|Bella J is a nice older lady who, we think, might have been short changed in her life.
She was adopted by her current owner almost two years ago from a local county shelter after being surrendered by her owner.
No reason for the surrender was given and we don't know if she had other homes before the surrender: nothing is known of her past prior to her more recent adoption.
Bella J currently lives with three other dogs, cats, a couple of kids under 10 years old and a full time working single Mom. Unfortunately, her kind hearted Mom has over extended herself. As a result, Bella is never walked, gets no mental or physical stimulation and after peacefully coexisting the other dogs, now has fought with one of them. Her life has otherwise been very sedentary leaving her with muscle atrophy and a somewhat weak rear end.
During her evaluation we were initially very sad to see a gal that did not seem happy and in need of medical attention. She started out very "flat"..no eye contact, not much interested in her surroundings. It was obvious that she was in pain, possibly part of the reason for suddenly wanting to keep another dog at a distance. As the afternoon progressed, Bella J began to "come alive", particularly upon seeing other dogs in the park. She was very responsive to leadership despite wanting to get closer. She did not seem to know much in the way of basic commands or has developed 'selective hearing' but with some coaching did finally comply with a sit.
As she warmed up and relaxed Bella J dropped into a happy roll obviously enjoying the feel of the grass..followed by a belly rub, she finally smiled and a sparkle returned to her eyes. Seeing her celebrate just being out of the house was incredibly rewarding.
Bella appears to be a plush coated female out of, primarily, West German show lines. We have estimated her age at 9 years, however, dogs that have had a rough life can appear older than they are and vice versa. Her ears show signs of having been fly bitten..an indication of being outside unattended at some point. She has a good size growth on her rear paw and we think her eyes need attention as well. Her arthritis could just be age related and exacerbated by lack of low impact exercise.
Bella's Mom is struggling and not able to provide the veterinary care we think she needs. We are willing to provide that care once we have physical possession of her but that means Bella must have a foster home asap. Mom is also concerned about the discord between the two dogs and the potential for injury.
An only dog, I'm the Queen Bee situtation with someone home a lot would be ideal. We desperately would like to see this senior experience her Golden Years surrounded by the time and attention she so deserves.
Bella J is spayed, vaccinated, micro-chipped, crate and house trained.
UPDATE MAY 2nd: While we have not yet found a foster home for Bella J, we simply can't stand the thought that nothing is being done for her in terms of her health. so we are getting her to our vet for a thorough exam and some comprehensive blood work... for starters.
If there is nothing going on systemically, then we will consider surgery to address the growth on her foot but we have to know if she is healthy enough to withstand that surgery.
Her initial appointment is scheduled for Friday, May 6th.
UPDATE: Bella had a full exam, blood draw for her labs and eye exam with stain today. We should have the results of all of her tests by Monday or Tuesday. She weighed in at a surprising 80lbs. Aside from saying no to a blood draw from the neck, she was tolerant and passive.
She does not have Pannus, our vet thinks her eyes are seasonal allergies. She's not itchy..it's akin to hay fever. They seemed much less sensitive and brighter today...no gunk. Her more alert attitude can also be attributed to (unfortunately) her Mom's reduction in work hours, so she's getting a lot more attention. Typical of her breed, she likes this arrangement and the altercation with one of the other dogs is clearly competing for that attention; they only argue when Mom is close by. All the more reason we think she should be the Queen of her own castle.
Bella J is a classic case of sensory deprivation; formerly an outside, backyard dog with little to no human contact, touch or interaction. Her Mom recently put in grass and Bella is still rolling in it at every opportunity. We're guessing she was previously relegated to dirt. It's also the reason that she is being tested for, among others, Valley Fever..fingers crossed. The grass also provides dust containment which is likely why her eyes are looking better.
We learned that she had the growth on her paw, at close to the size it is now, when she was adopted from the pound by her current owner nearly 2 years ago. That's actually good news as it is less likely to be serious. The difficulty, however, is having enough skin to close if it is removed. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.
This is a very sweet gal, an easy keeper who undoubtedly had a tough life. It will be downright exciting to see her blossom into what she was meant to be. BUT...We still need a foster or foster-to-adopt for her.....
UPDATE: All test results are in and good news; Bella J was negative for Valley Fever, negative for Tick Fever and all organ function and other levels normal. We will be working on moving forward with surgery to remove the large growth on her paw. It doesn't seem to bother her at all, however, if it continues to grow it will eventually run out of blood supply and create further problems. It will also go to pathology for identification.
Bella's Mom is in the midst of a new job search and if and when successful, will be gone all day. This is far less than ideal for Bella's needed post op care. We would love for her to have a foster home for her recovery which will include at least, weekly bandage changes..a foster-to-adopt home would be ideal.
All told, her current medical cost, baring any surprises, will come to $1,000.00. If you are able, please consider helping us to reach our goal:
UPDATE: MANY THANKS to Bella J's Angels...you have made her future brighter! We will be moving forward with her surgery, however, her Mom found a new job and will be gone 10-11 hours a day so she cannot spend her recovery time where she is...she will need someone who is home to keep an eye on her and accommodate her frequent post op vet trips.
We might have a possibility for early July but we're concerned that, if the growth gets any larger, there will be even less available skin resulting in more of an open wound area to granulate over; a process that takes time as well as keeping her pretty mouth away from it.
We remain hopeful.
JULY 9th...MOVING DAY!
Our gal got a 35 minute brushing before heading to her foster-to-adopt home & looked like a new dog. She was bright eyed and bushy tailed, alert & friendly.
Later she stashed her new ball in her crate & made it clear to all that it is to stay right there. With every attempt to bring her ball out she quickly picked it up & put it back safely in her crate.
Look closely at her right rear paw and her large growth can be seen. After about a week of acclimation, surgery to remove it will be done.
July 19th-BELLA J LEAVING VET POST OP
Bella had her 1st post op check up and bandage change today and was reprimanded for being too active. The wound is clean and not infected but because the skin is so tight and thin, it's inflamed from too much running around. So it looks like a few days of crate rest for our very playful trooper. She will see the vet again in 4 days.
JULY 27th: Bella had her 2nd post op check today and the report was glowing; after several days of crate rest, no more inflammation and wound is healing beautifully. Vet wants a few more days of being quiet and will likely remove the bandage next Wednesday. If sufficient progress has been made, the sutures will be removed then as well.
This is not fast enough for Bella who, since being in her new home, has done a total 180.... ...she's been very puppy-like, very eager to play, go for walks and run around the yard. Bella no longer appears to be the 9 year old she is.
UPDATE AUGUST 20, 2016: This will be our final update as Bella has begun her new life with her new family, sans the huge growth on her rear paw. These are photos of the day her bandages & sutures were removed, 2 weeks ago...now it's just a matter of her hair growing in.