(WBIR-Knoxville) A dog from the Tri-Cities is healing at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center (UTVMC) after she nearly died in a house fire last month.
Sadie Blackwell was found hiding in the rubble of her family's home in Carter County, two days after the Nov. 21 fire. She suffered severe burns to her face, legs and belly.
After receiving treatment at Tri-County Veterinary Hospital in Bluff City, she was transferred to UT where she's been since Monday.
Dr. Karen Tobias is the lead clinician on Sadie's medical team.
"When we see dogs who have burns on over 20% of their body or more, a lot of times we lose them. And so she survived and she had burns that were that severe," Dr. Tobias said.
Dr. Tobias and a team put together a recovery plan for Sadie, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The pressurized chamber re-energizes dying tissue.
"When you have burned skin, there's very poor blood supply. So it's really important to improve the blood supply and the oxygen to those tissues," said Dr. Marti Drum, a UTVMC clinical assistant professor.
Sadie needs a feeding tube and eye medication four times a day. She has a hard time blinking.
"Between the medications, the feeding, and all the bathing and wound cleansing, you can see she has really turned the corner," Dr. Tobias said.
But Sadie could face a new challenge. She was bred before the fire and is possibly carrying at least one puppy. An ultrasound revealed a suspicious area.
"We're going to know for sure in about two weeks. It's a possibility. Most of the time when animals go through this severe trauma, it's too much for them. Their bodies say, 'I need to put my energy toward healing.' It would be an absolute miracle," Dr. Tobias said.
The family was not able to afford medical treatment for Sadie. It is happening through donations and volunteers.
Those who would like to help can visit www.vetcarefoundation.com. From there, donors can select the Tri-County Veterinary Hospital.
Updates on Sadie are also posted on Tri-Count Veterinary Hospital's Facebook page.
The Blackwell family will pick up Sadie from UTVMC this weekend.