GREENVILLE, SC......It is a sad, sad day when we end up with a Critical German Shepherd Dog when there are so many German Shepherd Rescues out there. That day has come.  We got a DESPERATE plea to help Abigail a three-year-old pure breed German Shepherd that was Critical. She was found as a stray with Necrotizing Mastitis.    


Greenville County Animal Control was doing everything they could for this sweet, sweet pup and nothing was working. It appears she was abandoned after having puppies and developing Mastitis. She was not treated, and her bacteria levels became so high that when she was picked up, the skin over her Mammary Chain had died and was black.  


 If Mastitis goes untreated, it could lead to septic shock.  Well, we are there right now, and it is a Nightmare. Abigail was brought to CVRC (Charleston Veterinary Referral Center) with the worst infection you could ever imagine.  The entire underside of her body was black and swollen.  The pain was beyond measure and had been this way for a while.  We had three Surgeons and two Critical Care Specialists overseeing her care.   


Her bills were mounting so quickly in the first 24-hours that I felt like I was buying a house. I seriously was beginning to think I was a little bit Mental for taking on this case given all the animals we already have in the Hospital in ICU.  What made matters worse was that  Abigail could not be any sweeter.  With all of the pain and suffering she has endured, all she wanted to do was give kisses.


This beautiful pup does not have one critical thing going on; she has lots because of such a large area of dead skin that had to be removed.   Where do you begin when a dog is anemic, and the albumin levels are deficient from blood loss and large gaping wounds? Plasma treatment is often inefficient and cost-prohibitive, given the amount of plasma needed to raise serum albumin levels.  I have been here before with other pups, and it is a hard problem to fix.


The Critical Care Team managed to get Abigail stable so she could have surgery to debride all of the dead tissue.  Dr. Rachel Seibert drew the short straw for Abigail's procedure.  I say Short-Straw because this was going to be messy surgery that was going to take hours on top of hours to accomplish the debridement.  Cultures were also taken and sent off for evaluation to determine the bacteria she had.


I had already discussed with each of the Surgeons what had to happen once the dead skin was removed. The area was too large to close, and we had to get the infected fluid out which was being produced in massive amounts.  Fluid loss such as this was going to drop her albumin levels even lower.  I bought a Surgical / Veterinary Vacuum Pump years ago for this purpose. It was thousands of dollars but is the only thing that will save a Dog's Life when they have this much infection.


Once Dr. Seibert was finished with the debridement, she attached the pump inside the open area, and special bandages were placed to seal the area so the pump would pull out the fluid. The plastic bottles began to fill immediately.  Each fill requires a new bottle be set on the machine.  This has been going on for several days now and will continue until the area can be closed.   


Abigail is Critical and will be in ICU until we rid her body of the infection she has.  Her culture came back that she has an E-Coli infection which is only resistant to Amikacin which is another problem for her. The list goes on and on, but for now, I will take the progress we are making as a good sign.  Please, PRAY for this beautiful dog.   The person that allowed this to happen after taking her puppies should be put below a jail.  There is no punishment big enough for what has happened to Abigail.


We need everyone to please, DONATE toward Abigail's Medical Bills.  No amount is too small, and if you can give more, please do.  Her bills are astronomical and are not going to be going down any time soon.  She HAS to stay in ICU and will be there until we can close the wound.  Abigail needed help, and NO ONE was stepping up for her.    We were the only ones that thought she mattered.  I don't know if we can save this beautiful dog, but we are going to do everything in our power to give her this chance.

October 24, 2018 by Jennifer Smith