When the veterinarian first saw Bella, the little animal appeared to be paralyzed. The puppy’s owners were insistent that they wanted her euthanized, but the vet nevertheless carried out a full examination. And that’s when the real cause of the puppy’s troubles was discovered.
If the countless pictures on the internet are anything to go by, just about everyone loves puppies. But as adorable as the little fluffers are, they’re not always easy to look after. It can prove too much for some people, and they either lose interest or can’t cope.
In fact, even when the pooch grows up it still requires lots of time and attention. Dogs are domesticated and social animals after all, and they generally rely on humans to care for them. That makes it all the more upsetting when they’re abandoned by their owners.
Fortunately, there are numerous animal organizations out there rescuing abandoned dogs. Hand in Paw (HIP) is just one non-profit charity trying to make a difference. According to its Facebook page, the Californian group based in the Los Angeles suburbs is “dedicated to the rescue and adoption of homeless animals.”
Not only does HIP seek out forever homes for its animal rescues, it also provides medical care. To that end, it has veterinary staff, such as Dr. Z and his accompanying team. During his career, no doubt the doctor has treated his fair share of animal ailments.
With that in mind, it was fortunate that one unnamed pet owner chose to take their dog to this particular vet. In May 2017, the person in question delivered the young puppy. Her name was Bo, and she was approximately six weeks old.
Bo’s humans claimed that she had lost the use of her legs and could no longer walk. However, they had very specific ideas about how they wanted the vet to deal with Bo’s condition. Getting the puppy treatment didn’t interest them.
The only outcome Bo’s humans would accept was euthanasia. As a result, they had no intention of keeping little Bo, and surrendered ownership. With the poor puppy’s fate apparently sealed, the dog’s owners left Dr. Z, fully expecting him to simply put Bo to sleep.
The doctor presumably didn’t feel comfortable about euthanizing a puppy on the whim of her former owners. Consequently, he performed a medical check, and discovered the cause of Bo’s ‘paralysis’. The ailment was simple to treat, so Dr. Z wasted no time correcting it.
Ten short minutes after the doctor began treating Bo, she was already up and walking! The veterinarian had correctly diagnosed the puppy’s apparent disability not as paralysis, but as hypoglycaemia. In layman’s terms, Bo had low blood sugar levels, which affected her movement.
Animal rights and news website The Dodo spoke to HIP’s founder, Piper Wood, about the puppy in July 2017. She suggested the condition might have been something to do with the diet Bo’s humans had her on. She said, “Maybe they weren’t feeding her enough, and her blood sugar was too low.”
In addition, Bo’s early separation from her mother may have been exacerbated her health issues. According to website Healthy Pets, puppies shouldn’t be apart from their mommy until they’re at least eight weeks old. That made Bo at least two weeks too young to be entirely dependent on humans.
Nevertheless, once Bo was under the capable care of Dr. Z, it didn’t take her long to recover. “After being on IVs for two hours, she was able to stand up,” Wood revealed. “She was a little shaky, but she was standing up, and eating on her own.”
She continued, “It was a pretty simple fix; a couple IVs, some fluids and she was fine.” Wood described how the vet’s solution was not just more humane, but also more cost-effective. “It probably cost less than euthanasia,” she said.
Although Dr. Z solved Bo’s walking difficulties, she did face another challenge to her health during recovery. In a social media update on June 6, 2017, HIP reported that the dog had puppy strangles. Fortunately, the ailment is not as deadly as it sounds.
Puppy strangles is actually another name for a skin disorder called juvenile cellulitis. Fortunately, that was treated, and at the time of the update Bo was already recovering. Her psychological scars also healed with HIP’s TLC.
“She was very quiet, especially for a puppy,” Wood told The Dodo. “She just laid around a lot. She’d shake a lot. She was very sweet, but you could tell that she was very scared.” But even those emotional wounds healed with time and tenderness.
Then in June 2017, a loving human adopted Bo, and the puppy has a new name to go with her new home. Now she’s called Bella. Wood told The Dodo, “When I took her to her new home, I saw her play for the first time.”
“She was playing with like ten different toys at once and running around,” Wood continued, “And she was so happy. That was incredible to see because I’ve only seen the scared side of her. She’s definitely feeling so much better, and she feels at home now.”
Wood had some final words of wisdom for potential pet owners. “If you’re going to get a dog or any animal, they are a family member,” she told the Dodo. It was sage advice. If you’re not ready or financially able to meet an animal’s medical needs, you shouldn’t really take on the responsibility in the first place.