Special Needs Dogs Who Found Forever Homes
Sometimes BDBH sees a dog that has had so many strikes against them that they've fought through, and only wants to be loved, that we cannot turn away. Other times, we will take a dog who looks pretty okay on the outside, but turns out to have multiple issues once we get them into the program. Regardless, these dogs with special needs have been welcomed by BDBH when we have a foster home willing to help, and the resources to help meet their needs (though again, there are times that this is not known). We understand that often, these dogs will be with us in foster care for a longer period, but we also know that the adopters of these dogs are just as special as the dogs themselves. Thank you to all who have supported our special friends:
Please meet Kyah, also known to many as BDBH's Warrior Princess! Kyah had a very rough start and a long journey to get her to where she is now in life. She was dumped at a shelter in Kentucky (“KY”) in January 2009, emaciated, sick and heartbroken. Kyah was so sick, she landed in the emergency vet shortly after being pulled from the shelter by her BDBH temporary foster mom, Hannah. Hannah quickly became very worried about her, and with good reason, Kyah had an intussusception, a extremely serious condition where the intestines "telescope" into themselves.
Kyah had emergency surgery to save her life in February 2009, and lost 2 1/2 feet of her large intestines. Kyah remained in emergency care in KY for 2 weeks and then the vets felt she was stable enough to be transported to her BDBH “recovery” foster, Jean. A couple weeks following the surgery in KY and after arriving in New York, Kyah fell ill again and went to the vet where an emergency exploratory surgery was needed, which showed she had many adhesions, internal scars that can form between tissues and organs after surgery, which were actually causing obstructions. Once again, Kyah defied the odds and survived 4 hours of emergency surgery to remove the adhesions, wherein more of her large intestine was removed, along with a small part of her bladder. Luckily, adult dogs have many feet of large intestine, and such a small amount of her bladder was removed, she does not have any significant issues from either surgery, save for the fact that she is fed specific dog food, along with some human food.
Kyah healed from all her emergency surgeries and moved to her permanent BDBH foster parents, Darcy and Michael, in May 2009 for the next steps in her journey, continued socialization and getting ready for her prosthetic, read below.
Now, let me tell you the best part, this sweet girl has something very unique about her: she only has 3 feet. I say feet over legs, as she has 4 legs, however her right hind foot is missing at the hock. We don't know what happened to cause this, an old injury (i.e.: trap), or a birth defect, but there was no infection at the stump and a callus had formed which told her doctors that it probably has been this way for some time. Kyah seemed amazingly adapted to using her leg and stump to walk, though awkwardly. Upon arriving at BDBH's once she had overcome her illnesses, we had her leg evaluated more thoroughly and vets felt she would be a good candidate for a prosthetic foot. Yes, they make them for animals! Kyah has been fitted for this and has what is called a "stage 2" prosthetic foot now. She uses it well, there are still some kinks being worked out, but she has adapted amazingly to it.
You can read Kyah's entire journey at the following link, which is quite long, but so worth the read to see what this sweet girl has been through and the enormous amount of supporters she has in her corner. Kyah is a true fighter:
Kyah's medical fight isn’t quite over as she recently tested heartworm positive, despite initially testing negative and being on monthly heartworm preventive. Heartworm can take up to 6 months to show up on a test and we believe that is what happened with Kyah girl as she was negative when we first pulled her into the rescue. In February 2010, Kyah underwent heartworm injection treatment and true to the fighter she is, she has flown through it, although is will be on crate rest for about another month or so. She is receiving tons of loving and TLC from Darcy and Michael. Umm, and for those of you who have met Ms. Kyah, she is a tad bit spoiled by her foster mom.
BDBH and Kyah are now getting ready to begin her journey to looking for her special forever home. Kyah is good with all dogs she meets, loves people and kids. She bonds strongly with her person and is full of personality. She does not take kindly to being ignored and will tell you so and even try and carry a tune to entertain you. Kyah's foster mom would love to see Kyah become a therapy dog, as she has such a strong will to fight and survive and can relate to therapy patients between her illness that almost took her life and her handicap with her foot. Having a job would be a huge plus for Kyah, as she doesn't like to be home alone all that much. Kyah is a special girl looking for that special home. Kyah would do best in a home where she can be the center of attention or maybe a home with one other dog, who would accept Kyah.
Kyah has a huge heart and soul and would love to share that with the perfect person or family! If you think you may be the right forever home for Kyah, please contact her foster mom, Darcy, at email@example.com Thank you.
BDBH could not have saved “our” special Kyah’s life, without all the support from her fans, who we are forever grateful to!! As well as the doctors and medical staff who have helped her and continue to do so:
Meet Jerry, a purebred Rottweiler puppy who was admitted to our local shelter at 9 weeks old by his breeder who said he was ill. Jerry is now 5 months old and has had quite the journey so far. It's also not over yet. Jerry has a dermoid cyst in his right eye. Dermoid cysts can be removed but Jerry has further damage to his eye with retina detachment and certain onset of glaucoma. Jerry is also already blind in that eye. Due to this, Jerry will need an enucleation (removal of the eye) when he is around 7 months old as it can be a painful condition if left alone the way it is.
Jerry's right front leg also had/has a congenital defect. He went to Cornell to be examined. At his first visit, it was concluded that Jerry was just to young to say for sure what was going on with his leg and if it was correctable or not. Jerry went back to Cornell about 6 weeks later and they were all in agreement that his leg can't be saved. It is not growing at proper rate and is already considerably shorter than his left front leg which is normal. Jerry's leg will be amputated when he is around 14 months old, after the growth plates have closed. Until then a splint will be made for his right front leg to help take some weight off his good front leg as he finishes growing. This will hopefully prevent any damage to his good leg during it's growth period. Once his leg is amputated, he will be fitted for a prosthetic. While it's not unusual for tripod dogs to get around just fine, it's not optimum especially when it is a front leg that is missing as they bear a good amount of their weight on their front limbs.
Jerry is a happy, go lucky puppy who's enjoying life with his foster mom and family. He has many other canine "siblings" and also lives with cats. He does well with them all. Jerry is a lovebug and everyone who meets him adores him. He will continue to be socialized, spoiled and loved while he awaits all his upcoming treatments.
Update: Lucky for Jerry he was working with Theravet, who worked hard to find another solution besides amputation for Jerry's leg. Jerry now has a prosthesis that fits right over his leg to help support him.
Karma is a 6 month old American Pit Bull Terrier. We are not quite sure what "color" Karma because as you can see, she has no fur. Karma is a product of very cruel and negligent owners as they surrendered her to the local humane society and stated she has had "poison ivy" for three months! We all knew once we saw her that she has a severe case of Demodectic mange with a secondary bacterial skin infection. Karma was going to be put to sleep because she was in pain and her road to recovery will be long which is something some humane societies are not set up to take on. Luckily a few angels from the shelter sent out a plea for Karma and we could not see her be lost without some kind of help. Knowing that Demodex is a treatable, non contagious disease, BDBH stepped in to help this little girl!
Despite her pain and condition Karma is the sweetest girl we could ever ask for. She holds no grudges to people even after she was left to suffer in the condition she was in. She wants to be near you, touching you and giving you kisses to show how much she loves you. She also likes the company of other dogs. She is currently living with male Siberian Huskies, a female German Shepherd and a male Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix and loves every one of them. She follows them around about as much as she follows the humans in the house around! Karma knows sit and down and she is also crate trained. She is a wonderful little puppy and will make a wonderful addition to any household!
Karma has started her treatment and the road to recovery. She will require special medication, medicated baths and lots of love throughout this treatment. One day we will know what Karma will look like with fur and she will show what a beautiful girl she is inside and out.
We will continue to update Karma's pictures to show her improvement and if you would like to donate to Karma's care, any amount will help as the medications, baths and veterinary visits add up quickly.
BDBH would like to thank all the Staff at Mendon Village Animal Hospital for their help in caring for Karma http://www.mendonvillageanimalhospital.com We thank all who have made donations towards Karma's care as well!
Meet Wiley! He is a 16 month old neutered male. We believe he is a GSD/Malmute/husky mix. Wiley is such a handsome young guy and full of love. He just adores people and likes to be a velcro dog. Wiley came from Tenn. where he was picked up as a stray. Wiley is doing great in his foster home, living with several other dogs, cats and farm animals. Wiley does great with all his canine companions and though he is respectful of the cats we will not be adopting him to a home with small animals as he does have a very high prey drive. Wiley has amazing house manners, is crate trained and housebroken. He is such a lovebug and will do anything to make you happy. He would be an amazing addition to any family.
During Wiley's transport to NY, his overnighting family noted a slight lameness. Once with his foster family, it was very evident that something wasn't right with his right front leg. Over the next 6 weeks, Wiley visited various veterinarians to determine what was wrong. We first supsected Panosteitis, known as growing pains which is very common in large breed dogs and he was right at the age for it. However Pano tends to come and go and "shift", affecting more than just one leg. This was not the case in Wiley. Our next step was to take Wiley to a specialist as Elbow Dysplasia was supsected. The surgical specialist confirmed Wiley does indeed have Elbow Dysplasia and supects he has a fracture to his cornoid process, small bone that is part of the elbow. Surgery was preformed on both elbows on 9/30/2009, a large fractured fragment was removed from his right elbow and a smaller from his left.
Wiley has spent the past 6 weeks since his surgery on strict crate rest and leash walks only. He's been handling it very well and is still just such a lover though everything. He has recently begun therapy that we hope will help his right elbow/shoulder become more comfortable as that was his worse elbow and he is still having some lameness with it. He had his 6 week recheck with his surgeon and they are happy with his progress, and hope that the next 4 weeks will show even more improvement and he can slowly come off crate rest and leash walks and resume more normal activities. Wiley will always need to be on joint supplements for life, and may have some limits to what he can do (heavy activity like running), but he should be able to enjoy an normal, fairly active life with the right family. Wiley is far enough on the road to recovery that we are ready to start looking for the perfect forever family for him.
Thank you to everyone who donated to help with Wiley's surgery costs, BDBH's appreciates it very much!
Hi, I’m Abby. Life for me hasn’t always been pleasant, but I am so thankful to be with all the wonderful people at BDBH!! I was turned in to a local animal control by my owners. Yes, you read that right!
I am a golden retriever mix and I currently weigh 32 pounds. I should weigh around 60 pounds. When my foster mom gave me a bath it felt so good!! Tons of dirt and grime came off of me and my coat was actually a buff and white when I was done. My foster mom found a huge scab on my neck that ended up being a place where either a rope or collar cut into it. It feels so much better now after the nice vet and vet techs cleaned it up for me yesterday and gave me some medicine. It really made me happy to be in a room with some many caring people. They came up with a plan for my foster mom to help get much needed good weight back on me. I’m eating many small meals all throughout the day and drinking lots of water.
My foster mom said it’s so good to see the life coming back in my eyes and can’t wait until they sparkle! My tail is always wagging and I love to hear what a good and beautiful girl I am!! I am not allowed to play too much right now since the vet said my body isn’t using the food yet so I’m on a restricted exercise program. That’s okay for now though because walking around does tire me out and besides I’ve been getting tons of love, hugs and petting from my foster Mom and Dad and 2 boys. I so love kids and can’t wait to run and play with them. My foster mom says to be patient and we are taking it slowly so I can turn into a beautiful and healthy girl. She says I’m already so beautiful and loving on the inside and once healthy the outside of me will reflect that too. I will have my foster mom keep everyone updated with my progress she you can watch me shine! My foster mom says that positive thoughts and prayers are so welcome during my recovery. I’m also going to be going through a lot of food and if you would like to help you can click the donate button. Life is getting so good right now!! Talk to you all later – Abby.
November 8, 2011 Update: Abby has been with us about 1 month and she is a totally different dog than the skinny girl who looked like she was ready to give up. Her eyes now sparkle all the time:) She has gained about 15 pounds and weighed in at 46 pounds yesterday!! The scars on her neck are all healed and once the fur grows back in you won't even know they are there. She is all about love and affection. Always happy and wagging her tail and gets so excited when the boys come home from school or her foster Dad comes home from work. She absolutely loves to play with our male dog and finds great satisfaction in licking his ears and his face. I do still monitor their play and don't let it go on too long as she still needs those calories and has a way to go to be back to a healthy weight. She already knew sit, shake, down, come, and stay and does a great job at sitting to get her meals and than watching me before she can have her food. She's just now started to jump up and counter surf which we are making sure she knows is not a good thing to do - the positive of this is that she is feeling like a dog again!!! She does well in her crate and seems to be housebroken. We have had a few accidents, but were expecting it as her body gets back up and functioning properly. She is a very smart girl who realizes that if she rings the bell on the door we know she needs to go out. I can't say enough good things about her:) She is a trooper and after everything she's been through she still trusts and loves:) She's even started going belly up for all of us and loves a good belly rub! We will never know all of her background, but at sometime in her life I would say she was a well loved dog and from here on out she always will be!!! Thank you all for the prayers and positive thoughts and donations for Abby they sure have been helping her along!! I will keep you posted on how this sweet girl is doing:)
November 14, 2011 Update: I went to the vet's this morning for my weekly weigh in and I gained 4 pounds and now weigh 50 pounds!!!! My foster mom says that now I just look like a very skinny girl, but am doing very well and gaining weight steadily. I have decided that this past week it was time to try to run again and boy does it feel good!!! I was previously just walking fast but tried running in the back yard with my foster families' 2 dogs and it was so much fun!!! My muscles are building up and I am feeling so much better:) I know I still need to gain more weight and am getting even more food now, but I was so excited and just wanted to share with everyone:) The tip of my tail is slowly healing as tails take awhile. Not sure what I did to it, but the end was all raw when I got to my foster family and so the vet shaved the tip. The boys I live with call it the mini hotdog! When I wag it too hard I bang it on things and keep opening it up and of course I love to wag my tail as I am so happy now!! Have I told you all lately that life is so good now? Well it is:) Thank you!!! Love, Abby
We thank all who have made donations towards Abby's care as well!
Introducing Una - Special Needs
Una was born March 22, 2011 and is a female German Shepherd Dog ("GSD"). On July 26, 2011, she turned 18 weeks old and weighs 29 lbs.
At 6 weeks of age, she was brought to the vet office by her breeder to be euthanized. Luckily for Una, the vet would not agree to euthanize her and called her foster mom for help.
Una is a Neospora dog. Inotherwords, she had neosporosis, which is a neuromuscular disease, caused by Neospora caninum a coccidian parasite, similar to Toxoplama. Puppies and adult dogs can be affected, there have been no known cases in humans. Please visit this link for a detailed explanation of what the disease is: http://www.straightlegshepherds.org/neospora.html
The titer test done at Cornell was negative, however, it is our understanding that it is common to have a false negative result. She was treated with a 4 week course of Clindamycin and probiotic (to help her GI tract handle the antibiotic) to kill the parasite and stop it from moving to her right hind leg and it is believed that was successful. The damage or constriction to her left hind leg cannot be reversed. However, Una does have some range of motion, mostly in her hock/paw. This does not hold Una back!
Una knows nothing different - she walks, runs and takes the stairs amazingly well. You should see her run around the back yard with the adult dogs!
Una at her appointment with Dr. Kristin Browne at Theravet, who reviewed her radiographs taken at the time of her spay, reviewed all her medical history and examined her, as well has took video. Dr. Browne, who recently attended a conference, where a 9 year old Neospora dog was in attendance - with both rear legs affected - was very pleased how well Una gets around. She clearly uses her affected leg and Dr. Browne agrees there seems to be no neurological issues. Una knows her left leg is there, she uses it for balance and movement. At this point, it is believed that physical therapy will not reverse the damage and the best thing is for Una to keep using it as normally as possible.
When it is explained to people what caused Una's special needs, usually the first question is - "why not just amputate the leg, dogs do well as tripods". While that is true, the current medical advice is not to touch the affected leg, as long as there are no neurological signs, no dragging to cause open wounds/infection, etc. As Dr. Browne phrased it, it is much better for a dog to have all four legs, even if one is not perfect.
Now enough about Una's leg, let us tell you about her personality - she is a confident girl. We were worried that being taken from her littermates and mom at such a young age would affect her, so she went into a very social pack and has done beautifully. She adores all her canine friends and loves to play with them. She can be a little more reserved with humans who are not her people, although she warms up quickly. She is highly food motivated, which makes training much easier and she is smart as a whip. Don't allow her special needs to fool you!
We think that Una would do best in a home with at least one other well balanced, playful dog. Obedience classes are a must for Una to continue her learning and socialness.
Una and BDBH would like to give special thanks to:
Dr. Sara Yarnall Sanders, DVM and Dr. Allan Reichenstein, DVM
and all the Staff at Mendon Village Animal Hospital, Mendon, NY
Dr. Kristin Browne, DVM and all the Staff at TheraVet Acres, Penfield, NY
We thank all who have made donations towards Una's care as well!
Introducing Keena! Keena is a beautiful 3-4 year old long haired German Shepherd Dog. She has come to BDBH from a very rural shelter in Georgia. Since Keena was found as a stray we know very little about her other then that she came into the Georgia shelter with an injured leg. At the time that she was found she had no use of her leg and a fairly bad wound on her paw from where her leg had been dragging.
Keena was soon on her way to NY and in addition to knowing that she had an injury to her leg she also tested heartworm positive. Not long after being in NY Keena was seen by a number of wonderful vets who confirmed a suspected case of FCE. Please see this link for further information about FCE: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_fibrocartilaginous_embolism.html. After a number of weeks of intensive physical therapy Keena has been able to successfully gain back a descent amount of control over her leg. While her vets agree that she will never have full use of her leg again she does a great job using it to balance and get around. Keena has also begun her heartworm treatment and once she has completed that will be able to be spayed.
While Keena's leg will never work like normal she is the most loving and sweet girl. She is social with all people that she meets and just wants to roll over and have her belly rubbed. She is will also just cover you in kisses if given the opportunity. Keena does well with all dogs and walks well on a leash. She also is both crated at times in our home a left free and does amazingly well with both. While Keena still has a little while before she will be fully recover she is looking forward to having a forever home to call all her own!
Kenya is one of the BDBH heartworm four. Heartworm treatment averages $700 for a large dog. Would you help us help Kenya with a donation today? Click on the chip-in button on the right to donate. For up to date information on how the four are doing with their treatments please go to our blog http://bigdogsbighearts.blogspot.com/
February 2012 Update:
After much discussion and serious thought it was decided that it would be best for Keena to have her leg removed. Sadly, we were not able to reverse the effects that she had suffered from her spinal stroke. Keena was one tough cookie throughout her surgery and days that followed. As always, even when she was in pain (she never showed it) she continued to be her sweet and loving self just wanting to give kisses.
In the eight months that Keena was with us she went through intensive physical therapy, heartworm treatment, having two major surgeries, and having her leg amputated. She never once fussed about a thing and always showed us unconditional love. She has now started a new chapter of her life, one where she is healthy and living in the forever home that she has always deserved.
Keena and BDBH would like to give special thanks to:
All the Staff at Mendon Village Animal Hospital, Mendon, NY
Dr. Kristin Browne, DVM and all the Staff at TheraVet Acres, Penfield, NY
All the staff at the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm
We thank all who have made donations towards Keena's care as well!
My name is Cooper. I am a year old on Wednesday 1/11. I am a Great Pyrenees. For more information on my breed please read: http://www.akc.org/breeds/great_pyrenees
Cooper came to BDBH's from a local shelter and joined his foster family in Janurary. Shortly after arriving, it was evident to his foster mom that something just wasn't right with Cooper. His appetite was off and he just seemed sluggish. Cooper went to see our rescue vet at Mendon Village Animal Hospital and had some test done. Test showed that Cooper was in liver failure, an odd finding for a 9 month old otherwise healthy pup. Our vets put Cooper on lots of medications and he went home with his foster mom. Cooper continued to not feel well and we decided he needed more advanced care. He was taken to Cornell Veterinary Hospital and seen by their specialists. Cooper was so bad off, he had to spend a week at Cornell receiving lots of TLC and supportive care. He was on IV fluids, antibiotics and had some plasma transfusions. His prognosis was guarded at best. Everyone was pulling for Cooper, including all the staff at Cornell who had fallen in love with this sweet boy! All of us at BDBH's were very happy to hear that he was starting to take a turn for the better! Cooper came back home to his foster mom and continued oral antibiotics. Because we did not know what caused Coopers liver failure, we had to be cautious with his care. Food with proper protein levels was essential. Cooper went back for rechecks at Cornell to have further bloodwork done to check his liver levels and they continued to improve and drop to normal range. Cooper's personality, which we had yet to see was starting to emerge and he was proving to be a playful, loving boy. Finally after several months of care and monitoring, Cooper was 100 percent better!! It was a long and tiring ordeal for Cooper and all those involved with his care. He had tons of people pulling for him and several wonderful people who donated towards his care which was upward in the thousands. Cooper was healthy and just waiting for the perfect family to scoop him up and they did!! Cooper is living it up with his forever family now!
Thanks go out to all the wonderful donors who donated towards Coopers care.
We could not have saved this boy without all the wonderful people above and of course all those who were praying for him daily!!
Hi! I’m Polly. I had once lost my way and was found by a nice Samaritan who brought me to a local humane society. I was underweight and had a broken left hind leg. I had to undergo surgery to have a pin placed in my leg, I had multiple x-rays to make sure I was healing right, and went to physical therapy to help me heal. You see my leg had been broken for a while and I didn’t quite remember how to use it.
That is in the past though. Four months later, my leg is completely healed and I am ready to find my forever home. I love to run and play on all four of my legs now. My foster parents say that I am “housebroke” and “crate trained” I don’t know what these things mean, but I know I’m a good girl. I am very friendly to everyone I meet and enjoy meeting new people, everyone must get a kiss from me! My favorite things to do are hiking, swimming, playing ball or just playing with my dog friends.
I love to please my foster family, but I would really like to have a family to call my own. Could you be that special someone I could call my own?
Polly and BDBH would like to give special thanks to:
Dr. Kristin Browne, DVM and all the Staff at TheraVet Acres, Penfield, NY
All the staff at the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm
We thank all who have made donations towards Polly's care as well!
Meet Lobo whom I affectionately refer to as "my big teddy bear". Lobo is a 5 year old neutered male sable GSD. Lobo was used as a breeding dog in TN (he is the father of our J puppies whom have all been adopted). He came to NY and joined the BDBH's family in March and has been living with his foster family whom adores him since then. I cannot say enough good things about Lobo. He's one of the most affectionate dogs I have ever fostered. He adores everyone he meets- adults and kids alike and just wants to be loved on. Lobo lives with 5 other dogs and gets along with them all well. He also lives on a farm in his foster home and sees horses and sheep from our fenced yard. Cats and small animals are a no for this boy due to his higher prey drive. Lobo is a strong boy, but has great leash manners and respects his handler very much. Lobo knows basic obedience commands. Lobo was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia with the help of Lollypop Farm Veterinarians and Mendon Village Animal Hospital. We wanted to try and medically mange Lobo first by using Dasquin MSM- a joint supplement and Adequan Injections- that work to repair cartilage. After several months of medically managing Lobo, we were concerned he still wasn't doing well enough and went back to MVAH for another check up. They felt he would benefit from an FHO on at least one side. A FHO stands for femoral head osteotomy, where the head of the femur bone is removed. When it heals up, cartilage and scar tissue replace the area the bone was. The idea of an FHO is to stop the pain of the bones rubbing against each other because they are not properly aligned. Lobo had surgery done at Perry Veterinary Hospital and recovered amazingly. He does not need his other hip done and gets around as good as any of my dogs do. Lobo is quite active when out and about but perfectly happy curling up and cuddling in the house as well. Lobo is completely housebroken and does not need to be crated. He stays out all day while we are at work and sleeps in the bedroom with us at night. He is patiently awaiting for that right family to come along and take him home. Lobo has since been adopted and is doing wonderfully in his forever home, who continues his care with Dasquin and Adequan. They have reported back that he is showing no problems with his hips, and is loving life.
Prosthetic legs, specialists at Cornell, extensive heartworm treatments, carts.These are just a few things we have done to help our special needs dogs at BDBH. Without the generous contributions of our donors, these dogs would have been euthanized. Take Jerry, for example. He was born with a severe deformity in his front leg. As a large Rottweiler, living with three legs would be possible, but very damaging to his other joints. The donations we received allowed Jerry to be fitted for a prosthetic leg...allowing his lifespan to likely be that of a healthy 4-legged Rottie. We do whatever needs to be done to help our rescue dogs, and will go above and beyond to improve their quality of life. It seems that our special-needs dogs have the biggest hearts to make up for what they lack physically. Jerry and all the special needs dogs at BDBH thank you in advance for your donations!
Introducing BDBH's Gunnar. He is a white and blue APBT (American Pit Bull Terrier). Gunnar was pulled from our local humane society after becoming ill just after Christmas in 2009. He had been admitted to the shelter with 9 other littermates, he was neutered at the shelter and two days later had a very high fever. The next day he couldn't walk and still had a high fever. The shelter vets suspected Gunnar had distemper http://www.bigdogsbighearts.com/Canine_distemper.pdf, though none of his littermates were showing any signs of illness. As the shelter did not have means to treat him, BDBH's stepped in and he went to see Mendon Village Animal Hospital the same day he was pulled. They also felt he had distemper, gave him a B-Complex injection and he went home with his foster mom for supportive care, therapy and lots of TLC. MVAH suggested if no improvement, we should do a spinal tap. However over the course of the next 4 days, Gunnar made a complete turn around. He started pulling himself around with his front legs and eventually worked up to getting his whole body back together and working well. He was up running and playing as if nothing ever happened. Today, Gunnar is a healthy almost 3 year old dog living with his forever family and showing no signs of ever being ill. Gunnar had a guarded prognosis the day he entered BDBH's and like so many others we have given a second chance to, he turned around and never looked back!! Many thanks to MVAH for their help with his care.
Anyone who's ever owned a puppy knows about the scary word "parvo" that floats around them. Parvo stands for parvovirus http://www.bigdogsbighearts.com/parvovirus.pdf. which is a deadly disease in puppies. It affects their guts causing them to have diarrhea and vomiting. Very rarely do puppies actually die from the parvo itself but because when puppies become ill, they dehydrate VERY fast and by the time it is realized that it is serious, it is already too late for many. For more info on parvovirus read here: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_canine_parvovirus.html
When we pull dogs from shelters, puppies especially, we are always concerned about parvovirus. Even more so in very young puppies who don't have as many vaccinations yet. All of our puppies are quarantined for a minimum of 2 weeks. Still, sometimes they have picked up parvo already and all we can do is try and save them.
Sampson and Dalila were pulled from a shelter in West Virginia in 2009. They were successfully treated for parvo and have since been adopted.
Potter came to us from a local shelter off a transport from the South in November 2009, he was already quarantined for 2 weeks but was very young and came down with Parvo. He was successfully treated at All Creatures Veterinary Hospital http://allcreaturesanimalhospital.org/ and has been adopted.
At just 6 weeks old, our K litter girls were pulled from a rural southern shelter where they were slated for euthanasia. Shortly after arriving at their temporary foster home, Kennedy fell ill with parvo. Thankfully the quick actions of their foster mom saved her life and kept the other two from coming down with parvo. They stayed with their temporary foster mom in Kentucky for 3 weeks before coming to NY and joining BDBH. We thought their ordeal was over and they'd be ready for adoption shortly after arriving. Unfortunately now at 9 weeks old, these babies have Sarcoptic mange. Sarcoptic mange is also known as scabbies. This mange is contagious to other animals and humans, but thankfully it is very treatable. Over the next 6 weeks our girls will have several medicated bathes, revolution to kill the mange and daily antibiotics to treat secondary skin infections. The worst part of their treatment is that they have to be kept separated from all other animals and limited contact with people. All have were adopted in 2010
Eve came to BDBH's in Jan 2011 from a shelter in Georgia and was successfully treated for parvo and has since been adopted.
Rylee and Rori came from a high kill shelter in KY in 2012. BDBH along with the help of a rescue friend pulled the girls to give them the chance at a new life. Unfortunately they all came down with parvo shortly after being pulled. With help from the vets, rescue friends and generous donors the girls pulled through and are doing well. They are now safe and sound and finding out how good life can be.
A note from Brewster: "Hi there everyone! I'm Brewster and I've finally arrived in my foster home, which I love! I have lots of other canine buddies here whom I like very much, there's some little fuzzy creatures that they call cats that I don't care for. Don't tell anyone but I'm actually a bit scared of them. My foster mom says I'm housebroken and crate great. I don't know what she means by all that but I know I go potty outside and not in the pretty house and I like my crate time as I need my rest!
I know I'm hard on the eyes right now, but I hope my skin will heal in time. My foster mom told me that Big dogs, big hearts is going to do everything to help me heal and that makes me happy. She said I need to go and see a vet who has special experience dealing with skin problems so I hope they can help me too. I've been a bit itchy and sore since I came home, I'm not sure if all the outdoors stuff is bugging my skin more or what but I know my mommy is giving me lots of stuff to help my skin. If you could send some healing thoughts my way, I'd really love that.
I'm hoping there is a family out there who can look past my skin issues and see what a happy sweet guy I am and love me like my foster mom does. She said they are out there, I just hope they find me sooner than later cause I would love to go to this "forever home" my momma talks about as she says I can't stay here forever though I wouldn't mind. Are you my forever home? Won't you come and meet me? All you have to do is send my momma an email asking about me and she'll answer any questions you have. I really hope you do and that we see you at our Saturday meet and greets! Thanks for reading my story, Brewster".
Brewster's treatment: Brewster had a case of severe dermatitis and ear infections. Several skin scrapes were preformed to rule out mange, they all were negative. Slides showed Brewster had lots of yeast growing/living on his skin that was causing him to have very oily, smelly skin. Brewster was prescribed several oral medications which he was on for months as well as medicated baths twice a week for months. Luck was on our side, Brewster was such an awesome patient. He never had one complaint throughout his entire treatment, always took everything with a tail wag and ready to give kisses. Each week, we saw noted improvement and Brewster went from a very mangy looking dog to the very handsome healthy boy he is today! Brewster is living happily with his forever family now!
Our H litter Joined us from a local shelter because they were diagnosed with Ringworm. Ringworm is highly contagious to other animals and people. Unfortunately, the shelter did not have means to quarantine them for treatment and a BDBH's volunteer fell in love with them and decided to step in and give them a chance! These babies needed special medication that was quite expensive and medicated baths. Their immune systems were compromised from the ringworm and all the medications. Lots of care needed to be taken so they did not get sick with anything else until they were up to par and fully vaccinated. Their foster mom did a great job nursing them back to health and socializing them as they were secluded from everything for nearly 2 months during their treatment, never a good thing for a puppy! Once our H litter was fully recovered, they started venturing out into the world and learning there was a whole new BIG world out there!! They were all adopted into wonderful families and have become well balanced adults today!
Their treatment success would not have been possible without the help of Mendon Village Animal Hospital http://www.mendonvillageanimalhospital.com who oversaw their care and progress and their wonderful foster mom who spent hours medicating, bathing and socializing them all!
Introducing Franklin D S'more
"I once heard someone say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, life sure gave me a lemon. Back around Thanksgiving time, my owner had to go into the hospital, and they told me that he wasn't coming back. The neighbors were supposed to take care of me while things got figured out, but they left, too. All I remember is going days and days without food, water, and love. The next thing I knew, I was at a shelter in the Veterinary Clinic. From the looks on everyone's faces, I was not looking too good. I'm super skinny, and have an abscess on the side of my face that isn't too pretty. When I lay down, it feels funny, and I can't get comfortable...my bony hips make it really hard to get cozy. The veterinary clinic has taken good care of me, but I need so much extra veterinary care, that the awesome people at BDBH decided to take my case. I'm waiting for some bloodwork to come back to see exactly what medicine I need. For now, I'm just trying to get my appetite back! I'm not really into the whole dog food thing (I'm going to milk this while I can!), but the chicken someone fed me sure did hit the spot! I have gained a pound since I've been eating...not much but it's a start!! I'm a really handsome boy, and I'm 5 years old, so if I can just get better, I'll have my whole life ahead of me!! For now, I have a nice soft bed to sleep on, and lots of people who care about me, so hopefully my "lemonade" is in the making!! If you can find it in your heart I could use some donations to help with my care, plus some positive thoughts and prayers
Update: Hey everyone. I am slowly but surely getting healthier, thankyou to all who have helped by donating to my care. I have gained weight and my 2nd set of bloodwork shows that my body is recovering from it's starvation. You can probably see I do still have the abcess on my face but it is also getting better now that I have the strength to fight the infection along with antibiotics. I still have a long road to recovery but am so deserving of this chance at a new life.
Update: It's me Franklin again, it turns out that abscess on my face was due to a tooth, guess I should have brushed my teeth huh? That tooth has been removed now and I am healing up nicely I must say. I have continued to gain weight and they say I am now ready for my forever home."
Franklin and BDBH would like to give special thanks to:
All the staff at the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm
We thank all who have made donations towards Franklin's care as well!
My name is Lizzie. I am a dark grey sable German Shepherd Dog ("GSD"). I was born 11-6-2005. I came to BDBH from a shelter in South Carolina. I enjoy being with my people, like any GSD, it is key that I stay well socialized with humans and dogs. I do well with my foster parents pack and while I don't currently live with cats, I could. I adore puppies and I am very appropriate with them. I don't need to be confined in the house, because I am a very well behaved girl. I am housebroken, don't chew on anything inappropriate and don't get on furniture, unless you let me :) I do have bilateral hip dysplasia. BDBH has taken me to an orthopedic surgeon and he suggested I take a joint supplement called Dasaquin MSM http://www.nutramaxlabs.com/vet/products/Dasuquin-for-dogs.aspx daily and an Adequan injection once a month. I am doing very well! Adequan www.adequan.com is an injectable substance known as a "polysulfated glycosaminoglycan". Adequan has been proven to be preferentially taken up by inflamed joints when injected into the dog's muscles. It soothes and lubricates the joint, naturally reducing inflammation and pain by reducing friction. Even better, instead of just masking pain as NSAIDs, i.e., Rimadyl, Deramaxx, do, it actually helps to rebuild cartilage in the damaged joint. It's not just pain control, it's therapy. I love to go for walks and don't be fooled, I can run in my foster parents' yard with the best of the pack. In fact, it is important to balance my exercise/play to keep my muscles strong, yet not overdo. I also love to go for car rides. I know such things as "come, sit, down, shake take, give, OK, and my favorite--Lizzie goooood girl". I do need a leader with firm, fair, and loving guidance or I will feel that I need to step up and be your leader, which is not healthy.
Lizzie has been adopted to a wonderful home where she will continue to live out her life receiving the maintenance she needs for her hips so she can live a long happy and healthy life! It's no easy feat owning an animal with a chronic condition but with the proper medications they can be managed and live life as normal as any other animal!
To take just a little piece of that so that we all understand: Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of the lungs and occasionally in the right side of the heart of dogs, cats and other species of mammals, including wolves, foxes, ferrets, sea lions and (in rare instances) humans. Heartworms are classified as roundworms and are one of many species of these worms. Dogs and cats of any age or breed are susceptible to infection.
So basically, heartworms are a type of worm that grows in the lungs and the heart of infected animals. It is serious enough to be able to kill an animal.
It is also worth noting that these worms can grow up to 12 inches long. Yes, that is right: 12 inch long worms inside our pet's lungs and heart. We are not trying to scare people, but it just might do that!
When I got my first dog I didn't know any of this. There was a pill, I gave it. There was a test, he took it. It was only when I began to volunteer with rescue, and would see dogs that were labeled as "Heartworm Positive" that I started to want to try to understand this disease.
This leads us to the why of our blog:
1. We are blogging to share important and hopefully easy to use information about heartworm disease and prevention so that everyone can have at least a basic (which is what we have) understanding of heartworm when you talk to your veterinarian.
2. We are blogging to show what heartworm treatment is like for a dog, and will be following the story of Mila, a rescue dog in a foster home.
We are hopeful that these two things will help to encourage people to prevent heartworm disease and reduce the number of heartworm positive pets.
Thanks to everyone who has been donating, forwarding, and thinking of these dogs. We truly appreciate it. We wish we could personally thank everyone who has supported us, and these dogs, throughout their treatment. Whether that support was care and concern, or a donation, every single one of you has made a difference.
Maggie's life began much like that of any "normal" puppy. Unfortunately a family that was supposed to love and protect Maggie turned their back. They walked into the shelter, handed Maggie over, turned and walked out the door. There Maggie sat, sad and lonely wondering what she did wrong. Maggie thought her life was turning around when a another family came and adopted her. Sadly, they returned her to the shelter because she was not gaining weight. That is where Big Dogs, Big Hearts came to her Rescue. Maggie came to New York and was taken for a physical exam. A Barium X-ray and further testing revealed that Maggie has Congenital Mega Esophagus.
Megaesophagus by Definition:
Mega ("enlarged") Esophagus is actually a collective term used to describe several esophageal disorders & malformations, but yes, it does mean enlarged. As well as the "mega" enlargement (dilation), the esophagus typically is lacking normal peristaltic ("waves of muscular contraction") function, thus becoming an inert tube, unable to propel ("motility disorder") food to the stomach. In essence, the esophagus is paralyzed ("vagal afferent innervation") to a varying degree. Food and/or liquid can thus remain in the esophagus-- sometimes minutes, sometimes hours, or yes -- even days.
What does this mean for Maggie. Maggie must eat her meals vertical. This way the food will have a chance to go into the stomach as opposed to remaining in her esophagus. This reduces the chance of regurgitating which allows increase nutrients and the ability to gain weight.
UPDATE: 6/12/09 In the weeks that Maggie has been with me, she has gained 12 lbs and currently weighs in at 39.1 lb (up from 27.3 lbs). WOW !!
Type of Family Maggie needs:
Maggie needs a family whose Heart is Bigger than their Fears. Maggies forever family will need to spend a few extra minutes at each meal to monitor that she eats her food in a a vertical position. Besides this Maggie is a normal loving companion. She runs and plays, goes for walks, is very happy when her person comes home. Maggie loves to lay in the grass, in the bright sunshine. She gives kisses and loves to cuddle with her family. She is a true loving companion.
Some consider Maggie to be "Special Needs", but we feel Maggie is just "SPECIAL". The Only thing that makes Maggie "different" from a "normal" dog is in the way she eats her food. Maggie eats from an elevated feeding station. This allows her food to travel to her stomach and not remain in her esophagus. This is "normal" to Maggie.
We would like to thank Dr. Heather Allen and all the donors that helped care for Maggie
Kevlar just arrived from Florida. He came into rescue because he has Mega Esophagus. Kevlar`s name meaning is Protective Wear, Bulletproof, Strong, Protective Armor. Rescue Coordinators and Volunteers have put a FULL METAL JACKET ("Kevlar") around this precious,special boy
Kevlar is a 4 1/2 month old, Purebred Long Haired Sable male GSD pup. He is being spoon fed his meals which e eats elevated/vertical. He is currently being fed four times a day. Kevlar is a happy, loving puppy.
Kevlar could use some Guardian Angels to help with the cost of his medical care.
Megaesophagus by Definition:
Mega ("enlarged") esophagus is actually a collective term used to describe several esophageal disorders & malformations, but yes, it does mean enlarged. As well as the "mega" enlargement (dilation), the esophagus typically is lacking normal peristaltic ("waves of muscular contraction") function, thus becoming an inert tube, unable to propel ("motility disorder") food to the stomach. In essence, the esophagus is paralyzed ("vagal afferent innervation") to a varying degree. Food and/or liquid can thus remain in the esophagus-- sometimes minutes, sometimes hours, or yes -- even days.
We would like to thank Dr. Heather Allen and all the donors that helped us care for Kevlar
Springer was admitted to our local humane society with a broken leg. Radiographs were taken and his break was too advanced for possible repair. Springer was such a great dog, very social and loving towards everyone and anyone he met, BDBH knew he would make a great pet for someone someday and went ahead and committed to taking him. The humane society veterinarians went ahead and amputated his leg to give him the best shot at recovery. Springer never looked back! He recovered with flying colors and acted like he wasn't missing that 4th leg. Dogs adapt so amazingly well when life throws them hiccups, Springer is just an example of that!
Once upon a time, there was a bulldog mix named Froggy. This handsome bulldog didn't have a name when he first came into our local shelter as a stray. Some nice vet techs who worked at the shelter saw Froggy when he came in and said "oh my goodness, what happened to you"?! Froggy was a sight for sore eyes with swollen feet that were sore and peeling. The techs and vets suspected that Froggy wasn't living in a great environment. A soggy, wet, muddy home would be a dream for a real bullfrog, but not this bulldog named Froggy! Froggy was put on to lots of medications to help his feet and skin, but overtime he wasn't showing a lot of improvement and the shelter veterinarians were unsure as of how to help Froggy. They asked BDBH's to step in and help him and we did. Froggy went to see our rescue veterinarians who went to work running tests and trying to find out what was wrong with this sweet boy and how they could help him reach top health and be the handsome bulldog they knew he was under his skin issues. Froggy continued to take medications and had a skin biopsy done, that was sent to Cornell. His skin biopsy suspected he had a Zinc and Vitamin K defiency issue. Whether he was born with an issue or acquired it over time due to neglect, we don't know. Our rescue veterinarians changed his medication accordingly and we got him on the appropriate diet. Over the months, we began to see the handsome boy Froggy is now emerging from underneath as his skin healed up. After about 3 months of intense treatment, our veterinarians cleared Froggys skin and he was off medication. Froggy got kissed by a "princess" and blossomed into a very handsome young bulldog.
Froggy went to a “foster to adopt” situation with his current family, as he was still not quite 100 percent and we wanted to be sure he was prior to him being adopted. Not long after being with them, Froggy was showing signs of lameness in his front right leg. Back to the vet this boy went and was found to have an OCD Lesion in his right shoulder. See link for more information: http://www.acvs.org/AnimalOwners/HealthConditions/SmallAnimalTopics/OsteochondrosisoftheShoulder/ Handsome Froggy needed surgery to repair his shoulder. We went ahead and got a consult and scheduled him to have his OCD repaired. On June 8, 2011 Froggy underwent surgery which was a success all around. After surgery, Froggy returned to his family and began slow rehab to get his shoulder working well and ensure he didn’t lose all his muscle mass. Froggy’s recovery went well and there were no complications. Froggy’s then foster family completed his adoption and made Froggy an official member of the family! They report that he has grown to be 100 pounds 2 years later!! Froggy was one of those cases where we didn't have a clear-cut answer and just went with the flow and the results were exactly what we hoped for- a healthy, happy, adopted dog!!
Meet Halo, meaning "Special Angel". Halo arrived in NY from a high kill shelter in Kentucky. Halo is a 3 year old German Shepherd mix who weighs in about 35-40 pounds. (As small as she is, she has a lot of shepherd in her, however we think her issues may have stunted her growth quite a bit). Halo has settled in with her foster family and loves all her canine friends. She adores people and just loves to be loved on. Halo is a very special needs girl. When we pulled Halo, we knew she had what looked to be a birth defect to her front left leg. Her leg cuts off just after the elbow joint and then a small portion of the bone folds inward towards her body and then her leg ends.
Halo has been fitted for both a front end cart and a prosthetic but, at the end of day it is clear that Halo is not comfortable in either of them and would prefer to just run around free of everything. Halo is a super social girl with other dogs and would love to be in a home where she has some canine friends. She also just loves love and attention and will seek it out from her people.
Please don’t tell Halo that she is different in any way as she does not act that way! Halo can run like the wind and play like it is her job! Halo is on and will continue to benefit from joint supplements and pain management for when she might be in a bit of pain. Halo will do well in most homes and is just looking for a home where she will get tons of love and structure. She will return the love everyday!
BDBH's would like to thank the many veterinarians that have helped us diagnose Halo and provide her with her needs. Cornell Companion Animal Hospital http://www.vet.cornell.edu/hospital/companion.htm where Halo had her CT and surgical consult, Mendon Village Animal Hospital http://www.mendonvillageanimalhospital.vetsuite.com/Templates/bracket.aspx whom saw Halo when she first arrived to us and referred her to Cornell. They are also helping us get her anxiety under control. Theravet Acres http://www.thera-vet.com who helped us do her measurements for her cart and will be working with us to fit her for a prosthetic. Theravet is currently looking into the best company to work with for Halo's prosthetic. Lastly Eddies Wheels http://www.eddieswheels.com where BDBH's got Halo's front end cart from. BDBH's and Halo herself thank everyone who has provided donations for her.
Keelin came to BDBH from TN. She is a bouncy, happy girl. She loves people, has fun doing things, and is grateful to be safe and cared for. This was a girl found in the mud, tied to a tree, abandoned and taken to a shelter.
Keelin has been diagnosed with an ectopic ureter, meaning that instead of the little tube delivering her urine into her bladder, it is taking it, in her case, to the vagina. Which fills with urine, and then it flows out when she is laying down. Here are some links with information on this condition:
Her foster is keeping her diapered, trying to keep her clean (and doing an excellent job - no more urine scald!), and with the hotter weather, doing more of it all as Keelin drinks more water! Her foster is amazing, as this is constant, difficult, and to be frank, there is a strong odor given the amount of urine being passed.
As soon as funds are raised, we will be making the appointment for her to go to Cornell to correct this condition with laser surgery. Given the sweet and wonderful nature of this girl, we have to give her this chance.
Costs for Keelin:
Shelter fee, spay, boarding and care in TN: $300
Testing, evaluation, diagnosis including incontinence medications, blood work, renal panels, urinalysis, ultrasound, CT scan, bladder tap and culture, boarding while trying to get the urine from the bladder tap (hard to do when the urine has left the building, so to speak!), urine culture needs to be repeated prior to surgery: $700
Surgery estimate: $1800-2400
After care appointments estimate: $200
Another success story, Keelin had surgery to correct her ectopic ureter and is now in a loving forever home.
Vera is believed to be an 8 month old, 36lbs, boxer/bully mix (her DNA has been sent out to determine what this little cutie is really composed of). Upon arriving to BDBH in December 2012, she was diagnosed with a severe case of Demodex (which an auto immune triggered disease very common in young puppies). Her condition was untreated by her original owners which resulted in complete hair loss and secondary skin infections due to her scratching her very irritated skin. After months of successful treatment, she is now Demodex free and has a beautiful white/bridle spotted coat!
Vera is a very loving girl who has a complete zest for life. Her spirit was not tarnished by those who she had started her life with and she is looking to find a forever home who will spoil her happy tail wagging self for the remainder of her life!
Meet Christina! Christina is estimated to be around 5 yrs old. She is a sweet Siberian Husky. She is 100% house and crate trained. Gets along with dogs and cats (as long as everyone is mindful of their manners and introduced properly). She is a vocal girl who loves to talk! Typical husky! She is learning how to play from her foster brothers and sister. Christina enjoys naps, affection, and toys. She's an extremely affectionate girl who deserves a calm and loving home where she can spoil her new family with all of her charm!
Shortly, upon transfer to BDBH, we noticed that Christina's coat did not look or feel as a husky coat should and that she seemed to want to sleep more than she should. My gut said something was off. We recently had a CBC/Chem and thyroid panel run and sure enough the results indicate that Christina has hypothyroidism http://marvistavet.com/html/hypothyroidism.html
Christina is now on .5mg of Soloxine, two times a day for 4 weeks, and then she will need a new thyroid panel and re-evaluation of the medication. She will need to be on the thyroid medication for life, which averages about $20 a month. Here is a cute video of her at her vet's - Mendon Village Animal Hospital http://youtu.be/rswoqHvbfN0 She is responding beautifully to the medication.
Christina is a love. She prefers to be with her people as much as possible and has done perfectly with all her foster canines. Christina would do best in a home with a fenced in yard, she is not your typical fence jumping husky, but if she did get away from you, she is a nose to the ground, husky.
Shannon is a 3 year old Labadoodle who is extremely friendly and gentle. She is recently recovered a ablation of her left ear that closed off part of her ear and redirected her ear canal. Shannon has gone through treatment for a heartworm disease. She is now heartworm negative and is in great shape and ready for her forever home.
Shannon is very patient and docile, preferring to just quietly stand by her owner rather than fetch or run. She gets along well with dogs of all sizes as well as cats. Loves children and is very gentle with them. She is crate trained on command and is good on a leash. She is learning other commands. Shannon will be a calm and loyal companion to a single owner or a family.