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The Diary of a Rescue

(Caution - disturbing photos)

Meet McDuff

Wed. Jan. 20, 1999 a.m.

The CTCNC has a 4 year-old un-neutered male in rescue right now. He is being evaluated - has heart irregularities and bad skin problems. The "jury" is still out as to when he may be available.


Wed. Jan. 20, 1999 p.m.

Terry and I picked up the little guy today from the Santa Clara Humane Society and I don't know if I am sad or mad, or perhaps both!

This dog is a case of a puppy mill dog, purchased in a pet shop to people who should not be allowed to own a slug.

The dog was neutered today so his listlessness is probably normal. He looks so pathetic! His hair from the middle of his back down to buttock area is thin with skin irritations. His bottom, tail and back legs are almost hairless with several scabs and scars.

I don't think his nails have ever been clipped. As for his body odor, I won't go into detail. We will take him to the vet tomorrow or as soon as we can get him in and see if we can get some medication going on his poor little body and check out general health. I think we will have to nurse this little one for a while before he will be presentable for adoption - unless there is a good Samaritan out there who might want to take on a case like this.

Mark Mc Donald says the hair might not ever return.

Bonnie, the female rescue dog that we kept, might be going to an elderly lady friend from church. Her husband is very ill and she is quite lonely having to stay at home all the time. She wants a dog and I feel Bonnie would be perfect for her. If she wants Bonnie then Terry and I could keep Duff and nurse him back to health before putting him out for adoption. We will wait and see: 1) What the Vet says: 2) If my friend really wants Bonnie and then go from there.

Say your prayers that we can get Duff healthy, hairy and find the perfect home. He deserves to be taken care of and loved. We will keep you up to date on progress.

Sue Prima

Fri. Jan. 22, 1999 a.m.

Sue and I picked up the "4 year old male" little guy at Santa Clara Humane Society yesterday. He was neutered before we picked him up.

The back of his legs, his tail, and his butt are completely bare.

We took him into the vet today to get a more complete evaluation.

The heart murmur reported earlier was apparently transitory. No evidence of it today. His skin condition is due to chronic scratching. Vet referred to it as elephant skin condition. He was put on Predispose to help control the itching. Vet says that if his condition took 4 years to reach this condition, it should take that long to reverse it. It looks like a long ride to get his tail and butt back in shape. Most of it might come back.

We spent a good portion of today trying to strip him back into shape. His back 1/3 appears to have been sheared. His front 2/3's never saw stripping knife. Now he looks a lot better than in the picture.

His nails were very long. I trimmed as much as I could without completely upsetting him. I think that I trimmed almost one inch off of one nail. He hated that part. He laid a tooth or two on me for that but pulled back on contact. We had discussions over that behavior.

His first bath, including a tar based flea dip improved his aura. The note said he lived in the house for 50% of the time. Not likely! He is not housebroken. He is in the house on a short lease or under immediate supervision. He is smart enough to learn quickly.

The other dogs just smell him and pass on him as just another visitor. No set too's or even a growl.

Right now he can't get enough of us. Excluding the separation anxiety piece, I doubt that he has ever had this much attention and loves us.

Given his appearance, I would immediately name him Pogo. With his bare tail, his color, plus the natural terrier snout, he bears a striking resemblance to a possum. Sue, however, can't stand them and won't put up with me calling him that name.

For the first day, his temperament is fine. Nary a growl or anything, unless you try to cut his nails, of course.

Vet wants to see him in a couple of weeks to see it the meds are working.

Right now he is very happy, except when he is put in the crate. Sorry, little guy, but that is where you will sleep.


Fri. Jan. 22, 1999 p.m.

Terry, Sue, et al.......

Please remember that using the Prednisone will make it much more difficult for any sort of house breaking. It is great for short-term use to get over a crisis, but NOT good at all for a long term. It will damage his kidneys and liver, make him gain unwanted weight, drink and urinate even more.

If you can find a product by the name of "IN" (sold in Foster and Smith Catalog - they are now on line too). This is a skin and coat supplement and we have seen it work wonders!

Did the vet do a thyroid check? This will cause hair loss too.

Once you are sure that he is 100% flea free, and get him on something topical for the itching, (Cortisone 10, medicated shampoos - for sebhorerra beside the tar shampoo) and get him to stop the itch cycle, the Prednisone can be stopped.

If you can't find the "IN" I can send you a bottle from here. You can also try giving him nothing but cooked ground lamb and rice (the real stuff, not one of the mfg. dog foods) for about a week to "clear" his system of toxins. Also using Vit. C & E as anti-oxidants. (Didn't you already mention that Sue?)

I am going to set him up a page on my site now anyway. It may take some time to find him the right home.


Fri. Jan. 22, 1999 p.m.

Jerrie thanks for the information.

The vet indicated that this would be a long-term battle but that he would hit it with the heavy stuff first. We go back to see him in 2 weeks and we will raise the potential damage issue with him at that time. He only gave us pills for the two-week period.

The vet did not do any clinical testing, that is lab work. He did, very closely, check and feel his throat, jaw area. At this point, he said that since the area of irritation appears to be localized, a very large area to be sure, it is more likely that the irritation comes from an external source rather that from an internal source, that is within the body.

The little guy had been doing a little scratching and at least one long butt rub, prior the visit. Mark did not see any evidence of fleas when he visited him. We haven't either. Since returning, I've only seen hem go to one leg one time. We are watching that very closely. He is now on Advantage just in case.

I've attached a picture of the affected area, just to give you an idea of the magnitude of the problem. Right now, he can't get enough loving and seems to just say OK to the other dogs. No hassles, no statements, just an occasional sniff.

I fully expect him to be around for awhile. Given his condition, I suspect that he has been pretty much on his own. Loving and attention were certainly missing. An extended stay here is not a problem.


McDuff was adopted by a couple who had previously owned a Westie with type of skin condition.

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This page was last March 30, 2002

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