BENNETTSVILLE, SC...We got a desperate plea from Marlboro County Animal Shelter to help an seven-year-old stray Shepherd Mix that was on Death's Door. He had been picked up after being fed for almost six weeks by someone in the area. The person said he started to swell about a month ago and then decided to call Animal Control.
Precious Dudley has Heart Failure from advanced Heartworm Disease. He has heartworms that have moved over to his right ventricle and are compromising his heart. He has Caval Syndrome, which means he has heartworms that have migrated into the vena cava, right atrium, and right ventricle of the heart. I knew when I saw the pictures of him bloated and emaciated what was happening. His body was filled with excess fluid, and could barely stand or walk.
We agreed to take Dudley as long as they could get him to us ASAP. Dr. Sophy Jesty, our Cardiologist at CVRC, took one look at Dudley when he arrived and immediately called me. The heartworms were so congested he would die if they did not do surgery immediately to remove them. She let me know the procedure was risky and he had a 50% chance of surviving but a 100% chance of not surviving if we did not proceed immediately.
I hung up, and five minutes later, I got another call from Dr. Jesty saying this pup had a lot more going on than just Heartworm Disease. Something had happened to his feet, and the pads were infected and coming off. He would need surgery on his feet once he recovered from her procedure. I still wanted to go forward. This pup could have given up a long time ago and was still fighting to be here. I was going to fight along with him and give him the only chance he would ever have to survive.
Dr. Jesty did surgery last night and removed 39 adult heartworms out of the right side of Dudley's heart. He did fine during the procedure but has taken a long time to come out of the anesthesia since then. He is finally up but very groggy and will remain in ICU through the weekend. Dudley is not out of the woods yet. We have removed the bulk of the burden on his heart, and now we have to get his body to respond so he can recover.
The before and after pictures of a bloated dog before surgery and a starved dog after surgery is unbelievable. Why anyone would allow this to happen to their beloved pet is criminal. All he needed was a simple Heartworm Medicine each month, and this would have never happened. If these pictures aren't a wake-up call for a lot of people, then they should be. Heartworm Disease is part of living in the South. If you have dogs, you need to be protecting them from this deadly parasite.
No one wanted to help Dudley but us and the shelter that could not afford surgery to get him better. Pups like Dudley are the reason why we do what we do. We are the last resort for these amazingly sweet, lovable dogs that have been neglected, abused, and abandoned. The first phase of saving Dudley has begun. Once he recovers from his procedure and gets his strength back, we will move on to addressing his infected feet.
We have no funds but keep on saving animals. I don't have time to think about the what-ifs when an animal's life is at stake. If I pause too long, the animal dies. I believe in what we do and put everything I have into saving these animals. Please, DONATE so we can keep saving Dudley and all the others like him. The Noah's Arks Rescue Community is all these pups have. Without us, they will die a horrible Death without ever knowing unconditional Love and Care. With your help, we give them a chance at a better Life.