GRETCHEN (Pittie / Aussie)

I am happy to report that all of my Staff is finally well and can go out to see the Public.  Everyone in the South seemed to have the same thing, so hopefully, we will not get anything new.  During our illness, we were still taking in pups and running dogs in and out of the hospital.   Sweet Gretchen was rescued during this time.


During the Holidays, another Rescue from Vidalia, GA, was driving back from St. Simons, Georgia, when they pulled into a convenience store and saw a starved Mama Dog with her three older puppies. They were eating garbage and looking for any scraps they could find.  The Mama dog appeared to be injured and was limping on her rear leg.


The rescue scooped up the Mama and her pups and brought them back to Vidalia, GA.  We were contacted to help with the Mama they were now calling Gretchen.   The puppies had already been weened because Gretchen was so starved she probably could not produce any more milk.   Gretchen appears to be a 6-year-old Pitty / Aussie Mix.   Puppies are easy to place, but an emaciated older dog with an injury is another story.  We agreed to take Gretchen and get her well.  


Gretchen was taken to CVRC in Charleston, SC.   She was very timid when she first arrived but was happy she was offered food, and her puppies no longer depended on her and were safe.  They are going to another Rescue and will be placed in loving homes.  Gretchen now needed all of our attention focused on her.   The injury to her leg appeared to be an older one.   She was either attacked by something, or someone hit her.


Her x-rays were pretty unremarkable.  She had some mild hip dysplasia, and arthritis from old injuries, but nothing explained her lameness.  Whatever was going on in her knee joint had been going on for a while because her leg has significant atrophy.   Bloodwork and diagnostics were done. Gretchen's values were all over the place because of her emaciated state.  Our hope is after a couple of weeks, her values will improve as she gains weight.  She was also Heartworm positive and would have to be treated once she improved.


Gretchen loved everyone she met while in the hospital.  Every Specialist involved in her care to figure out her leg issues.  Something had happened to her leg, and the joint area was significantly swollen.  Both Orthopedic Surgeons decided the only way to determine what was wrong was to go in and evaluate the joint and tissue and take samples to determine if she had an infection.  During this procedure, they would lavage the area and flush out any infection or discharge they found.  


We are still waiting on the culture results to come back.  The surgeons decided to put her on an antibiotic to start treating for an infection, pain meds, and anti-inflammatory meds.   One of the results came back that shocked everyone, including our Cardiologist.  Heartworm Microfilaria was found in her joint cavity.  No one had ever heard of this happening.  Heartworms do not cross barriers from blood to other fluids.  Dr. Jesty, our Cardiologist, determined Gretchen had trauma in her leg that caused Blood Contamination.  Microfilaria was in her bloodstream and infiltrated the area, which is very uncommon.


Poor pup has been dealing with this since she was injured.  Gretchen had to stay in the hospital to start her treatments.  Once we get the final culture back, we will adjust her antibiotics.  Dr. Jesty will do a special heartworm Treatment for Gretchen when her leg has improved.  In the meantime, she was started on Heartgard to start killing the Microfilaria.


Sweet Gretchen is a fabulous dog that loves everyone.  She has a lot of fur on her that hides the fact she is skin and bones.  Since her procedure, she has started to put weight on her lame leg but is still raising it a lot. I believe the bulk of her inflammation was coming from Microfilaria that caused excessive swelling. The good news is she is with us now and has the chance to heal and get well.


Please, Donate toward this precious Mom's medical bills so we can help more pups like Gretchen get the medical care they need to survive and thrive.  Thanks for caring. 

January 14, 2020 by Jennifer Smith