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Discussion Starter #1
This one has me worried. I'd be grateful for help networking her. Feel free to cross-post anywhere good people might see this. PM me if you know anyone who might be interested in taking her into rescue, fostering her, or giving her a place to enjoy her last years safely surrounded by comfort and love.

Here's the bio that will appear over the next day or so on Petfinder:

****SPECIAL NEEDS****

Dorothy appears to be a purebred German Shepherd Dog. Once upon a time, this "Golden Girl" used to be a svelt, sexy, young German Shepherd girl with a glistening coat and bright eyes. Her body was full of athletic energy and grace back then. Time has left its mark on her, and she no longer has the sparkle she once did, but her heart is full of love and wisdom that can only come from age. She's hoping there's an adopter out there who can relate to what that feels like, and appreciate that sometimes our bodies look older than we feel. Her muzzle may have turned white, but she still has a deep inner beauty that still shines in her face when she meets new friends.

She is friendly and trusting, with a lovely gentle disposition with the volunteers and staff in the shelter. She still has a lot of get-up-and-go and enjoys going for walks. She has perfectly polite leash manners, and she walks without any stiffness or limping. In fact, we think that once she gains some much needed weight and adds a bit of muscle-tone through daily walks, she will regain some of her sparkle. She would be a marvelous companion for someone who wants a calm, mellow friend to enjoy sitting together and watching TV or reading a book -- she's as easy-going a dog as we've seen, and likely has years of friendship left to give.

Dorothy appears to be blind. We suspect she perceives light, and possibly some shapes, but she does bump into things if not guided carefully into new environments. She is confident and eager to explore, without any fear. She's also very trusting on the leash, expecting her human companion will help show her where to walk. Blind dogs adapt very well, as dogs naturally rely primarily on their sense of smell and hearing anyway. They lead normal lives, memorizing the layout of their homes and yards, navigating with uncanny precision once they know their environment.

Dorothy is available at the Companion Animal Alliance (Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge), the public shelter in Baton Rouge, LA. Her impound number is 36692. This is NOT a "no kill" shelter, but it has a progressive management team open to creative solutions to save lives. We need help finding a solution for Dorothy.



 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yep, they do. In the past, I've sometimes been able to get a GSR or other good rescue out-of-state to do a "courtesy" home check as a favor to us when there are private-party adopters, so that we all have peace of mind regarding where the dog is going. We've even had some adopters on the other side of the country pay for commercial plane transport, since the shelter is right next to the BTR airport.

They'll also work with out-of-state rescues, if the rescue is willing to arrange transport.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I pulled her. I couldn't stand her being there any more. She needed to be out of there urgently.

I arranged for a vet opthamologist to do a pro bono exam on her eyes. One is blind from an old injury. The other is actually fine -- possibly some age-related vision loss, but it's still functioning. The bumping into stuff only happens on the side with the bad eye.

Also, she's not as old as she looks in these pictures. She's very emaciated at 71# (should be 85+, as she's a BIG girl). Her skin and coat is in awful condition, adding to the illusion that she's geriatric. The vet said 5+. I'm going to guess ~7. She's way younger than my 11 year old. In fact, when we took her out for a walk, she was jaunty and spry. She loves going for walks.

There's a good dog hiding beneath the raggedy exterior. She's totally people focused and very calm -- following us around the yard, walking in a nice heel position, and taking direction beautifully. She has a lovely sentry bark and is alert and bright. There's a lot of life and spunk in this dog. She loved meeting my friend's young children who are my experienced "dog testers." Even when the boys were running (and yelling) a few feet away, she just calmly watched them without the slightest hint of uneasiness.

I became deeply worried about her at the shelter after I heard a clueless cat-person who works at the shelter label her as "dog aggressive" after that person took her out for showing. That DA label is frequently a prelude to putting dogs on a euthanasia list, so I was worried. I think this person was afraid of a big GSD, and likely misread normal excitement of being let out of the kennel and curiosity about other dogs.

Before we came home, I spent an hour trying replicate the alleged reactivity this shelter worker thinks she saw. I actively tried to find a trigger--any trigger. I couldn't find one.

In the shelter's vet clinic, Dorothy was around 4 other dogs in the exam room, without incident in very close quarters. In the stray area, I walked her past cages with obnoxious dogs jumping against the gates growling and snarling at her --she was non-plussed (no hackles raised, no body tension, just patiently waiting for me to move on). We introduced her to an array of dogs -- she even went nose-to-nose with her tail happily wagging.

As we were leaving with her, once we knew she was stable, we walked her through the lobby, where there were lots of people and dogs on a weekend afternoon. She sat shoulder to shoulder with a dog she didn't know, eating treats, while I filled out paperwork. She calmly waited for the other dog to finish its own treat. At one point, she wanted to try to play with one of the smaller dogs.

Not many dogs would have been as mellow about all this as she was. Dog aggressive??! :crazy:

I'll post more pics later today. She's in pretty bad shape physically. In a month, she won't be recognizable after she puts on some weight and her coat starts coming in.
 

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How good of you to pull her. She looks like she has really suffered.
 

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I can take her if you can get her down to Texas.

Jelpy
 

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She is such a pretty girl- I can't wait to see how she progresses under your care. Bless you for pulling her.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks, all. She broke with kennel cough yesterday. It's a wicked strain that has been turning into pneumonia in some dogs leaving the shelter into foster. This is a concern since she's so fragile due to the emaciation. My DH is taking her to our own vet, and we're paying for a RX of Doxy (the "good" antibiotic for a URI). I don't want to mess around with "second choice" antibiotics to "wait and see" if they work.

The kennel cough would have doomed her at the shelter -- a dog like this would have been euthed once sick. I'm very, very glad she didn't break with it until she got to my house.

Jelpy, thank you SO much for the offer! I'll send you a PM. I have no budget for transport here (I am fostering her for a very underfunded public shelter). Usually with out of state adoptions, the shelter requires the adopter to arrange transport. We can talk and see if we can come up with some creative solution.
 

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Thanks so much for taking in this dog! Glad to hear that she needs some groceries and TLC and should be on the mend. Also nice to hear that she has such a great temperament!

I'm sure I don't need to tell you to be sure to do reference and home checks...even if it were me I would recommend it. ;) We don't really know who anyone is on this forum...

Oops, just saw that she has KC. In addition to the abx I would give her something to boost her immune system.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yep, yep. It's going to be a while before she's ready to go anywhere. We've got a comprehensive app with personal and vet references, and I do call them. The few times I've had an out-of-state app for my fosters, I've been able to work through a local GSR in the prospective adopter's hometown to do a home check for me. The folks at the GSR in Houston had an absolutely wonderful, very experienced volunteer helping me with one last year, actually.

Right now, we are supplementing with organic coconut oil, fish oil, vit. B complex, mixed tocopherol vit. E, digestive enzymes and a probiotic. Her appetite is waning as the KC gets worse (typical), so it is going to be a challenge to keep her eating. She's too thin to stop eating!

I may make her some satin balls. I just picked up 10# of mixed ground beef heart, tongue, liver and kidney from a small local butcher. Do you think I should bake them instead of feeding them raw, since her immune system is shot?
 

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I usually just avoid raw when they have intestinal issues. Can you get tripe?

If her appetite is going you may have to cook so that there is a good smell. Slippery elm is great for nausea but has to be given a half hour away from meds.

I'm still on the fence about coconut oil (in large amounts) but what about vit. C and colostrum?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Funny you mention C -- I actually just added an Ester-C to her supps. She does eat cubes of NB roll from my hand, and small amounts of food--but it's pretty clear her appetite is fading fast. Typical of KC.

I've never used colosutrum. I can swing by Whole Foods and look for it. You've seen it help sick dogs, I take it?

I don't have access to tripe here right now. I may check with the butcher who sold me the other stuff and see if he might bring tripe to the farmer's market this weekend (he comes from out in the country..not sure if he sells it).

I'm thinking I'll bake up some of the meat with some oats and a few eggs for her. I think the cooked liver in it might appeal to her.

The coconut oil has to be started in small doses and worked up. I think it's likely important for her, as she's also got lots of yeasty stuff going on (in the ears, on the skin, undoubtedly systemic inside her too). We gave her a chlorhex bath when we brought her home, and her skin already seems to feel better. Vet today gave us Otomax for the ears too--when we cleaned them with a diluted vinegar solution, we noticed lots of crusty, dirty stuff, which the vet wants to treat. I do think we need to support ridding the yeast slowly systemically--not too fast as the last thing she needs right now is herxing on top of all the other problems.

Her energy is pretty good. She wants to go walking and it perks her up, though we only go about three houses down as I don't want to tire her out. The change of scenery and fresh air seems to agree with her, and she seems so happy to be outside, even for a short bit.
 

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Good suggestion -- I just called my little independent pet food store, and he's got 5 cans of Merrick's canned tripe food in stock: http://www.petfooddirect.com/product/9484/Merrick-Grain-Free-Real-Tripe-Canned-Dog-Food?extcid=PLA&gclid=CN3mvaay-7gCFQee4AodYm0Azg Heading over to get it now. I'll spoon feed her that stinky stuff if it keeps her eating. LOL.

I think I'm going to also make her a cooked version of satin balls: meat, cereal, oats, eggs, oil, molasses -- just bake it up in little balls for her. I may leave out the cereal, though and keep it simple. Any thoughts on anything else to add before baking?
 

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I've tried coconut oil with the dogs and I eat it myself. Works great on the outside (cuts, burns, dry skin, etc.) but haven't noticed any difference on the inside. It is very high in saturated fat so I suppose if nothing else it will help with weight gain.

I used the colostrum for Rafi when I adopted him. He had demodex and was recovering from tough times living on his own.
 
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