An 11-year-old Chihuahua is beginning 2021 on a positive note, thanks to the collaboration of two Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) programs.

Just before the New Year, Delilah’s owner brought her to ARL’s Wellness Waggin’ for an exam and vaccines.

Upon exam, ARL’s vet team noticed a large inguinal hernia, as well as significant dental disease.

Delilah on the road to recovery.

Inguinal hernias are relatively common, and occur near the groin where the dog’s hind leg attaches to the body. Symptoms include swelling, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, among others – if untreated, the condition could potentially be life-threatening.

Given the size of the hernia, the Wellness Waggin’ team referred Delilah’s owner to Boston Veterinary Care (BVC) for further examination. The animal required hernia surgery and dental work, however, cost was a barrier for Delilah’s owner.

Fortunately, the owner qualified for the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund, and the procedures were performed at no cost.

Delilah was spayed, the hernia was repaired, and also received a much-needed dental procedure.

“This was a great example of collaboration between ARL programs,” said Dr. Nicole Breda, BVC Medical Director. “Delilah’s hernia was certainly serious, but her dental disease was to a point where her jaw may have fractured due to the extent of infection…she needed help and I am pleased that BVC and the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund made it possible.”

Delilah made a quick recovery, and her owners are extremely grateful that ARL was able to provide the resources necessary to make their furry family member healthy and happy.

National Pet Dental Health Month

Delilah’s case is also a reminder about the importance of our pet’s dental health.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, the perfect time to call your veterinarian and schedule a dental check-up.

Like humans, proper dental hygiene now can prevent potentially serious health issues later.

Common health problems associated with poor oral hygiene include blood or bone infection, diabetes, high blood pressure, among others. The pain caused by periodontal disease can also trigger poor appetite and lead to weight loss and nutritional deficiencies.

Discuss the best course of action with your primary veterinarian to see what the best plan is for your pet.

About the Alice T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund

Longtime ARL supporter and former Board member, Jane Whitney Marshall, established the Alice. T. Whitney Helping Hands Fund in memory of her grandmother,(a contemporary and friend of ARL Founder Anna Harris Smith), who became a vice president of ARL in 1916 and served on the Board of Directors from 1921 until her passing in 1955.

For many families, a significant veterinary expense may mean the difference between keeping or surrendering a beloved family pet. The Fund helps remove financial barriers which may otherwise prevent pet owners from accessing vital care for treatable medical emergencies.