Lily was emaciated when she was pulled from a rural Arizona shelter by Hope of Deliverance. Our volunteers noticed a raging infection in her mouth. Lily was given antibiotics to reduce the infection, allowing us to see further damage. Bone was exposed on the roof of her mouth, and she would need to see a specialist. At VCA Animal Hospital in Tucson, the vet discovered an oral fistula (opening) from her sinus cavity into the roof of her mouth. She got more antibiotics and a consultation with oral specialist Dr. Rocco, to assess bone grafting options.
Dr. Rocco informed us that Lily’s mouth was much worse than we could have imagined. Her bone had been eaten away through the roof of her mouth. Dr. Rocco assembled a team from Pennsylvania and Australia to discuss the best course of action to attempt to fix her mouth. He said at best, it had a 50/50 shot of working, but we wanted to do absolutely everything we could for Lily. She had her entire life ahead of her, and deserved a chance at a happy, healthy life. We gave the “go-ahead,” even before having funds. Within 6 hours, our incredible donors and volunteers raised $3,800 for Lily’s surgery! As Dr. Rocco began, Lily’s bone deteriorated in his hands. Luckily, he noticed some healthy bone that he was able to graft onto. He said the surgery went beautifully, and he was so thankful we decided to go through with it. That was Lily’s only chance of surviving.
Over the next week and a half, Lily had stitches replaced in this high use area of her mouth. She went in for continual re-checks, and the last one was devastating. Lily spiked a fever, lost weight and her mouth was not healing. Lily was suffering. The roof of her mouth was not closing, and her body was fighting infection. We would have done anything we could for her. However, the damage was irreversible, and letting Lily be pain-free was the absolute best thing we could do for her. We were gutted, as we know all of her followers and supporters were. However, Lily wouldn’t want you to feel anything but happiness, because through it all, that is what she had known – she had the most incredible spirit no matter what life dealt her. She would want you to think of her playfulness, kindness, light-heartedness, and smile.
Help Hope of Deliverance give hope to other dogs in need by purchasing lovely Beading Divas bracelets. The cost per bracelet is $20, with no tax. The bracelets make great gifts any time of year! The best selection is online via Etsy but in Tucson you can also buy bracelets at Fuchsia Spa in La Encantada Shopping Center and Silver Sea Jewelry, in the historic 4th Avenue Shopping District. Silver Sea is now open on Thursdays by appointment only (call or send a private message via Facebook), Friday and Saturday from noon to 6 pm (masks and social distancing required) and Sundays for live online shopping starting at 4 pm (MST). Bracelets are not for sale during live online shopping, but other dazzling jewelry is available.