Read the first part of Khaleesi’s story – from street to safety.
Little did we know when we found Khaleesi on Monday last week that her rescue would sound a chord in so many people. Her story has gone around the world – from Hawaii to Australia and so many places in between. We are incredibly grateful for the support and good wishes sent from far and wide. Khaleesi is still facing some challenges in returning to full health, but we will continue to do our very best for her and not give up on her.
Some people were concerned to see the pictures of her in a cage. We would like to reassure you that we only put her in the crate for her safety when we were transporting her back to Rudozem. As you will see below, she soon took up residence in our house because the shelter itself is full with the 120 other dogs and cats we have rescued from the streets of Rudozem.
Diane tells us what she has been up to since our last post on Thursday…
Waking up to a new day
“On Tuesday morning, we found Khaleesi curled up on the blanket, still fast asleep in the kitchen where we had left her the previous night. She had, after all, had a great deal of excitement and stress the previous day. As soon as she heard our voices, she looked up, wagging her tail and leaning into me as I stroked her head. It still amazes me how even the most abused and neglected animal can still find it in their hearts to trust again. Click here to see a clip of Khaleesi waking up.
Seeing to Khaleesi’s comfort
“After breakfast, Khaleesi wolfed down a painkiller and worming tablet – it’s a good sign that she still has an appetite. She wandered between us, being curious and wasn’t even phased by the annoyed barking of Frodo, another dog we rescued from the side of the road (but that’s another story). He’s used to getting a lot of attention!
Once the medication had time to work, I gave her a good rub-down. The mange has caused her skin to thicken and crack and it is important to soften it up and remove as much as possible so that the treatment will have the best chance of penetrating to the living skin underneath.
We also set about removing the ticks from her – some had even made their way into her ears which must have caused her great discomfort. We then just gave her the space to get used to her new surroundings.
Not another shower!
“On Wednesday, Khaleesi had another shower. The softening cream I have been rubbing into her is also working a treat because the dead skin is coming off nicely (if you can say that about dead skin!) She is so very patient.
At last, we are starting to see some fur which had been covered up by the scabs and lesions. Here’s a clip of her showing off her tufts.
Khaleesi gets adventurous
“This little dog has surprised us already in so many ways so imagine my amazement when I walked into the kitchen to find that she had sat herself at the table and looked to be waiting for dinner!
Getting an expert’s opinion
“On Saturday, we drove to ProVet in Plovdiv to get Khaleesi fully checked out. It’s a 125 kilometre away and in Bulgaria going that far can take up to three and a half hours. We let Khaleesi wander around the garden before we left and then lifted her back in the crate for the ride.
After a 3-hour journey, we finally arrived at ProVet where the staff took such good care of our girl. It took 5 hours for them to examine her, remove more ticks from inside her ears, carry out two sets of blood tests and skin scrapes, and bandage her leg. The vets agree that she is about two years old, maybe younger.
“As we suspected, Khaleesi has a number of ailments:
- she has sarcoptic mange, not demodex as we first thought
- she is very anaemic – the vets did two blood tests because the white blood cell count wasn’t right in first test. This could be a sign that she is fighting off infection, or it could be the sarcoptic mange causing secondary problems
- she tested negative for heartworm and Lyme disease
- but she tested positive for canine ehrlichiosis. This can be a very serious disease, depending on how long Khaleesi has been infected
The priority now is to get the sarcoptic mange under control so the vet strapped Khaleesi’s leg to limit her using it too much. It may be misshapen as a result of poor nutrition when she was growing.
“Khaleesi has had an injection and we will have to give her another one next Saturday. In two weeks’ time, we will take her back to ProVet when they will do more skin scrapes to test her reaction to the mange treatment and more blood tests to assess her response to the ehrlichiosis treatment.
She may also at that point be ready to have her legs x-rayed. She has different antibiotics and two other lots of tablets.
Ehrlichiosis can be a very serious disease and how Khaleesi responds to treatment will depend entirely on how long she has had it. In its early stages, ehrlichiosis can be treated, but it may have caused secondary problems that we don’t yet know about.
What does the future hold for Khaleesi?
“People have already completed pre-adoption forms for Khaleesi and it is comforting to know that there are people out there ready and willing to give her a loving home. Right now, we can’t bear the thought of her ever going anywhere because we feel so protective over her.
Some dogs we rescue aren’t suitable for adoption because they have fear/trust issues and may be too nervous or aggressive – these dogs then stay with us. But, hopefully, the day will come when Khaleesi is fit and well and we know that, if there is the perfect family for her, we will have to let her go. It will be so hard, but we will have to do it so that we can carry on helping more dogs.
For now, we are giving Khaleesi the best care and attention. Her condition may be serious, but she is a fighter and she has age on her side.”
“We will face the battle with her and we will not give up hope.”