LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky Humane Society continues caring for a dying dog that was left in the location’s parking lot Friday afternoon.
The dog, who is being called Ethan by KHS staff, continues to be cared for after being left at the property around noon Friday, according to a Facebook post. Ethan was found by a person dropping off donations saw the dog and alerted staff.
Ethan was taken to the shelter’s Veterinary Services Department, where he was warmed with heated blankets and IV fluids. The staff said the dog was so weak that he couldn’t lift his head.
Staff said that bone outlines could be seen from Ethan’s skin, and his muscle loss was severe due to malnourishment. Ethan was also found filthy from urine and feces.
“Ethan is the thinnest dog I have ever seen that is still alive. He weighs 38 pounds, when he should be around 80 pounds,” KHS shelter veterinarian Dr. Emily Bewley said. “To get in this shape, he had to have been starved for weeks.”
A veterinary technician took Ethan home to be monitored Friday night, but around 3 a.m. Saturday he began taking a turn for the worse with rapid breathing and neurological problems, according to KHS.
Ethan continues making progress slowly but steadily according to veterinary staff at the Kentucky Humane Society.
A post earlier in the morning said that Ethan has been increasing his weight, who is now at 47 pounds after only weighing 38. The Humane Society said that most of the gained weight comes from fluids as he was severely dehydrated.
Staff says that Ethan is responding well to his nutrition, and is showing bodily functions which they say is an excellent sign his body is working more normally.
Later in the evening, Kentucky Humane Society shared a video where Ethan took another stroll with the help of caretakers, supporting his body with towels as he walks.
Ethan, however, is making full attempts to use his front legs as the emergency hospital team performs range of motion exercises on his back limbs, helping them gain flexibility and strength, according to KHS.
“We are so proud of Ethan, and so encouraged by his progress!” the post Tuesday night reads.
The Humane Society released a video Monday evening of Ethan at the veterinary hospital. In the video, hospital staff is assisting Ethan and helping him walk as his muscles have deteriorated.
Staff is encouraging Ethan to continue walking and moving his legs, helping build up lost muscle and getting used to moving his limbs again.
Another post earlier in the day from KHS said that while they believe Ethan’s chances of survival are 50/50 at the moment, vets are monitoring his electrolytes and taking regular bloodwork to ensure his nutrition is reinstated properly.
Ethan is also displaying less head bobbing and leg paddling after making it through another night with staff.
The Humane Society said it is thankful for the continued support and concern for Ethan, and continue to ask for donations to support Ethan and the thousands of shelter animals cared for by the nonprofit each year.
On Sunday morning, the Kentucky Humane Society provided an update on Ethan’s condition on social media, saying that he is doing better and is displaying less twitching.
Ethan is still wanting to eat and drink, and he showed his first tail wag this morning according to staff.
While KHS said that there is more work to be done to get him “out of the woods,” the staff said they are cautiously optimistic that Ethan may survive.
The post continues to thank those who have shown support, prayers and encouragement while Ethan continues to heal.
*WARNING - Images included in the following embedded Facebook post may be considered disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.*
KHS is asking for donations for Ethan for continued treatment. Donations can be made to the nonprofit animal shelter by visiting their website.
The humane society has also notified Louisville Metro Animal Services to investigate signs of animal cruelty or neglect. Anyone with any information in the investigation is asked to call (502) 473-PETS (7387).
Updates on Ethan’s condition can be found on KHS’s Facebook page.