Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Cost of Neglect

Vetting for the IBR Foster Dogs
There are many steps that an
Illinois Birddog Rescue fosterdog must go through before
being ready for adoption. Because IBR is licensed as a shelter by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, we are required by law to

1) microchip and
(2) spay or neuter all animals before adopting them into new homes.
We also 1) vaccinate for Parvo, Distemper, and Rabies;
(2) treat for intestinal parasites;
(3) test and treat for Heartworm disease.
Since many of our rescue dogs come from homes where they have been neglected for years, proper vetting is a crucial part of the process our dogs go through before they go to their new forever homes.

While we ask for a $325 adoption donation for
adult dogs and $375 for puppies, our average medical expense for each dog is often much more than that- especially for the dogs that may have severe injuries and medical problems. .
In the 6 plus years of IBR’s existence,we have seen many emaciated and malnourished dogs.
Most of these dogs have been fed a
poor quality diet and are full of intestinal
parasites (including hookworm, round worm,
whipworm, lungworm or tapeworm) or other
microscopic parasites known as Coccidia and

Many dogs come to us that have not
been given preventatives against Heartworm
disease, and thus test positive for this
mosquito-borne disease.

Treatment for Heartworm requires two injections of a Cyanide-based drug called Immiticide. Dogs that undergo Heartworm treatment also need
several months of rest so that the dying worms can be reabsorbed into their systems.
All of these parasites can make a rescue dog
very ill and can be expensive to treat on
average about $300 per dog.
Heartworm disease does not discriminate.
In 2006, IBR successfully treated 11 dogs

In the last few years, we have been able to test rescue dogs that have been
exposed to many tick infestations for tick-borne diseases. This year alone we have treated several dogs for Ehrlichea and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. One English Setter needed to be treated for RMSF, Heartworm disease, and intestinal worms. He is doing well now
It is IBR’s policy not to turn away sick or injured animals. This includes dogs that may need surgeryto fix broken bones, torn ligaments, or other issues related to improper care or being hit by cars before they come into the rescue. We had a plate put into a young GSP’s leg to repair a broken hip and we also found an excellent surgeon to do an anterior-cruciate-ligament repair on an olderPointer.

Both boys were eventually adopted but all of these procedures are very
expensive and were paid for only through urgent fundraising efforts.
The most costly of all veterinary emergencies is an outbreak of Parvo.
Parvoinfluenza is a terrible virus that attacks the intestinal lining of young dogs and puppies.
The dogs die a painful excruciating death.
Usually a round of 3 Parvo vaccines given to puppies starting at 9 weeks of age will help build immunity to this disease.
Unfortunately, many dog owners do not provide proper puppy care and many dogs catch this disease while they are waiting at the local animal control facility for homes.
IBR has saved at least 4 dogs and several puppies from Parvo illnesses, and at a very high price.
Treatment for Parvo requires round-the clock inter venous fluids, antibiotics, anti-nausea medications and lots of prayers.
The vetting expese can run into the thousands of dollars.

This year’s Parvo survivor was a young female English Setter that had whelped 6 puppies prior to coming into foster care.
She broke with Parvo when the puppies were only 4 weeks old and nursing.
It was touch-and go for a while, but the mother and 5 puppies survived.

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