Once upon a time, adoptable Miss Dora the Explorer lived outside in a yard with several other dogs. She and her siblings had little shelter and no access to vet care. The yard that was their home was not very secure, so Dora would take herself for walks around the neighborhood from time to time. Not surprisingly, she ended up a teenage mom.
Luckily Dora’s people did care for her as well as they felt able, and when they heard about a free pit bull spay/neuter day in their neighborhood in East Austin, they decided to walk her over.
It turned out Dora had heartworm. Heartworm is a type of parasite that travels from host to host via mosquito bite. The heartworms live in arteries and lung tissue, and can eventually enter the heart. Mild and early cases of heartworm are often asymptomatic, while more severe cases can present as fainting, fast exhaustion during exercise, loss of appetite, weight loss, or a bloody cough. If heartworm is not treated, it can lead to much suffering and heart failure.
After some conversations with Love-a-Bull, Dora’s person agreed to surrender her. He could not provide her the care she needed, and understood that she would be better off in another home. It’s hard to overstate how much we admire this gentleman’s courage for giving her the opportunity to have the life she deserves instead of giving in to the very human urge to keep what is dear to him — his sweet little dog.
For the past couple of months, Dora has successfully undergone heartworm treatment. The treatment is long, complicated, somewhat risky, and very expensive. The most common potion used to treat heartworm includes a form of arsenic as a key ingredient — the roundworms are basically poisoned slowly with low doses of a deadly toxin. During the months-long treatment period, it is imperative to keep the dog calm because the meds are very taxing for the dog’s system. After the course of treatment is through, the dog has to stay cool and mellow for another few weeks or months, and then — if all goes well — we all do a little victory dance and go for a nice vigorous run.
Our sweet Miss Dora passed her treatment with flying colors and came out healthy as a horse. Judging by this girl’s bouncy attitude, you wouldn’t guess that her system was overrun by nasty little roundworms just a couple of months ago. Dora is still in the nice-and-easy stage of post-treatment, but she can’t wait to put on her dancing shoes and celebrate her new-found perfect health!
For more info on adopting Dora the Explorer, click here or contact us at info [at] loveandaleash [dot] com.