“Buddy”: Notes On a Rescue Dog

Buddy is a 92 pound, senior, Golden Retriever picked up by Animal Control as a stray and delivered to an animal shelter.  The shelter vet looked at him and decided he didn’t have any obvious, serious health problems, but could not tell for sure what shape he was in without a good examination and blood tests.  Because he’s a senior, and because he does have skin issues and wounds on his feet, it’s not likely the shelter will invest limited resources in that examination, nor is it likely he will survive long in an over-crowded shelter.  So I brought him home as a foster-project.

June 30, 2017

Removing maggotsI took him to Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital right away and it was no trick at all to find out that we has infested with fleas and ticks (even I could see that) but he also had three large hot spots where the skin was raw and the flies had laid eggs, resulting in those areas being infested by maggots.  Two vet techs and I gloved up and worked for over an hour and a half to pull around two dozen ticks off and cut away the fur to expose the hot spots and clean out the maggots. 

When that was done Dr. Kline came in to do the examination.  Rebecca (one of the Vet Tecs) drew blood to do a multi-test that checks for Heartworm, Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis.  The physical showed no signs of organ failure or serious illness and the multi-test came back negative on all counts.  He does have an open wound on each hind leg that causes him pain when walking.

We gave him a Capstar to clear him of the fleas and any remaining ticks (works in 30 minutes to an hour).  He came home with a dose of NexGard to protect him from fleas and ticks for the next month.  He also has a course of Cephalexin (antibiotic) to clear up the infections, and some Derma-Vet ointment to clear up the insides of his ears.

I also have instructions to have him sheared like a sheep before his follow-up appointment next week.  We need to be able to see his skin under all that matted, twig-tangled fur to make sure we’ve taken care of all his issues.  Besides, cutting it short will make it possible to keep him brushed out and looking good when the fur grows back in.

July 2, 2017

At first Buddy just laid around and looked sick.  Yesterday he was a bit better, wanting to walk in the yard.  Today he is quite a bit more animated.  He is eating very little, and we’ve gone through several brands of canned dog food to get that much into him.  But his mood is improved.

I am having to poke his pills down his throat because even embedding them in hot dog chunks does not entice him.  But he is really good about it.

Chilling in the iglooFor some reason, today he decided to squeeze into the Igloo dog house in his pen.  Once in there, he had a hard time getting back out, but he did come out to amble over to the door and ask to be let out into the yard for a potty break.  Much like Julian, Buddy prefers not to even pee in his pen.  That is good: if he isn’t house broken already, getting him there will be easier with that attitude.

July 4, 2017

Buddy as bridge trollBuddy gets a little more animated each day. I suspect the antibiotics are helping him feel better. He seems to be okay with everyone except Julian. But then Julian is the only other intact male here. I’m guessing it’s a testosterone thing. We’ll be “fixing” that pretty soon. I have not let him out in the yard with anyone yet, although he does play Bridge Troll sometimes and will snarf at some of the others when they try to go up the steps.

Buddy is now quite tolerant of my medical ministrations.  At first he was evasive and I’d have to chase him around the pen.  Now he lets me poke the pills down his throat, put the drops in his ears and massage them, and lets me put ointment on the raw skin … which is now becoming “crusty” as the bloody parts scab over.  There is now almost no puss issuing forth either.  I don’t know if he is capable of making this connection, but it’s as though he knows that what I’m doing to him is what’s making him feel better.  His appetite is improving too.

He’s more active too.  Before, he tended to just lie around: now, he often gets to his feet when he sees me and he wants to come out to walk around the yard with me.


Marie and I are footing the bill for Buddy’s medical expenses.  If you’d like to help with these, please send your assistance directly to:
Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital.
Mail a check to: 1111 East Hwy 25/70, Newport TN, 37821.
Or you may call (423) 623-4362 during business hours with a credit card number.
Be sure to note that the Client Name is Doug Bittinger, the patient name is Buddy.

Or you may use the PayPal button below.  This makes payment to Piney Mountain Foster Care (which is Marie and I) and we’ll use those funds for his food, supplies, and medical bills.

July 8, 2017

Today I took Buddy to Kathy’s Grooming Parlor in Newport, TN to be sheared and bathed so our veterinarian can better assess his skin.  The difference is amazing!

Kathy not only got him all cleaned up, but sent him home with a new toy and a clean collar.  He was SUCH a good boy!

From this we learned that he has been a house dog, he is crate trained, and he loves squeaky toys!   Many thanks to Kathy for taking such good care of this special fella.

July 10, 2017

July 11, 2017

Blondie Bear and Buddy have veterinarian appointments today.  Both are big, blonde dogs.  Neither has been around each other much.  Can I pull off packing them both into a small exam room?

I decided to transport them separated: Blondie inside the cab with me, Buddy in a transport box in back.  Both have ridden in the cab before and done well, but not together.

When Julian stays in the house he’s usually crated unless Marie or I can keep a close eye on him.  But he could shred his wire crate and escape any time he wanted to, so when we both leave the house, Julian goes out to his pen.  Shuffling the dogs to get each where they needed to be took some time.

Buddy’s exam went well and Doctor Sandra is pleased with his progress.  She sees nothing serious, just a few blips that are not uncommon for an 8 to 9 year old dog.

July 18, 2017

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