Friday, January 7, 2011
Pooches: The Story of Shy
She came to the animal hospital weighing 30 pounds - completely emaciated, we could see every rib, every bone on her body. Her haircoat was thinning and very dull looking - hair would just fall out whenever you touched her. She had undiagnosed diabetes and her previous owners relinquished her to the animal hospital. Incredibly, she was super sweet despite how horrible she was probably feeling at the time. After a few weeks at the animal hospital, she had gained 15 pounds, was put on insulin and a healthy diet, and her haircoat became super shiny red and back to normal. Sadly, because she is diabetic, she developed cataracts secondary to the diabetes - she has lost some vision because of it and her vision may continue to decrease - but amazingly, she barely realizes it. Her attitude and mood haven't changed because of her loss of sight and she is still the happy, sweet little girl that she was when she came in. She has been living at the animal hospital in the kennel for four months and she really needs to get out into the world and exist with people again. She has become a staff favorite at the animal hospital, but we are having a very difficult time finding her a home because of her special needs. She also cannot be homed with cats (which is the reason why I can't take her) -but is fine with dogs her size or larger.
We've been speaking to some rescues in our area, who are unfortunately full. We know of one rescue in the Chicagoland area who would accept her if she can find a foster home. We were hoping to do this; however, we don't think Miss M can have another female in the house for more than a few months, and if anything happened I think it would be much worse for Shy to go back to boarding after being in a home.
I was curious about what a dog with diabetes entails, and Heather said the following:
It is very easy to give insulin shots. They go subcutaneuosly (just under the skin) and dogs have looser skin than people - so really all you do is lift up an area of skin on her back and stick the needle in! There are no vital structures that you are in danger of hitting with the needle. She is on twice daily insulin injections (14 units twice a day - 28 total) - the vial of insulin (Humulin-N) is 10 mls (=1000 units) - so each bottle should last just over a month. The syringes are very cheap and I called all of the local pharmacies down here and the insulin runs about $50 a bottle. The owner of animal hospital said she would be more than happy to send a whole vial of insulin with Shy wherever she goes.
If someone were able to help foster her, E and I would also help finance the cost so she could have a 5 month supply of insulin, and look into providing other financial options thereafter. Update: HoundDogMom made an interesting point in the comments section noting how easy it is to care for a diabetic animal.
We feel so lucky that someone saw something special and took a chance on Miss M and Mr B, much like other adopted dogs who someone took a chance on. We're really hoping that Shy gets this same chance. Please let us know if anyone has any thoughts or ideas. And here is a video of Shy in action, so you can really see her sweet nature shining through: