Puppy on the road to recovery

This is the size of the bladder stones found inside of Yorkshire terrier Audrey Hepburn.

The Animal Welfare Society of South Africa recently saved the life of a tea-cup sized stray Yorkshire Terrier found wandering the streets of Strandfontein.

The dog, named Audrey Hepburn, was admitted into their care on Sunday May 27, after having been found wandering the streets of Strandfontein in a bewildered state. “Upon admission, it was noticed that she walked hunched with a pronounced, bandy hind quarter. Her walk was so awkward that we initially thought that she may have been struck by a car or large blunt object and suffered a fractured pelvis. It was that bad,” said Allen Perrins from Animal Welfare Society of South Africa.

“Our veterinarian decided that the only way to positively determine the cause of her pain and peculiar walk was to mildly sedate and then X-ray her as a matter of urgency. Despite her poor state, Audrey initially resisted being physically examined and needed a lot of gentle and loving persuasion before becoming subdued and trusting enough for the procedure,” said Mr Perrins

Contrary to what everyone expected to show-up on the X-rays, there were no broken or fractured bones instead a significant mass of bladder stones neatly puzzled together was found in her tiny bladder. “The pain and discomfort she must have had to endure is unimaginable,” he said.

Their veterinarian put Audrey on a course of strong anti-biotics and anti-inflammatories and booked her in for theatre the following day.

“Given her precarious condition and the invasive nature of the surgery, the entire team could not help but wonder if she would endure the operation and wondered as to the extent of the stones,” he said.

It was not until after their veterinarian removed five massive stones from her bladder that the team safely carried Audrey to intensive care.

“When Audrey eventually came round from the anaesthetic, she looked exhausted but the painful expression that previously masked her cute little face had given way to an adorable ‘smile’. She would go on to live a normal and pain-free life. She has become somewhat of a canine celebrity strutting her stuff in the adoption centre where she is well on the road to recovery,” said Mr Perrins.

She will require a special diet to ensure that the offensive stones do not return but according to the team, it is very partial to roast chicken and rice – with gravy, when she eats it, he said.

“She needs to recover as she has gone through two major operations. Her recovery requires her to sit still or sit in someone’s lap otherwise her knee will pop.

“As soon as she has fully recovered this adorable little soul will be put up for adoption and we are confident that she will find a loving forever home with one of South Africa’s very own stars. You can follow her journey on their Facebook page, Animal Welfare Society of SA,” said Mr Perrins.

No one has come forward to claim Audrey yet, said Mr Perrins.

“She has latched onto Christine Leonard, our adoptions centre manager, and follows her around the office like a little shadow.

“She has a feisty little attitude and one would never say that she is still on the mend from an invasive surgery. She has been described as humble, good-looking and intelligent with darling brown eyes and long lashes. And she is eligible,” said Mr Perrins.

Before she leaves the care of the Animal Welfare, she needed an operation on her luxating patellas (a knee-cap job) to correct her peculiar walk. A luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its normal location, as indicated by the term “luxating” which means out of place or dislocated. Last week, she went for the operation, and it was successful and she is okay now, said Mr Perrins.

“She has quite an expansive wardrobe of warm winter jackets and seems to enjoy being fussed over. In due course, we hope to find her a loving family,” he said.

“They reason why we’ve named her Audrey is because, Mr Famous was Audrey Hepburn’s first beloved Yorkshire terrier. He appeared with her in a scene in Funny Face. It was Ms Hepburn who introduced Yorkshire terriers to the world of celebrities. Mr Famous was the object of her love and shared centre stage with her on many magazine covers. We think the name is utterly befitting of this pint-sized-lap dog who is bound to find her very own South African celebrity,” said Mr Perrins.

To adopt Audrey or any of the pets up for adoption, you can contact their office 021 692 2626 and ask for Christine Leonard, the adoptions manager.
You can also email adoptions@
awscape.org.za for more information.