IV fluids, and he's on a high rate of fluids and antibiotics. She also gave him Cerenia and GI protectants. His immunity is very compromised, and his WBC is critically low. On top of everything else, he also has ringworm. He will be hospitalized for the next 48 hours, and possibly longer.

Thank you to everyone who worked together to try to save this sweet boy. Thank you Deputy Summerlyn Byrd, who stayed late to reach out to rescues about this critically ill dog, and thank you Torena and Kelly for once again jumping in to help when there was a dog in danger. Finally, thank you Dr. Apolo and Dr. Nichols, who continue to impress and amaze us, again and again. There are a lot of great veterinarians out there, and there a few who are so dedicated and who go so far above and beyond, again and again, that we can never find a way to adequately thank them.

Please say a prayer for this sweet boy. Marcus is still in very critical condition. If you'd like to help, please consider a tax-deductible donation. We've already spent $2,400 on him, and if he needs surgery, that will go up dramatically. Even in the best case scenario, we'll likely spend a lot more. We joke that "Urgent is our Middle Name" but we need all the help we can get to save dogs like Marcus. Thank you to everyone helping him!

To Foster: To Adopt: To Donate: โ€” Credit Card: โ€” Venmo: @FloridaUrgentRescue โ€” PayPal: โ€” CashApp: $FloridaUrgentRescue โ€” Mail: Florida Urgent Rescue 7643 Gate Parkway #104-27 Jacksonville, FL 32256

๐—™๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐— ๐—ข๐—ก๐—ง๐—›๐—Ÿ๐—ฌ ๐—š๐—œ๐—ฉ๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐—ฃ๐—ฅ๐—ข๐—š๐—ฅ๐—”๐—  Sick and injured animals need help fast. Every donation helps, but Monthly donors give us flexibility to respond immediately when there is an emergency. When there is a hoarding case or a hurricane, a dog with a gunshot wound or a cruelty case, we have to act quickly. We don't have time to do a fundraiser, and wait for those funds to get to us. Your monthly donation can help us save lives again and again.

๐—ง๐—ข ๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—”๐—ฅ๐—ก ๐— ๐—ข๐—ฅ๐—˜ ๐—”๐—•๐—ข๐—จ๐—ง ๐—ง๐—›๐—˜ ๐—™๐—จ๐—ฅ ๐— ๐—ข๐—ก๐—ง๐—›๐—Ÿ๐—ฌ ๐—š๐—œ๐—ฉ๐—œ๐—ก๐—š ๐—ฃ๐—ฅ๐—ข๐—š๐—ฅ๐—”๐— , ๐—ฃ๐—Ÿ๐—˜๐—”๐—ฆ๐—˜ ๐—ฉ๐—œ๐—ฆ๐—œ๐—ง: Florida Urgent Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, a Guidestar Platinum participant and a 2023 Top Rated Nonprofit on Great Nonprofits. Learn more about FUR at:


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