Sophia is a young American Bully, but she was hardly the pup she is now when I first met her. Sophia was dropped off during emergency hours December 2016 at the last clinic I worked at. She was found freezing and alone in a gutter on the side of the road. No identifying tags, nobody looking for her, and nobody willing to keep her. Along with a local rescue, the two girls who found her were instructed to bring her to me immediately. Her body temperature was too low to register on a rectal thermometer, so we immediately began warming her up. Her heart rate was about 40 beats per minute with a severe sinus arrhythymia. She was shutting down and who could blame her. She shied away from any human contact or affection, but at no point became aggressive. We offered her food, which she ate readily, as if she had been starving for days. Her fur was missing in many areas and her skin was covered in bleeding wounds and scabs. Her eyes were covered in a thick mucous and her ears were filled with a black debris.
Warning: Graphic images below
I agreed to hospitalize her, provide emergency care, and take her home once she was healthy. She was diagnosed with demodicosis, a common skin condition in immunocompromised puppies, fungal and skin diseases, bilateral corneal ulceration (eye infection), bilateral otitis externa (ear infection), and severe anxiety, which we suspected was secondary to severe human neglect. She was not potty trained, so she was receiving daily baths in addition to her weekly medicated baths. She was hospitalized for 2 months before she could come home.
Her homecoming was exciting, but was a constant struggle. She destroyed any cage or area that I tried to contain her in. She was still having issues with using the bathroom outside. And, she was still very fearful of people, including myself. Within 3 months, she was finally potty trained! She has issues every now and then, but what pet doesn’t? Within 6 months, she wasn’t shying away from my touch anymore. Within a year, she was regularly jumping and sleeping on the bed, an activity that before would give her extreme anxiety.
Her medical issues at bay and her anxiety issues under control, she has become an important part of my life and my pack! You may even catch a glimpse of her at the hospital when she comes to work with her mama!