You are hereIsabel the St. Bernard recovers from being hit by a car
Isabel the St. Bernard recovers from being hit by a car
WARNERS, NY - The Kiteveles family lives along a busy Warners Road. In early December their granddaughter took their 3 year old St. Bernard named Isabel outside. "The kids all love her. She's a big teddy bear," said Denny Kiteveles. Isabel is a powerful dog weighing nearly 100 pounds.
Suddenly she pulled away and ran toward the traffic. "Izzy pulled the leash out of her hand," explained Kiteveles. "Isabel headed right for the road. A car was coming and caught her in the kind quarter. Broke her femur."
The family first brought Isabel to the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Center in Baldwinsville. They took x-rays to confirm the broken leg. The next day they visited their regular veterinarians at the Fairmount Animal Hospital. The decision was made Isabel needed surgery to repair the leg. Estimates from orthopedic surgeons in the Syracuse area reached toward $5000. The Kiteveles' live on a fixed income. They faced a life and death decision for their beloved pet due to the price of the necessary care.
That's when the Fairmount Animal Hospital called the Shamrock Animal Fund. That's the fund founded by NBC 3 news anchor Matt Mulcahy and his wife Jamie Pomilio-Mulcahy. The Shamrock Fund pledged to help pay for the cost up to $1000. It always asks the owner to pay some of the bill and veterinarians to offer a discount or some sort of financial accommodation. Pomilio-Mulcahy suggested the family contact the Mexico Veterinary Hospital in Oswego County where Dr. Peter King performs surgery.
Dr. King offered to due the surgery to repair the broken femur for $1500. Combined with the money from the Shamrock Animal Fund the family would pay the rest. "If I didn't get the extra help from the Shamrock Animal Fund I would have had to put her down," said Kiteveles. "I just couldn't afford it."
On Saturday, December 11th Isabel arrived at the Mexico Hospital. The staff welcomed her and prepared her for surgery. Before bringing Isabel into the operating room Dr. King was optimistic about the surgical outcome as he chatted with Denny. "She's bright," said Kiteveles. Dr. King answered, "One way or another she's coming through this."
While Dr. King went to work Denny talked affectionately about the St. Bernard ruling the roost at home, "She sleeps with my wife and I." Matt Mulcahy asked,"Is their room in the bed?" Denny laughed as he said, "Not much."
In the operating room Dr. King worked on the mid-shaft femeral fracture. He pulled back the flesh to expose the bone. It was the kind of break that was repairable by screwing a metal plate into the bone to firmly reconnect the two pieces. "When you get both ends lined up together its going to heal bone to bone rather than callus," said Dr. King. "It's going to be a much quicker recovery." The surgery would allow Isabel to be up and walking in a few days.
One technician monitored Isabel while she was under sedation. The technician also occasionally handed Dr. King the next surgical tool. He did the heavy lifting admitting that orthopedic surgery gets quite physical when trying to reposition a bone in the correct position. His measurements, his manipulation and attachment of the plate all ended up on target. Over an hour later the surgery was complete. He checked Isabel's repaired leg with x-ray images. The picture revealed all eight screws firmly holding the plate in place. An additional break in the pelvis was left to heal on its own.
In his decades in the field Dr. King has seen a lot of need among pet owners. He appreciates the effort of smaller, flexible organizations that are able to help alleviate some of the pain that comes along, "Somebody has to take up the ball. It's little groups like Shamrock for instance."
By late December during a visit back to the Kiteveles home in Warners a St. Bernard named Isabel came bounding out of the house, held by a leash, with the energy of a puppy. The only remaining indication of the surgery was her coat growing back on that hind leg. Kiteveles said Christmas was wonderful at their house having Isabel healthy and home.
"It's a God send," Kiteveles said of the Shamrock Animal Fund. "We would have had to have him put down. It would have been like losing of the family. Anyone who wants to donate to an animal fund please call the Shamrock Fund."
You can support the continuing work of the Shamrock Animal Fund and its partners by attending Shamrock's Celebration 2011 on Saturday March 19th at 6:30 pm at Pj's Pub and Grille in Armory Square, Syracuse. Tickets cost $50 per person. You can make reservations or donations online at Shamrockanimalfund.com. Checks can be made payable to: Shamrock Animal Fund, 7815 Karakul Lane, Fayetteville, NY 13066.
Read CNYCentral.com Matt's Memo article where this story originally appeared.