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MARIETTA, GA....There is Sweet and then there is GINA.  We were contacted 8 months ago about a 2-3 year old emaciated female German Shepherd. Her 7 day stray hold was up and she was going to be put down.   The family that wanted to adopt her backed out because she was heartworm positive.  The Rescue that agreed to take her saw her condition and refused to take her.   A volunteer that had been looking after her took her to a vet where she was diagnosed with a Mega-Esophagus.  He said she needed to be put down.  Mega-Esophagus is a condition an animal is either born with or acquires that keeps food from going down into the stomach.  It causes them to throw-up and regurgitate their food and liquids.  In the process of this, they aspirate into their lungs and get pneumonia.  Mega-E is a heartbreaker.  The best of intentions are not enough to save these incredible dogs.  They are not tortured by mankind but by their bodies.   After hearing all the heartfelt stories about Gina, I finally said yes.  I wasn't sure what to do but I knew I would do whatever it took to save her and learn something in the process.  I knew there was going to be heartbreak ahead.  I just didn't know how much.  Gina spent the next 6 months in and out of Intensive Care and the hospital.  No matter what we did, she still got pneumonia.  No matter how many times, we got rid of it, it came back.  Each time, her infection got worse.  Her lungs were a mess and she was getting 24 hour care in an ER facility.  I was so busy saving Gina that the mounting bills couldn't even be a consideration because she was still in the hospital.  Failure was not an option for me because if I failed then Gina would die and that was something I could not live with.  I brought in specialists from all over.  We did three separate surgical Tracheal Washes to clear her lungs.  Tons of scans and tests and still our girl got sick.  We finally got rid of all the infection in her lungs for the first time in months.  We now just had to have a plan to keep her that way.  Feeding her in an upright position in a Bailey Chair was not enough.  We changed her food, changed the way we did her food, her water, you name it, we were analyzing it.  We finally came up with a plan that was working.  We couldn't believe that suddenly she was putting on weight and had not thrown up for two months.  The heartbreak we had all felt was now being replaced with HOPE.  I am only posting for incredible Gina now because we feel like, we have her condition under control.  She can live a long, healthy life by doing the protocol we have set up for her.  It is working and our girl is a healthy, happy girl.  She is fed in her Bailey Chair twice a day and then has to stay in the chair for 30-45 minutes afterward.  She will either go to sleep or she will watch you work while she is in the chair.  Her liquid is always mixed with food to make a slurry.  Her meals are a specific canned food that is rolled into meatballs.  Our girl is now ready to be ADOPTED.  She can gain a few more pound but her weight has been stable for a while now.  Gina is the sweetest girl that loves everyone.  She is one of the sweetest German Shepherds I have ever been around.  She is a strong-willed beauty that needs to be with a passive, well-rounded dog.  No small dogs because of her prey drive and no cats.  She is going to make the best family dog.  We love and adore her and want her to have a home all her own.  Once you get used to her routine, she is just like any other dog.  Her medical bills are way over $20,000 to save her and turn her life around.  Any donation would be greatly appreciated so we can put back what we spent on Saving GINA.  We don't have all the answers for dogs like Gina but we do know what works for her and for that we are forever grateful.


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