Rescue: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
In rescue, you see a lot of neglect and abuse. It just comes with the territory. Sometimes the
abuse is frightening and horrific; sometimes the neglect is just inexplicable and pitiful. Such is the
case with Wesson. Wesson arrived at a southern shelter as a euthanasia request. Wesson has
rickets. Rickets is a disease seen most often in young, growing animals and is a result of either
dietary insufficiencies of calcium or vitamin D or the body's inability to properly utilize these
nutrients. We believe that Wesson simply suffered from severe malnutrition. But whatever the
cause, failure to treat Rickets will result in bone pain, stiff gait, swelling, difficulty in rising, soft or
thin bones that result in bowed limbs, 'ankle' walking and the weakness and deformity can result
in fractures. Canine rickets can also affect the muscles and tendons causing curvature of the spine
and severe bloating. The good news is that treatment is effective and easy, if it is caught early. But Wesson was not treated and was instead dumped at an overwhelmed shelter without the space to hold dogs long term or the resources to properly care for him. When it was clear that he wasn't an immediately adoptable dog, the shelter put out an SOS on his behalf and we responded. We've dealt with
rickets before and we knew we had to help this little guy out.
That's another thing about rescue. There is no shortage of medical cases. Kennel cough, giardia,
coccidia and other parasites are an almost expected part of the package when we pull a dog from
a shelter. Parvo, heartworms, mange, emaciation, pneumonia and even rickets are not uncommon
things we deal with. In rescue, you see it all. At our facility in Pennsylvania we are set up to treat
dogs with a variety of illness and provide 24/7 care when needed. So we were prepared when Wesson arrived at our facility in pretty rough shape. Not only was he in poor health, but psychologically he was a very needy little guy, who just craved human interaction. You could tell he hadn't had much of it. We got him into our vet and worked out a treatment plan to start getting him on the road to health right away. In addition, to a high quality kibble, we provided him with therapeutic foods like fresh vegetables and chicken, greek yogurt and apple cider vinegar. He is also getting daily doses of vitamin D and castor oil. With this condition and deficiencies there is oftentimes no better treatment than regular exercise and daily exposure to sunlight.
In addition to treating the rickets we are also making sure that Wesson gets all the love and
attention he needs. Early training and socialization are fundamental to a well-balanced adult dog.
Wesson is having a great time in puppy play groups and we are happy to report that he is getting
stronger every day. We can't wait until Wesson is ready for his 'furever' home. If you are
interested in adopting Wesson or any of our RDR pups please fill out an application by clicking
A Home for Wesson
Update: We are really happy to report that Wesson is making tremendous strides. He has begun
to walk, albeit intermittently, on his paws rather than ankles and his bloated-looking belly is
starting to return to a normal appearance. This is the best news and confirms that his bones and
muscles are getting stronger. Additionally, his story touched the heart of a great family, and it
looks like Wesson IS going to a foster-to-adopt permanent home. As with all of our dogs we
will stay in close touch with his foster family to make sure that Wesson continues with his
treatment and continues to make improvements.