December 7, 2017 8:21 pm
Updated: December 8, 2017 8:05 am

‘He’s a very lucky dog’: northern Sask. dog saved after being hours from dying

WATCH ABOVE: A one-year-old dog found in rough shape on a La Ronge street is heading back to northern Saskatchewan after being cared for at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.


The story of one-year-old Chewy could have had a much different ending.

Named after the Star Wars character Chewbacca, the young pup was found on the streets of La Ronge, Sask., by Chantel Ursu on Nov. 25.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s ‘St. Nick’ helps return dog to North Pole, Alaska

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He’s spent nine days in hospital, first spending a couple days in a Prince Albert vet clinic and then transferred to Saskatoon’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine for one week.

Vets found Chewy had a hernia and part of the intestine had gone through, becoming twisted and dilated, finally rupturing and leaking into his abdomen.

“He had bacteria from intestinal contents in his abdomen, so he had what we call septic peritonitis, which then makes there be bacteria in your blood, and that’s pretty much uniformly fatal,” said Dr. Susan Taylor, a professor of small animal medicine at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

Taylor said his condition was rare and serious enough that he had “hours to days” to live.

“He’s a very lucky dog,” said Taylor.

“If that [surgery] hadn’t happened that day, I think he would not have lived to see the morning,” Taylor said.

After hours in surgery, Chewy is on the road to recovery, but saving his life came with an expense of $7,000 in vet bills. Ursu turned to social media for help.

“People really just rallied together. I would walk around in the hallways in work and people were just handing me cash. I was receiving e-transfers from people all over the country. People were messaging me from Toronto and Vancouver and places like that saying that they’ve seen his story and wanted to help,” said Ursu.

In five days, Ursu said she was able to raise enough to pay the bills, but added this is one example of many neglected dogs in northern Saskatchewan.

“We need people to spay and neuter their animals in the north,” Ursu aid.

“If you see a dog running on the street, don’t just pass by. Call northern animal rescue. Get ahold of somebody. Somebody will be willing to help you get the dog out of the situation.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan dog rescued by firefighters from icy creek caught on camera

On Thursday, the pair headed back to La Ronge and Ursu plans for Chewy to visit her work place as a therapy dog in a long-term care facility.

“He’s got a big purpose in his life and I just knew that this is what I had to do,” Ursu said.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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