Lola Bean (Pittie)

BEAUFORT, SC...A Vet contacted us in the Lowcountry of South Carolina that desperately wanted to save a two-month-old puppy.  Lola Bean was brought to the Vet after she had stopped eating and was lethargic.  Most Vets in General Practice cannot save a puppy that needs life support to breathe.  The animal has to be rushed to a Speciality Hospital that has an ER and a Criticalist.  


I inquired what was wrong and had them send me any medical records and x-rays.  The main issue was Lola Bean was struggling so hard to breathe; she was in danger of going into Respiratory Distress.   She was going to be put to sleep or transferred to an ER.   The Owner could not help her and had other puppies they needed to take care of that were not sick.


We were the only Rescue who would take on such a case knowing the cost of saving this tiny baby was going to be very high. We had Lola Bean rushed to CVRC in Charleston, SC, where they were waiting for her arrival. The x-rays of Lola's lungs were horrifying.   How she was breathing at all was a Miracle.  Lola Bean was rushed to the back the minute she arrived at CVRC and then was placed in oxygen, where she remained for one week.   


Every specialist in the hospital was involved in Lola Bean's Case.  How could a young puppy end up with such harsh lungs with milddorsal crackles?  Her x-rays showed a diffuse mottled appearance in all lung fields.   Three thoracic radiographs confirmed diffuse bronchointerstitial to a pulmonary alveolar pattern, marked.   Whatever Lola Bean had, it had already begun to show scarring in her lungs.  


Lola Bean's Team of Specialists decided to put her on a broad-spectrum antibiotic.   Once she was stable enough to go under anesthesia, the Team wanted to do a Cat Scan and endotracheal wash to get a culture of what was in her lungs.   Unfortunately, that was not going to happen for a while since Lola Bean's respiratory rate was way too high.  She was in danger of respiratory fatigue.    


They upped her oxygen to 50% and would have to consider mechanical ventilation if she continued to breathe this rapidly as Respiratory Arrest was now a genuine concern. It breaks our hearts to see such a tiny innocent puppy struggling to breathe.    We rescued Lola Bean to save her, and she was way beyond critical.  With all the Covid-19 cases everywhere, I was beginning to thing Lola Bean had it.


I was informed she could have any number of Respiratory Diseases that could be Viral, Bacterial, or Fungal.  After four days in oxygen and on antibiotics, Lola Bean began to show signs of improvement.  Her respiratory rate slowed down slightly, and she got her appetite back. Adorable does not begin to describe this little Angel's face sticking out of the Oxygen Unit, wanting some loving.  Everyone felt terrible watching her struggle to breathe and wanting to play at the same time.  Puppies never know they are sick until they die.  They keep playing and running around until they collapse.   


Lola Bean finally got strong enough for a Cat Scan and a Tracheal Wash to be done.   Reviewed findings, consistent with viral pneumonitis with secondary interstitial pneumonia.A big concern about minimal immune response (fever, systemic unwellness), could indicate underlying immunodeficiency (something wrong with the immune system).


The only way to know is to treat for treatable (bacterial, atypical bacterial, parasitic, support/symptomatic treatment) while culture and cytology are pending and see how she does. If this is infectious and she improves, we will have to monitor her recovery to know if Infectious Disease is present since these are diseases that are not readily tested for in dogs that are not typical breeds.


This tiny puppy's body had created the Perfect Storm, and no one was sure how to treat her.  The good news was she was improving with antibiotics.  The bad news is that her tracheal wash culture was not conclusive since she had started antibiotics before the culture was taken.    


After a week in oxygen in ICU, Lola Bean was finally able to be weaned off oxygen.   It took several days before she could remain out of the oxygen unit and was stable.    Her x-rays still show mottling, but her breathing has improved dramatically. Her Specialists think the mottling we are now seeing is more scarring than an ongoing infection.


We may never know what initially caused Lola Bean to get so sick.   We never got to rule out anything.  We will be doing chest x-rays on her for a very long time while she is recovering.  Her energy level has improved dramatically, and she is finally out of quarantine.  If you look at her now, you would never know she was a whisper away from getting her Golden Angel Wings. Lola Bean runs and plays to her heart's content without a care in the World.


We will be closely monitoring her for the next month to make sure she does not have a relapse.  In the meantime, saving her has just about broken the bank.   Saving her almost cost us everything.  The good news is, she eventually did get well.  We hope that she will continue to improve and live a very long and happy Life without further medical issues.  


I am begging for everyone to please Donate toward this little Angel named Lola Bean.  She is alive today because we did not give up or give in when no one else would help her.  She may be disposable to a lot of people, but to us, she is a living, breathing creature that deserves unconditional Love and Care.    


We don't know what tomorrow will bring.  All we do know is this moment in time when an innocent, defenseless animal crosses our Path.   We could spare ourselves the sight by closing our eyes and walking away.  We choose to turn around and embrace those deemed unlovable and damaged.   That brief moment is everything to the tortured and abused.   They may die tomorrow, but today they are safe and loved. 

August 05, 2020 by Jennifer Smith