Date : Oct 17 2012
Meet Gus Gus, a 4 year old Sheltie. I rescued him after being abandoned at the animal hospital I work at. He came in for seizures, but just from the looks of him you could tell he had additional, more severe medical problems. Due to neglect he had a horrible skin infection from matted fecal material stuck to his back end. He also is morbidly obese and cannot walk. Both of his knees have luxating patellas and can only be fixed surgically. His previous owner stated that Gus Gus has been like this for the last year.
We have done a full blood screening on him, which came back great. He has been on medications for his seizures for almost a month now and has had a recheck on his phenobarbitol levels and they are where they should be. His mats were all shaved and he was getting baths daily to keep the feces and urine off his skin. We had to put him on some oral antibiotics to help clear the skin infection because doing just topical treatments wasn’t curing the issue. He also has been on a prescription weight loss diet called R/D and has lost about 4.5lbs already.
I got to take him home on October 1st. Although he is a lot of work, I look at this little guy and my heart just melts. I have to carry him everywhere or roll him around in a dog stroller for longer distances. He can lift himself up using his front legs and can drag himself short distances, but he cannot walk at this point. It is very sad, but he has so much life inside of him! He just can’t express it fully because he’s being weighed down.
So here’s my game plan: He will have to continue taking seizure medication for the rest of his life. In addition he will be on a weight loss diet to get him to lose more weight. He needs to lose about thirty more pounds. I have already had a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon and we started physical therapy on Tuesday October 9th. He goes in twice a week for a half hour, and once he starts building strength, his appointments will increase to one hour in length. This will help with his weight loss since I can’t take him for walks just yet. It will also help strengthen the muscles in the back legs. After doing physical therapy the surgeon will reevaluate him to see if he’s strong enough to start doing his knee surgeries. Most likely the surgeon will do one knee at a time and Gus Gus will have to continue going through physical therapy after his surgeries.
Working in an animal hospital I get to meet and see a lot of interesting cases. However Gus Gus came in shortly after the loss of my Chihuahua named Moo. She was my everything and it was a very difficult time in my life. I found peace and comfort in dealing with Gus Gus. When I found out the owner was possibly abandoning him, I knew I couldn’t let him go to the shelter. In his current condition, it is highly likely he would have been euthanized. Since I decided to take him home, I’ve realized that I need him just as much as he needs me.
This is going to be a very long journey, but I believe it is worth it. I want to give this little guy a better life than what he had. I know taking on this challenge for Gus Gus is not going to be easy and is financially expensive. He is going to have medical expenses for the rest of his life just from his seizures alone. His knee surgeries are what I’m mostly concerned about. It’s going to cost $6,400 and I am asking for some help. Please help Gus Gus get his surgery sooner so that he can have the life every living creature deserves. I can’t wait for the day when he is able to run around and play. I will keep you all updated along our journey to a better healthy life for Gus Gus.