May 14 th

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Sammy’s Legacy

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Sammy was a tiny longhaired dachshund, dumped at a Texas shelter with his brother at the tender age of 6 weeks, by the breeder! Someone on Facebook posted him and he was having no luck at being adopted after being there 2 weeks. A shelter environment is a great hazard to a puppy, with parvovirus and other diseases on the premises. A gal I know, who lives in that area, said she wanted to foster him and I volunteered JERAS to be the “rescue” to pull him. Azura felt she would be able to eventually place him since he was a purebred pup.

Sammy at the shelter

All we knew from Facebook conversations was that he had a “rash”. When Azura went to pick him up, he was very thin and covered in thick residue from lime sulphur dip the shelter had been putting on his demodectic mange (non-contageous).  She immediately took him to a veterinarian nearby the shelter.

Sammy- covered in toxic mange medicine

We had done a Chipin for the pup and had collected $185 which was to go towards an exam,  vaccinations, deworming and a microchip as time went on. To make a long story short, Sammy saw two vets, three vet visits total in 3 days. Both said he had been made toxic by the lime-sulphur. He had dehydration, kennel cough, pneumonia and parvovirus. He was vomiting and in pain. He received IV fluids, antibiotics and nutrical (nutrient concentrate) because he refused to eat. Azura gave him multiple feedings of Pedialyte. She bathed off the toxic mange medicine and kept him warm and as comfortable as possible for two days and two nights. He toddler daughter named him “Sammy”.

After getting a very poor prognosis on the third day, we decided we had no choice but to euthanize Sammy. Azura’s vet had quoted $600-1200 for parvo treatment and we had already spent all of his funds. He was not likely to survive, even with treatment. However, we learned afterwards that the wonderful vet had  tried for 5 hours to save Sammy after he had been left at the clinic. Sammy passed away while getting another IV.

We also learned that Sammy had been at the shelter for 11 days before they vaccinated him. He was already incubating parvo when he was vaccinated and already coming down with it when Azura picked him up. His gut was empty of food, yet no one seemed to know he had not been eating. He had been doused with mange medicine. The vets said he should never have been adopted out.

So, what are we to make of this story of poor little Sammy? Well, for one thing, that shelters need to be better educated in animal care. That  puppies need vaccinations and do not need to be exposed to toxic chemicals. That they need extra care and monitoring. That uncontrolled breeding in this country must stop, via legislation…. That rescue can be expensive and heartbreaking….However, Sammy brought a small group of caring women together on his behalf. He knew he was loved for the last few days of his short life. He showed us that people can be concerned and generous, even busy veterinarians. Perhaps the greatest thing he leaves behind is the fact he connected me with one of his donors who has been diagnosed with “Lupus”. During conversation, I learned she had been treated for Lyme disease years ago. She only had short term antibiotics, which the Lyme experts know ofter causes the bacteria to mutate and go underground. Chronic Lyme is often misdiagnosed as many diseases, including Lupus. Furthermore, this new friend has two children with health issues. Lyme can pass through the placenta. So, Sammy is gone, but armed with new knowledge, a young mother and her children have the chance to be diagnosed properly and receive the correct treatment for a potentially fatal disease.

Thank you Azura, for wanting to help Sammy. Thank you, concerned strangers, for caring about a pup you had never met. Thank you, Sammy, for bringing us all together. We were unable to save you, but you may have saved three people.

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