An elderly dog receives an extreme, life-saving makeover!
In an animal shelter, we cannot predict what shows up on a daily basis. We also do not have historical information on most of the animals that we see and treat since most of them are found as stray animals. However, even when we have animals that are brought in by their owners, we may get some information about the animal’s history, but that isn’t always enough.
For instance, Pepe was a young male Chihuahua who was brought to the shelter by his owner who was unable to go down the road of diagnostics to figure out what had been ailing her little Chi.
When we first met Pepe, you could see how uncomfortable he was. The area around his eyes was red and swollen, and the hair was also missing in that area. Unfortunately Pepe was the kind of dog that was well behaved with his owner but not trusting or accepting of strangers, so our veterinary team was unable to get close enough to Pepe to touch him. This posed a problem because when we are unable to touch an animal, we are often unable to do the diagnostics necessary to narrow down a diagnosis.
We had a few thoughts about what the problem might be so we chose a course of treatment that would help if it was one of those problems – puppy strangles – which was the problem that we most highly suspected. However, this course of treatment would not help if it was one of the other potential issues.
We started Pepe on oral medications that were mixed in with his food and treats since we couldn’t approach him without stressing him out or risking a bite.
Within no time, the swelling and redness began decreasing, and he was so much more comfortable (though he still was not accepting of us strangers).
Since Pepe was not a normal adoption candidate because he was not passing a behavior evaluation, the shelter contacted Pepe’s owner who was more than happy to adopt Pepe back as a special needs dog, now knowing what the problem was as well as the course of treatment that would be needed. Our shelter team returned Pepe to the owner as a neutered, microchipped and vaccinated pup, and the shelter also had the owner follow up with her veterinarian to continue treatment to resolution.