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Animal doctors, citizens rally to save badly-burned dog

Hyperbaric oxygen is helping Sadie heal from burns caused when a lamp put into her doghouse to keep her warm, started a fire.

COVINGTON, La. — NOTE ON VIDEO: The video includes images of Sadie that some may find disturbing. 

A 2-year-old Terrier Mix is getting a second chance at life thanks to something commonly used on humans. Sadie was recently burned in a fire and is now seeking special treatment for her wounds. 

Badly burned, but still full of life Dr. Dena Lodato says Sadie is not letting her injuries stop her. Lodato works with the Resurge Veterinary Surgical Specialists and Rehabilitation LLC,  located in Covington.

"First time I saw her I went on the floor, she came right up and sat in my lap and started rubbing her face on me a little bit, which I think it's probably a little bit itchy," Dr. Lodato said. "She hasn't held it against people for what happened to her."

Credit: Humane Society of Louisiana
Sadie surrounded by medical staff who have helped in her treatment.

A few weeks ago, Sadie's owners put hay and a heating lamp in her doghouse to keep her warm as temperatures dropped. The lamp started a fire. Sadie survived, but burns now cover most of her tiny body.

"With the extent of her injuries, we know we're going to be having to do a bit of reconstruction with her to reestablish all of her skin," she said.

To help with that, Sadie is doing something that's been used on humans for years: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. For about 30-45 minutes, she'll sit in a clear tube, where the pressure is increased two to three times higher than normal. That helps get more oxygen into the lungs, which in turn, helps Sadie heal.

"Cases that have infections, you know if you have a severe infection, the oxygen will actually help activate all of those white blood cells," she said.

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At some point Sadie's scabs will have to come off. Luckily, the oxygen in that chamber is also helping veterinarians see what skin tissue can and can't be saved.

"While it looks a bit dramatic with all that pink tissue," said Dr. Lodato. "When she first came in, it wasn't looking like that at all. Now with 5 treatments that tissue is awesome. The more healthy tissue she has, the less we have to go in there and cut away."

Sadie has a long road ahead. However, thanks to advanced technology and a little kindness, that road to recover is looking a bit brighter.

Sadie's owners surrendered her due to the rising medical bills. The Humane Society of Louisiana says there are no charges pending in the case because the fire was deemed an accident. Sadie has also been adopted, and depending on her recovery, she'll go to her new home soon.

Those wishing to donate to Sadie's care may donate on the Humane Society's website at www.humanela.org, through its PayPal at humanela@gmail.com or send a check or money order to HSLA, P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174. In the check memo, please write "for Sadie. All donations are tax-deductible.

Those wishing to donate to Sadie's care may donate on the Humane Society's website at www.humanela.org, through its PayPal at humanela@gmail.com or send a check or money order to HSLA, P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174. In the check memo, please write "for Sadie.”

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