Poor Penelope. At just 5 months old, the brown-and-white boxer puppy with the soulful eyes had been through a lot. She was diagnosed at 10 weeks with a heart murmur and shortly afterward with anemia. With further testing required in order to determine the cause of both conditions, her owners made the difficult decision to relinquish her to the Dumb Friends League due to the cost of medical care.
One sick boxer puppy
When she arrived at our shelter in May, Penelope was one sick puppy. She was extremely anemic and close to the point of needing a blood transfusion.
That meant she could not be spayed due to the risk of bleeding. In addition, her heart murmur had worsened, and she was having extreme gastrointestinal distress and she was dehydrated.
Fortunately for the beleaguered boxer, a staff member working in Pet Admissions when Penelope was surrendered just happens to be friends with Evelyn B., the veterinarian who originally treated Penelope. It wasn’t long before Evelyn received a call informing her that we had Penelope and were in need of someone willing to adopt a dog with potentially chronic illnesses. After discussing the situation with her husband, Evelyn brought Penelope home. She joined their cat and two other special-needs dogs (one that had heartworm disease and one with chronic kidney disease and Cushing’s disease).
Hill’s diet helps Penelope
Additional blood work and an abdominal ultrasound showed that Penelope had iron deficiency anemia. Evelyn started her on iron supplementation, which can be hard on the GI tract and cause nausea. To make the treatment easier on Penelope, Evelyn fed her Hill’s® Prescription Diet® i/d® Canine, a food specially formulated to help settle digestive upsets in dogs.
Not only did Penelope love the food, but it prevented her from vomiting and having diarrhea during the three-week regimen.
Today, Penelope’s iron levels are back to normal, her red cell count has improved greatly and she was successfully spayed. While she still has a heart murmur, Penelope is extremely playful and loves humans and other dogs. “We are so incredibly grateful to have her in our lives,” says Evelyn, adding, “As Penelope’s case shows, anyone getting a new puppy should consider that they may not be as healthy as you hope for. Regular veterinary visits are imperative, and pet insurance is a good way to help with costs of care should anything come up.”
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