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Ozzy's Odyssey

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Nov 11

Ozzy came home today!  He goes back to the vet on Thursday for neutering.  First thing I did when he came home was to give him a bath and trim as many mats off him as he would let me.  Later I began training him to use the doggie door.  After three times of enticing him through with treats, he came back through the doggie door all by himself!  He is our 12th foster and the quickest learner so far.  Sweet, sweet boy.

Oct 28

I just talked with the vet.  He did a skin scraping and found one mite that was barely moving.  So  the staff will give Ozzy a lime sulphur bath.  It is the old fashioned way to treat, being both stinky and messy, but a way to ensure death to all mites.  The staff said Ozzy was really good during the bath and actually seemed to be enjoying it.  Sweet thing.  Ozzy will get another sulphur bath again in 5-7 days and possibly once more before his release.  The vet will do skin scrapings again before shaving so as not to possibly spread living mites at that time.  


Oct 25

I went to visit Ozzy in quarantine again today.  He is just a happy, loving boy.  It warms my heart to see him being outgoing and playful after what he has been through.

I took him for a walk and noted that his cage was clean, leading me to believe that he is house-trained.  We walked around outdoors. Other than shying away from a few loud cars, he had no issues.  Ozzy loved being outside and enjoyed the treats I brought for him.  He was shaking his head quite a bit and I noted that he has some mats that are over two inches long inside his ears, so I asked the vet to cut those out.

I could tell that he had been scratching a quite a bit in some areas and when I asked the vet about it .He told me that even though the scabies mites were dead or dying, they still remain under the skin and will cause great irritation until they are absorbed by Ozzy's body.  I think Ozzy will be given another course of steroids to help with the itch.  In addition, I have asked the vet to shave Ozzy completely so he can begin growing a fresh coat.  He will be sedated, shaved and neutered at the same time.  It looks like he has two more weeks in isolation to let the second dose of Revolution do its job.  The vet will be doing skin scrapings to see if he can find any evidence of live mites, but he is pretty confident that the treatment is working well.

Oct 18 Visiting Day

I visited Ozzy today.  What a different dog from the one I brought to the vet eight days ago!

As I went into the quarantine room I heard a thump, thump, thump -- Ozzy's tail beating against the side of his crate.  He was happy for a visitor.  The vet tech told me that he gets walked twice per day and fed twice per day.  He is being weaned off of the steroids. She said he LOVES getting his breakfast but sometimes doesn't want to take his morning walk.

Ozzy's attitude was of a real dog, not the pathetic little ragamuffin I had met before.  He was happy to see me but when I put my hand in the crate he backed away a bit in shyness.  Wearing gloves and shoe covers I petted him for about 10 minutes and took him out of his crate to see him walk around the floor.  He eagerly put his front paws on my legs showing energy I hadn't seen before and  he seems to be talented at standing up on his back legs for a little dance.  He also did a couple of "sits" for me when I asked (not every time, but it's a start). I can tell he has a very sweet disposition. (You were right, Kim).

Ozzy's skin looked amazing considering his condition just a week ago.  I'd say 90% of his scabs are gone leaving healthy-looking skin underneath.  Even the gross scabs that were so thick on the edges of his ears have fallen off.  He will need a good shaving to get rid of most of his hair that is matted and holding scab material.  That will probably happen after leaving vet custody.  He will be cold for a while because he has large bald patches for now.  I think I will have to find him a sweater to wear around the house.

Overall I am exceedingly pleased with his progress.  I will visit again next week.  When I visit it takes one of the staff away from their duties to be with me in the quarantine area, so I don't want to burden them with visits too often.

Relaxing at Home

Outdoors at Last

Oct 18

Oct 10

Oct 12 Recovering -Ozzy is doing well in his "own castle". He will be in isolation a minimum of 3 weeks. He has had a dose of Revolution (yes, the flea and tick med) to begin killing the mites; he is on antibiotics for the infections; and he is on steroids to tell the body to calm down. In two weeks he will have another application of Revolution to continue killing the mites. At about 3 weeks Dr. D. will do some aggressive skin scraping to see if he can find evidence of active mites. At that point we will discuss Ozzy coming home.
There was talk early on about putting Ozzy under so Dr. could scrub all the gross scabbing away to begin the healing process, but Dr. is hopeful that that won't be necessary with the steroids at work. No visitors until 18 Oct.

Through her neighborhood network she found Kim who does rescue work with border collies.  This dog was not a border collie, but he was obviously in need of a lot of help.  Kim contacted a local vet to find out that if this dog was brought in and handed over as a “good Samaritan drop-off”, he would be given a little medical help and then turned over to the local animal shelter.  Kim quickly realized that a dog like this, in this condition, on death’s door needed so much more than a shelter could offer.  So she reached out on Facebook and posted a picture and description of the circumstances to NorCal Poodle Rescue’s page.  By now it was Sunday evening, just after 5 PM.

Marilyn, who monitors the NorCal Poodle Rescue Facebook page and gets a lot of requests for help, saw the posting and immediately forwarded it to the NCPR board and a few others.  Members of the Board wanted to help this animal and within an hour of the original posting, one of NCPR’s fosters stepped up.

Jennifer and her family had just adopted out their tenth foster the day before and were looking to take a little break, but as soon as she saw this email and the pitiful picture she offered to foster this dog.  Jennifer and Kim arranged to get the dog from the Sacramento area to Marin by meeting half way.  By 8 PM Sunday night, the dog was in Jennifer’s custody and on the way home with her.

Jennifer called ahead and asked her daughters to think of a name.  “Ozzy,” they said.  At the time they didn’t know that the neighbor of the woman who found the dog and who reached out to Kim was also known as Ozzie.  They didn’t know that the name was an English baby name meaning “Divine Power.”  It couldn’t be more fitting.

Oct 10 Finding Ozzy: Saturday night, this poor, weak, bedraggled soul found his way to a porch in Elk Grove, CA.  What made him pick that porch we will never know – but he picked the right one.

Imagine yourself opening your door to find this filthy, infested, nearly-dead dog with oozing wounds on your doorstep.  A dog with both eyes red and weeping, the tips of his ears 3/8 inch thick with bloody scabs, possible attack wounds on his head, large patches of his body without hair and scabby.  What would you do?  The homeowner, Olga, did what she could.  She gave him food and water, she gently cut off the mounds of matted hair from his back, she gave him a bath – but she realized that this was more than she alone could handle.  So she called on her neighbors.

That night Ozzy was kept away from the family dog and fed and watered and made comfortable.  Jennifer had alerted Dr. D.  that she would be bringing Ozzy in first thing in the morning.  The next day Dr. D. delivered the sad news that Ozzy had Sarcoptic Mange (scabies) and was highly contagious to both animals and humans.  Dr. D agreed to keep Ozzy under quarantine and treat him until it was safe to send him home with Jennifer to foster him through the rest of his recovery.

Ozzy is now under veterinary quarantine receiving treatment for the scabies as well as antibiotics and steroids for the infections and inflammation.  He will be in quarantine for a minimum of three weeks.  He also needs to be neutered, microchipped and have vaccinations.  He has a long road to his recovery but thanks to so many caring individuals, he has begun the journey.  We will continue to post updates on Ozzy’s Odyssey and his progress toward a loving home of his own.
NCPR is gratefully accepting donations to help defray the costs of Ozzy’s treatment and quarantine.  Don’t you want to be one of the team of caring people who helped bring this sweet boy back to life?

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