Pet of the Month
Every month we choose a pet (or parent) as our pet of the month. We want to highlight instances where pets in our community have fought through difficult times or have acted above and beyond the call of duty.
China - December
Krista Dixon is our Pet Parent of the month. Through a series of miraculous coincidences she saved her dogs life. Downey and Molly Dixon are the best of friends, two dogs who will stick together even through the “muddiest of situations.” Downey is a lovable, 11 year old Blue Australian Shepherd who does not easily admit defeat in spite of difficult situations. Downey is not only a wonderful, happy dog, he is a survivor. At 11 years old he has bilateral hip Dysplasia and a slow growing form of cancer in his leg. Best friend, Molly is a 7 year old, black lab mix who is energetic, and affectionate. Molly is also the type of dog who would never give up when faced with a challenge. Molly has Addison’s disease. Both dogs require special attention to medical needs, and extra TLC. On Labor Day, owner Krista was painting and had the gate to the backyard open, and with out notice both dogs slipped out. Krista went looking everywhere for Downey and Molly. She went door to door, made flyers, and, called anywhere she could think to call. Four days went by, and still nothing. Krista had lost hope. While Krista was at work that week, she heard her phone ring. Anxious to pick it up, hoping it was news on her beloved dogs, a voice on the other end said “We have one of your dogs!” The Humane Society had found Molly, but not Downey. A teenage girl had picked up Molly, but had seen nothing of Downey. Immediately Krista went to pick up Molly. She had asked for a description as to where Molly had been found, in anticipation of finding Downey nearby. All of the sudden as they drove by an irrigation ditch very close to home, Molly starts barking and whining. Krista looks and off to the side of the road and sees Wellington Animal Control. Her first thought was, “Oh, no, its Downey and he has died in the mud filled ditch.” She asked the 2 men with Animal Control if the dog was alive, “Yes! He is alive!” The poor dog stuck in the mud was Downey. Krista could see his head and shoulders sticking out of the mud, but the rest of him was buried. Downey was drowning in a quick sand like clay, just about completely under. It took all 3 of them, 20 minutes of digging to get Downey out of the ditch. He was completely covered in mud and water from the ditch. He was so heavy that the 3 of them had to use a tarp to carry him up the hill. As soon as Downey was back in the car, Molly whined, wiggled and smothered him with kisses. Krista came immediately to our clinic, herself covered up to her head in mud. She backed her car right up to the front door, and Kit, one of our technicians met her with helping hands. Downey was rushed into our treatment area where Dr. Jensen and Kit washed layer after layer of mud coating sweet Downey. All the while Molly was in our ICU keeping a close eye on what was happening with Downey. Downey was very weak from struggling for so long trying to pull himself out. He was dehydrated, needed IV fluids, and pain medication. Molly on the other hand, while worried about her buddy, managed to only escape with a small abrasion on her nose. Dr. Jensen said “Krista saved her dogs life. Downey surely wouldn’t have survived another night.” That day after care and medical attention here at WVC, Downey spent the night at the Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency Hospital. The next day Downey came home. He was still a little weak and had a sore on his side about the size of a deck of cards from the pressure of a rock. And of course, Molly was so happy to see her best friend finally home again. To me, Molly played an invaluable part, in saving Downey. If the teenage girl hadn’t seen Molly who knows if Downey would have been found in time. It was like she was trying to get someone’s attention saying “Hey my friend is in trouble, help!” The two dogs have made a 100% recovery. Molly and Downey are of course, still the best of friends, and Krista will never leave the gate open again.
Jessy Sawyer - March
Many pet owners are aware when being smothered with kisses that their pet has bad breath. What they may not know is that bad breath could be evidence that something more is going on in their pet’s mouth. Jessy Sawyer is an adorable 4 year old Yorkshire Terrier, fun loving and playful, Jessy needed some major dental work done in his tiny little mouth. Owner Connie brought Jessy in for a routine wellness exam along with an objection to “Some serious bad breath.” Meghan one of our technician’s noticed upon exam that Jessy had inflamed gums, bad tartar build up, and visible loose teeth, thereupon recommending to Connie a dental cleaning under anesthesia with extraction. Jessy came in one morning and was here most of the day, for his dental surgery. Meghan our technician says, “Usually right up front you don’t know what you’ll find after cracking off the tartar, but with the help of dental x rays which are a vital part in the cleaning process the x rays can help evaluate the roots.” Under review Meghan found multiple root exposures. Jessy’s mouth was flushed with dilute chlorhexidine. The teeth were charted and cleaned using a combination of ultrasonic scaling and hand scaling above the gum-line and hand scaling only beneath the gum-line. The teeth were polished with fluoride polish and sulcus depths were charted. All in all fifteen teeth total were extracted. Since most dogs don’t get their teeth brushed on a regular basis plaque and tartar accumulate in the mouth along the gum-line, where they can enter the bloodstream. If enough bacteria enter into the bloodstream it can begin to cause systemic damage to the liver, kidneys and the heart. Understandably so, there can be pain involved in poor dental health. These conditions can take years off your pets life, fortunately dental disease can easily be treated if done in right amount of time. Jessy ate wet food for a week after his dental, made a full recovery, and is still a happy, playful dog, with a happy mouth, only now giving kisses with breath his owners can accept.
Shona Olsen - January
“Miracle Baby” is what owner Heather Olson calls her sweet 1.5 yr old, 73lb, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Shona. She is a fighting survivor of Acute Renal Failure due to Ibuprofen toxicity.
Heather and her family were preparing their son for college by packing up all of his belongings and getting ready to take him to campus. Unknowingly to them, a bottle of Advil gel caps was left on the floor of his room.
While the family was out of town getting their son settled into dorm life, a pet sitter was caring for Shona. The pet sitter noticed that Shona was not feeling so great, had started to vomit and was acting very lethargic. At first, they did not worry too much about it because Shona had a history of eating and vomiting grass. After a few days of Shona showing no signs of feeling better and not eating, the sitter decided to bring her to see Dr Jensen.
Upon arrival here at Wellington Veterinary Clinic, our technician Kit quickly began the evaluation of Shona and noticed she was dehydrated, nauseous, and in Kit’s words “a very sick dog”. Kit also observed her walking in a hunched position which often indicates abdominal pain. Kit immediately took Shona in the treatment area for Dr Jensen to evaluate. After her initial examination, Dr Jensen decided to run some blood work to help determine what was causing her pain. The results of the blood work showed her kidney values significantly above normal indicating kidney failure. Dr Jensen immediately placed an IV catheter to administer IV fluids and begin to flush her blood and kidneys of any toxins that would cause such high values. After a home search, a chewed bottle of Advil was found.
Ibuprofen (Advil) can cause serious to fatal complications. Ingestion of 25mg-125mg can cause a gastrointestinal ulcer and vomiting, 125mg-175mg can cause kidney failure, and up to 400mg can cause a dog to have a seizure and go into a coma. It is believed that Shona had ingested between 17 and 23- 200mg capsules giving her a dose of 3400mg of Ibuprofen at a minimum and causing her serious damage to her kidneys. Any time an animal consumes this much Ibuprofen Dr Jensen says ” I am very concerned that they will survive”. All we could do was hope for a miracle.
To survive, Shona needed intensive round the clock care, where she could receive fluids and medicine to try to reverse her kidney failure. She was taken to CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She was in the Intensive care unit at CSU with Dr. Mathis for 6 days. Her family visited twice a day and each day Shona’s kidney values were going down exponentially and her health was miraculously improving. Heather said, “My husband thought she wasn’t going to make it, and I prayed every night.” Finally on the 6th day and after much hoping and praying, Shona was discharged home from CSU at 10pm that night.
Today, Shona is doing fantastic! Heather says “Shona is the kind of dog that always sees the brighter side of life and is always wagging her tail no matter the circumstance. That is the kind of person that I want to be”. The Olson family is thankful for the “Brilliance of Dr Jensen, the technicians at WVC, Dr. Mathis and everyone at CSU for their amazing care”.
Shona’s case is truly made of miracles. It is a lesson learned for everyone.