Bruce was found wandering down a busy road, mostly deaf, with only a few tufts of hair on his bloated body. His thickened skin, full of edema, hung so loosely on his belly that he was initially mistaken for a girl. His ears were severely infected and sore; he was such a good boy but he just could not tolerate having his ears touched. He would turn around and lick you in warning - ?I don't want to bite you, so I will taste you instead!?
That was the information that we got from our local animal services when we went to bring back some animals to our shelter. He seemed an unlikely candidate for adoption but he was so sweet and had already been through so much. We simply couldn't leave him behind. It seemed like he was a superhero to have survived walking down that busy road without even being able to hear the cars, sick and hungry. Hence the name Bruce......as in Bruce Wayne.
It took a good nine months to get him in any kind of shape to be made available for adoption. Our veterinarian put him on antibiotics, a special diet, and even anesthetized him to clean out his ears several times. He was much better - not 100%, but much better. He got adopted, and his new family continued to bring him to our clinic for care. Even with us covering some of the costs, after a year they decided that they couldn't do it anymore. We were heartbroken for him.
We scraped together the money to take him to a specialist and have him allergy tested. He had had a serum allergy test early on, and it had picked up a couple of allergens but the skin tests are much more accurate. He is highly allergic to a particular type of storage/dust mite. He was put on injections and now has the most beautiful fluffy coat!
The last piece of the puzzle is his ears. They have just never improved to a satisfactory level. They are a constant source of pain for him, and give him no benefits since he's mostly deaf from the chronic infections. It was recommended by the specialist that he have a total ear canal ablation (TECA). The ear canal is removed in its entirety. From the outside, he will look the same since the ear flap will be kept - but inside, he will at last be pain-free. Something that he has deserved for a long time.
The surgery is $1,500. We simply do not have that much in the medical budget to cover it. Having the surgery would mean that he could be adopted into a loving home and not be a burden. We have a special fund that will pay for his allergy injections. Without the ear troubles, Bruce will finally be that superhero that we have always known him to be. And who knows? Maybe we will get him a cape....