When we first received a plea to help Hallie, we were completely out of room to take in any more dogs. And then…we saw Hallie’s photos and knew there was no way we could turn her away.
Because Hallie was almost two hours away, we agreed to meet the owners halfway which meant an hour’s drive for each of us. Little did we know what that meant for Hallie. The halfway point was a Racetrac gas station just off the highway. We pulled in at noon, and a few minutes later a gray pickup truck with a crate and a dog in the bed of the truck pulled up behind us. I was nearly in tears as I whispered to Dan, “She’s been in the bed of the truck for at least an hour on the highway. She must be terrified!”
I ran to the bed of the truck to let Hallie out of the crate. It took everything I had not to bust into tears right then and there. She couldn’t even see through all the mucus in her eyes, and she had almost no hair on her body. I could see the fleas crawling all over her skin that was scratched completely raw. I replaced the rusty, one pound chain she was wearing with a new, soft cloth collar, wiped her eyes clean, and helped her into the back seat of our car.
The owner handed us a bag of food that was labeled “Vegetarian Dog Food – Great for Skin and Coat.” I waited until he left and threw the bag of food right into the trash. Dogs are carnivores. Depriving a carnivore of any species appropriate nutrition for years and years would certainly make any dog sick.
We made the trek home and got Hallie immediately into the tub for a therapeutic bath. I gently massaged her raw skin with Earthbath, an all natural shampoo, for about 15 minutes, which was plenty of time for the shampoo to suffocate and drown all the fleas that were tormenting her.
In the hour it took us to get home, her eyes had built up enough mucus that she could barely see again. I cleaned her eyes out again and was able to examine them further. Her top eyelashes were stuck to her eyeballs with mucus, and when she blinked, her top eyelashes were underneath her bottom eyelids! Because no one but Dan was around, I allowed myself to cry. It hurt my heart to see how much pain Hallie was in, and to think of how long she has been like this. I am stunned at how loving and sweet Hallie is despite all the pain she is feeling.
I patted her dry with a fresh, soft, warm towel, and made her a comfortable bed in a crate in our isolation room with a fresh bowl of water. Since it was Sunday, our veterinarian wasn’t open. I woke up first thing on Monday and called Dr. Gerald Johnson at Silverthorn Veterinary Clinic and took the first available appointment the following morning.
When we got to the clinic, Dr. Gerald Johnson and his staff examined Hallie. They asked about the limited history we knew of, did a fecal, skin scrape, and a 4Dx test (which tests for heartworm, lyme, ehrlichia and anaplasmosis).
The fecal came back positive for hookworms, so Hallie was prescribed Panacur. While Dr. Johnson agrees that diatomaceous earth is typically fantastic as a general dewormer, in Hallie’s severe case we want to rid her of the worms as soon as possible so she can start healing from the inside out. With as heavy of a load that Hallie has and because of the life cycle of hookworms, diatomaceous earth would take a considerably longer amount of time to rid her of the hookworms than Panacur will. He did recommend that we use diatomaceous earth after the Panacur as a maintenance wormer and to kill any worms that the Panacur might have missed.
Hallie’s skin scrape came back negative for mange, thank goodness! Dr. Johnson believes the hair loss is due to the completely species inappropriate vegetarian diet she had been eating her whole life. He prescribed a homeopathic remedy to help bring her body into balance and aid her skin in healing. He recommended we feed her a raw diet and add fish oil and coconut oil.
Dr. Johnson is hopeful that her eyelashes are only turned in on her eyeballs due to the inflammation and mucus in her eyes, and not due to entropion. We have another appointment in a week to see how she is progressing and what her eyes are looking like. We should know by then whether or not surgery will be necessary for her eyes. Until then, he told us to rinse her eyes with saline three times a day, wait 15 minutes, and apply an antibiotic ointment, Gentamicin Sulfate. Dr. Johnson said he doesn’t usually resort to antibiotics, but in a case as severe as Hallie’s the use is warranted.
He prescribed an all natural supplement vetri-liquid DMG to help support and boost Hallie’s immune system.
We will receive the results of the 4Dx test tomorrow.
Our next appointment is April 24th. If you’d like to donate to help pay for Hallie’s medical bills, please click the donate button below to donate safely and securely via PayPal.
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