There's a hard bump on O'Malley's front right leg so some x-rays were taken to see what was going on. The results seem to point to a bone lesion of some sort and will have to be further investigated by whoever adopts him. At this point, it's impossible to say what may be the cause of the lesion. There's a chance it might be cancer but a pretty small one. There's also a chance it might have been caused by this:
Those bright spots on O'Malley's x-ray are shotgun pellets. At some point during his previous life in Ohio, someone shot him. Whether the shooting was accidental or on purpose, it would've been all the same to O'Malley: a loud noise, then pain and blood but then what happened afterward? Was there angry yelling or sadistic snickering? Or perhaps the fool with the gun didn't even know the dog had been shot. The pound in Ohio where O'Malley was rescued from had no vet records of this so it's quite possible whatever recovery O'Malley made, he made on his own.
He is a strong boy and a good dog. He does seem to have recovered from the incident, at least behaviorally. He is as lovable a Lab as any Lab will ever be. He likes everyone. He likes pretty much everything a dog can like.
Physically, though, when O'Malley sits, he will sometimes lift his leg up as if he were in discomfort but it usually doesn't seem to affect his movement, especially when he's out walking or playing.
O'Malley isn't the first dog to come through TAS-South from Ohio with gunshot wounds. There have been at least two others, discovered after the dogs were adopted out and their respective owners had their x-rays done for one reason or another. The dogs turned out fine but they'd be taking their chances walking through airport security scanners.
So that's at least three wounded refugees now from a gun culture that seems to love God and bullets in equal measure.
That bump in O'Malley's leg - maybe it's a piece of shattered bone from the gunshot. Maybe it's a cyst. Maybe something else. Whatever it is, the new owner will have to deal with it and that's worrisome because it's going to put a damper on the number of people who will be interested in adopting this wonderful dog.
After transporting him here from Ohio, then transporting him back to Ohio for his months long heartworm treatment, then transporting him back here, he's still burdened with this unresolved issue. It's frustrating and unfair but fairness is never really part of the equation when it comes to abandoned animals. At least he's alive.
At the park the other day, injury or no injury, nothing could stop him from having a good wrestle with a new friend.
I'm hoping someone will give this big happy goofball a chance.
For adoption information on this dog and other dogs (and cats and other animals), please visit Toronto Animal Services.