Tag Archives: Distemper

Lucky Lizzie

Hubby goes to get petrol.  Why would this be a blog post?!  Of course hubby, being of the abnormal, probably of alien decent type, spots lady and, for no apparent reason, asks her if she is alright.  This seemingly random act shows how everything happens for a reason. 

Random Garage Lady (RGL) is far from “alright”, although she had no idea that she was showing any outward signs of distress and Barking Mad Hubby (BMH) has no idea why he asked in the first place.

RGL’s love of her life, her dog Lizzie, had been diagnosed with Distemper and the vet had told her to “put the dog down”.  She was, naturally (in my books anyway), utterly distraught.  BMH gave her my number.

Lucky Lizzie

Now, I get called out for behavioural problems with animals but it is a surprise to be called to assist an owner who believes they requires behavioural help!  Good for her!    I must admit, I was apprehensive regarding the situation into which I was heading.  Distemper is terrible and, with the diagnosis received, I was expecting the worst of sights on arrival.

What a pleasure it was, then, to arrive to a houseful of wonderful, happy pets, not one of whom seemed to be looking desperately ill.  Lizzie, once pointed out, did have a few odd quirks in her movements but nothing substantial.  There were certainly no behavioural issues to deal with.  RGL needed a sympathetic ear and some minor assistance with staying positive around Lizzie.  She probably also simply needed to hear someone tell her that Lizzie did not look like she had reached “the end“.

RGL needed someone who would understand the pain at the thought of losing Lizzie.  Something that non-animal-nuts people just don’t “get”.   I, for my part, was amazed that any vet would have suggested “putting down” a dog that was looking remarkably happy.  Her walk was slightly “squiff” and there were a few areas of discomfort when touched but euthanasia seemed unbelievably radical.

RGL had already decided that second opinions from specialists were required.  What a relief!  The results of the second opinion were:

  •  Lizzie does not have Distemper.  Rather, the “positive” blood results were due to a distemper vaccination.
  • The Neurological problems were caused by polycythaemia – an overproduction of red blood cells leading to a thickening of the blood
  • It is likely that Lizzie has epilepsy which, although not good news, it is certainly treatable.
  • Lizzie has been put onto a treatment regime which appears to be working and RGL informs me that she is “back to her old self”.

Well done Mr. First Vet!  You nearly “put down” a thoroughly adored pet, for no good reason!  If expletives formed a part of my standard posts, they would be flying around like winged gremlins right now!

Languishing Lizzie

Yes, things do happen for a reason.  1st – BMH speaking to a woman who claims she never speaks to strangers.  2nd –  the story behind Lizzie’s arrival in her fabulous forever home.  RGL sent me the story behind Lizzie and it’s a heartwarming read:

“In 2005 the bottom fell out of my world with the loss of my beloved fox terrier, Chloe.  I never imagined I would love another dog again the way I loved her.  We were living in Colenso in KZN at the time.  A few months after her death, while in Ladysmith, I found myself on the Newcastle Road, which oddly I never really used much.  I was inexplicably drawn to the Animal Anti Cruelty League and it was as if I was automatically going through the motions of parking my car and going in to the grounds.  Well, let me tell you, I didn’t believe in love at first sight, but when I met Lizzie (then called Spotty) it hit me like a freight train.  I sat down on the grass and she came to sit right up against me and that was it.  I had to have this sweet little girl. 

 Lizzie’s story did not have a good start.  When I got her she was in terrible condition, and this is something considering the AACL had improved her condition since they found her.  She was malnourished and her coat was coarse.  I thought she was mute because she didn’t even bark, or trust people – a broken little dog indeed.  I came to realise that Lizzie was truly my soul mate, and the task of her rehabilitation is one of love and patience.  Today Lizzie is a completely different dog – just ask the cats!  She is the most affectionate and feisty little dog, relishing the company of her people, even taking much interest in the strangers who visit our home.  She’s not broken anymore.  Her story proves that with the investment of time and effort we can mostly undo the damage done to these precious animals.”

 Now, if that doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart, then pretty much nothing will.  This is one Lucky Little Lizzie, living in a loving forever home.

PS – I think I might have a new calling, as a Grief Councellor.  It appears to be coming at me from numerous angles.  Who’d have thought?!



Filed under Adoptions, Distemper