In Vienna, Virginia, a 5-year-old Labrador dog survived being impaled on rebar.
This Labrador Retriever runs and jumps like an athlete so his owners aptly call him Espen –after the sports channel. Espen’s enthusiasm and energy sometimes get him into trouble.
“He was hit by a car and had to have a plate and 10 pins placed in his leg,” Stacey Muscarella, his owner, says.
It doesn’t end there. He once ate a corncob and required emergency surgery. But this week, the Lab really outdid himself.
Espen was running and playing around in the yard when he accidentally impaled himself with a 5-foot metal rod. Stacey and Espen’s dad Rick were away, so the dog sitter rushed the dog to the Hope Advanced Veterinary Center.
Stacey couldn’t believe what happened.
The metal rod had punctured the Lab’s lung, diaphragm and nicked his liver. Doctor Julia Hawthorne spent two long hours removing the quarter-inch thick metal rod from the dog’s body.
The surgery to remove the rebar cost about $10,000. Stacey says she and her boyfriend Rick Brown, cannot afford it.
“With Espen’s previous incidents, we’ve already paid $15,000 out of pocket for him,” she said.
The veterinarians decided to perform the surgery even thoughEspen’s owners weren’t able to come up with the funds. The center’s veterinarians are asking for donations. Money then started coming in.
The couple is very happy that Espen is doing okay.
“We love him more than words can express how much we love this dog,” Stacey said.
John Kiefer, one of the veterinarians at Hope Advanced Veterinary Center who helped Espen, said the Labrador is special to the veterinary center.
“We love him, but this should be the last time. This is actually his third strike. I think he’s a very, very lucky dog!” he said.
If you’d like to donate to Espen’s veterinary fund, please click here.