Rescue Dwayne “The Rock”
One dog’s journey from extreme abuse to finding a loving forever home
Dwayne has received so much love and support that we want to keep you up-to-date with his road to recovery. Bookmark and check back on this page often for his latest updates!
June 20, 2017
Let’s get physical!
Nearly 2 weeks after receiving cutting-edge stem cell therapy treatments intended to speed post-surgery healing, we’re thrilled to report that Dwayne is making great strides in recovery. Following his first facial reconstruction surgery, his breathing has continued to improve and his snorting habit is nearly gone! Healing is going so well, in fact, that his medical team is confident that his second facial reconstructive surgery, which will include his bottom left lip and the deep scarring on top of his nose, will be scheduled soon.
His stitches from his hip have been removed, and he’s beginning gentle rehabilitation exercises under the watchful care of Dr. Patricia Carter. Because he so used to keeping weight off that leg, it’s necessary for Dr. Carter works to carefully to support Dwayne in gentle exercises that encourage use of the back legs. Walking slowly uphill or standing in a “hug” position with Dr. Carter are two of Dwayne’s favorite ways to strengthen his muscles. (Dr. Carter doesn’t mind the hugs either!)
In our continued effort to use all applicable modern medicine to help heal Dwayne and transform his life, he’ll soon begin receiving laser therapy on each area impacted by surgery. Laser treatments have been shown to speed healing, reduce inflammation and help with pain. He’s responded incredibly well to medical care so far, and it’s of the utmost importance to the Center to do everything in our power to support his progress.
We continue to get well wishes for Dwayne from around the world. We can’t thank you enough for all the love and support this wonderful boy is getting. Go Team Dwayne!
June 8, 2017
Dwayne Receives Cutting-Edge Stem Cell Therapy
A renowned stem cell therapy institute – Vet-Stem Biopharma– has stepped up to the plate to offer cutting-edge treatment to help Dwayne’s healing and put him on an even quicker path to his forever home!
Dr. Jeffrey Schaffer, Vet Stem veterinarian and head of professional services, was made aware of Dwayne’s situation by a colleague who had utilized the Center’s Companion Animal Hospital for her own pet and heard Dwayne’s story. Vet-Stem Biopharma, the Poway-based organization founded in 2002 by owner and CEO Dr. Robert Harman, performed its early life-saving work almost exclusively on horses. Its technology, which harvests tissue from an injured animal and delivers the animal’s own healing stem cells back to the site of the injury and throughout the body by IV, is nothing short of a modern miracle. Over the last 7 years, the treatment has been expanded to domestic dogs and cats. The procedure normally costs around $2,500. Moved by Dwayne’s story, however, Dr. Schaffer and the organization have offered to help the orphan dog at their own expense.
“His story is heartbreaking,” stated Schaffer, “and we all have such a passion and a love for animals. We know the capabilities of this treatment and how it can help with his healing and really change his life.”
Yesterday, during Dwayne’s hip surgery, Dr. Carter removed a small amount of fat tissue from his abdomen and Vet Stem went to work isolating the healing stem cells. Today, Dwayne received his first stem cell therapy.
Video of Dwayne getting the stem cell injection with Dr. Carter and Dr. Schaffer:
June 2, 2017
A Trip to the Groomer
On Friday, Dwayne received a day of doggie pampering, courtesy of Sydnee’s Pet Grooming! He was such a good boy during his bath and was so proud to show off his fresh, clean look.
After his trip to the spa, Dwayne spent the day playing and lounging at Club Pet Boarding (where he stole the hearts of everyone he met.)
Looking handsome in his bow
His snout continues to look better and better every day!
May 31, 2017
Dwayne’s Second Consult on His Elbow
Dwayne continues to improve every day from his first surgery on his lips. The swelling has significantly decreased and the incision areas are healing nicely. It’s going to be several more weeks until we start on his second facial surgery because we want to make sure he is fully healed.
Tomorrow, Dr. Carter will be taking Dwayne for a second consult on his elbow to see if surgery would be beneficial. You may have noticed a little “hitch in his giddy-up” because of his dislocated hip and what we think is a previous fracture in his elbow. Surgery to relieve discomfort in his hip is on the schedule for next week (pending results from this consult), but we are still seeking out multiple opinions on his elbow.
Dwayne would like to thank everyone for their kind words and love these last few weeks!
May 25, 2017
Dwayne is back to his ol’ self!
Dwayne is recovering quickly after his first facial reconstruction surgery this past Monday. He had no problem at all chowing down a full bowl of food first thing Tuesday morning and going out to play with his foster siblings. In fact, it is MUCH easier for Dwayne to eat and actually keep food in his mouth because his lips now cover his teeth. Drinking water is much easier for Dwayne now, too.
After the tremendous success of this first surgery, Dr. Carter now believes Dwayne may only need two or three procedures on his face rather than her original estimate of four to five. This is because of how well Dwayne’s body is responding and healing.
VIDEO: See how well Dwayne’s recovering after surgery!
PHOTOS: Dwayne 4 days post-op
May 22, 2017
Dwayne’s First Facial Surgery
Dwayne’s first facial reconstruction surgery was a success!
At 11:30 a.m. this morning, Dwayne was brought into our Companion Animal Hospital’s surgery room for his first procedure on his lips. Dr. Carter performed the surgery and was able to correct his two upper lips and one of his lower lips. The whole ordeal took less than 2 hours. As Dwayne relaxed in the recovery room, Dr. Carter gave us an update: “The surgery went smooth, and Dwayne is already showing signs of great blood flow throughout his lips. He’ll be heading back to his foster home tonight to get plenty of rest.”
Dwayne preparing for surgery:
May 17, 2017
Video of Dwayne’s CT Scan and the Results
On Monday, May 15, we brought Dwayne to Pet Emergency & Specialty Clinic in South County San Diego to meet with Dr. Serdy, an Orthopedic Surgeon, and to have a CT scan on his elbow and face.
Above: Dwayne is being scanned while under anesthesia. The screens are showing where the camera is during the scan and gives us a clear picture of his soft tissue, bone structure and nasal passages.
As expected, his elbow will be the biggest challenge. Not to worry, Dwayne is not in any pain, but it appears he has an old fracture in his elbow. We are seeking further consultation from a Board Certified Radiologist to determine the best course of action and are expecting results later this week.
Since we are still unsure of how to best fix his elbow, we’ll be starting with his facial reconstruction. On Monday, May 22, Dwayne is scheduled to have the first stage of his lip reconstruction surgery with Dr. Carter at the Center’s Companion Animal Hospital. The surgery will move his lips to fully cover and protect his teeth. Dwayne’s complete reconstruction processes will take multiple surgeries with ample healing time in-between, but we should see a dramatic difference just after this first procedure!
After the surgery, Dwayne will be closely monitored and go for several check-ups to make sure he is healing properly. It is VERY important to ensure he has good blood flow throughout his lips and nose before we move onto the next procedure, which is anticipated to be 6 weeks later.
May 11, 2017
Dwayne’s Visit with the Specialist
Dwayne and Dr. Carter, who is the Chief Veterinarian at Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Companion Animal Hospital and also Dwayne’s foster mom, went to visit a specialist today who gave us more insight into what all is entailed with Dwayne’s recovery plan. As you can imagine, it’s quite a bit!
First, Dwayne needs to get a CT scan (a more detailed image than just an x-ray) on his face and right elbow. This will tell us two things:
One, what the best route is for Dr. Carter to fix his leg, or if we need the specialist to step in and help with the surgery.
And two, how to stage his facial reconstruction surgery. He will likely need three to five surgeries on his face alone to address the deformity of his lips and the narrowing of his nasal passages. Right now, Dwayne struggles with eating, drinking and breathing, some key parts to living a comfortable life! The surgeries will allow him to eat and drink more easily and will open his airways for better breathing.
In other news, Dwayne’s crowdfunding page has raised over $30,000 to help fund his medical needs! Thank you to all that have contributed to Dwayne and other special cases like his. We still aren’t sure how much his complete treatment plan will cost, so thank you for your overwhelming support and gifts to help Dwayne get the best care possible.
Dwayne is scheduled to have the CT scan done next week, so check back at the end of the week to find out his next steps!
May 8, 2017
At Helen Woodward Animal Center, a 2-year-old Pointer-blend nicknamed Dwayne “The Rock” (due to his steadfast strength and kindness) is inspiring employees with his willingness to forgive mankind for years of abuse. In perhaps one of the worst cruelty cases the Center has seen, Dwayne’s extreme mistreatment left its mark on his deformed mouth, front right leg and elbow, skin and coat.
Pulled from the streets of Tijuana by an independent rescuer, Dwayne’s most recent past included desperate scrounging for food while cruel local residents (disgusted by his deformities) threw scalding hot water and stones at him. Upon further investigation, his rescuer discovered that Dwayne’s original owner, who had bound his mouth with a crude wire-muzzle and regularly kicked him and beat him with sticks, was serving jail time for an unrelated offense.
Without an owner, the dog was left to wander the streets alone, facing more of man’s terrible inhumanity. Already beaten and broken, Dwayne was further wounded when he was attacked by two large breed dogs who caused severe head injuries and nearly removed his ears.
Despite these crimes, the gentle canine has nothing but love to offer each person he meets – lowering his head, offering a lick and gently pressing his crippled body against them. Dwayne needs a specialist to repair his severely malformed front leg and elbow, and a facial reconstruction surgery. Center updates will be made available on this page during each of his treatments.
For those of you that are already wondering, Dwayne will be made available for adoption to a loving family when he is fully recovered.