A dog’s head was swollen to 3 times its normal size – and it was all down to a shoelace

A dog with a swollen, enormous head and in severe pain was found wandering the streets of Houston, Texas last week. An animal rescue centre discovered a shoelace tightly embedded around the dog’s neck, along with a shocking 28 pellets in his body.

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The lovely dog, who has been named Gus by rescuers, is believed to be just 10-months old. He was found aimlessly walking down a busy street in late August by local resident Laura Forma. Although the dog’s body looked normal, Laura noticed that his head was considerably swollen – around 3x as big as it should have been.

Gus wasn’t in a good way – but the K-911 Rescue team were determined to save him

Talking to The Dodo, Laura said: “I was driving down the street, and I saw him right in the middle of the street, walking head-on into traffic. I just pulled over and tried to get him, but he just kept running the other way. He wasn’t even interested in me.

Laura was unable to rescue the dog, but a post she made on Facebook was picked up by the president of the Houston K-911 Rescue group, Anna Barbosa. She hurried to the scene with a team of volunteers to search for the dog. They located Gus, who was hiding in a storage unit. He was immediately taken into care by the K-911 Rescue group.

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With 28 pellets in his body, would Gus make it through?

A shoelace had been tied around the dog’s neck so tightly that it had cut through his skin, cut off his circulation and caused his head and neck to bloat horrendously. Through an X-ray, they also discovered that Gus had 28 pellets in his body.

28 pellets were also found on the dog with an enormous, swollen head due to a shoelace
28 pellets were found in the dog’s body ©Houston K-911 Rescue

His injuries were so significant that the team weren’t sure if Gus would survive. “You could tell that the amount of pain was probably just too overwhelming, so you could tell that he was in survivor mode,” Anna explained to the Dodo.

But Gus managed to pull through after numerous operations and eventually went to live with one of the centre’s fosterers, Marina Harrison. She told the Dodo: “He was a little nervous at first, but he became more confident pretty quickly. He gives me a few tail wags here and there, he’s eating well. He likes to steal the other dogs’ beds when he gets the chance, so he’s got a little bit of personality coming out, which is really nice to see.

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Dog with enormous, swollen head due to a shoelace and 28 pellets is recovering
Gus is slowly recovering ©Houston K-911 Rescue

After a few more weeks of recovery, Gus will be up for adoption and looking for his forever home. Anna and Marina are certain he’ll make a loving, fun, and happy dog.

Read also: Despite His Scars and Injuries, this Senior Dog is Still a Loving Sweetheart

I'm a Digital Media & Marketing graduate who lives in the beautiful area of North Wales. Since graduating, I've been working freelance as a copywriter and digital marketer. At the weekend, you'll find me taking and editing photographs, updating my blog (alicelang.net) or looking after my mischevious rescue cat, Mabel. I've loved animals for as long as I can remember. I've had pretty much every pet under the sun - cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, fish, stick insects - and have spent time volunteering at animal shelters in Asia.