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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.

7 Comments to “O'Malley's x-ray”

  1. mel says:

    Hopeful Hearts took in a dog from Kentucky earlier this year and after an Xray we discovered pellets throughout her head, chest, and legs. She'd been on Metacam for a while for the pain and it was no longer doing the job, and since surgery wasn't an option.. the powers that be had to make a difficult decision.

    People are messed up.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Fred, any chance the TAS vets can remove the pellets?

  3. Fred says:

    Anon, I'm not sure they're equipped to do that much surgery and it may be one of those things where if the pellets aren't a bother then perhaps just leave them where they are. The vets seem more concerned about the leg than anything else.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This dog has tugged at my heart since he was first posted. What a journey he's been on. When I googled bone lesion, it defaults to bone tumour and eventual amputation. Is this what concerns the vets?

  5. Fred says:

    Anon, a cancerous tumour is a possibility but from what I've been told, a pretty slim one.

  6. deva says:

    It's possible it's a bone spur, no?

    My dog has one of these on his rib cage - ugly bump but harmless.

  7. Fred says:

    deva, could be but I think someone will have to do a biopsy or something like that to confirm.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.