Almost four months ago, City Dogs Rescue responded to a plea to save Lobo who was at risk of euthanasia due to overcrowding in Cleveland County, NC. Usually when we rescue dogs, everything in their lives starts to look up. Well, Lobo had a few more stops on his journey that we weren’t expecting.
Lobo was an owner surrender who was dumped at the shelter by his person with no reason given. Owner surrenders are usually the first to be euthanized and as he sat in that cage, Lobo started to show symptoms of swelling on his front leg. Thankfully, once CDR rescued him, we were able to get him to the vet promptly with the help of local volunteers. The first guess diagnosis based on initial observations was a snake bite. After a few days of hospitalization, poor Lobo suffered as the swelling progressed and an abscess formed. At this time, the vet was able to determine he was bitten by a brown recluse spider.
We all know about black widow spiders being extremely poisonous but many of us were unaware that the brown recluse spider can be equally bad or worse. The next few weeks would reveal just how damaging these spiders can be. As the venom traveled through Lobo’s body it produced ulcers in various areas. These areas opened up and the skin around them began to necrotize, leaving him with large open areas along his legs and abdomen. The images were mind-numbing and we couldn’t believe what we were seeing. This was a new experience for all of us and there was a point where we wondered if the necrotizing was ever going to stop! But it did, after several weeks, and the skin started to heal. We all just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him it would get better!
During this time, we also learned that Lobo had contracted distemper from the shelter. This brave boy’s immune system was not only combating the spider bite, but now also fighting distemper. Thankfully, he never developed full-blown distemper symptoms and is now rid of that as well. For safety precautions, CDR conducted a full 4-month quarantine and he poses no risks to other animals or humans at this time.
Health battles didn’t stop there for Lobo. At times of weakness in the immune system, dogs are at the highest risk for mange. Lobo’s system was so exhausted that next he then developed demodex mange. Thankfully this is the non-contagious and completely treatable type, but we couldn’t believe this darling boy had to deal with another illness.
Through it all, Lobo remained happy and full of kisses. Four months of nothing but challenges all because his previous person dumped him at an overcrowded shelter with no prior vaccines and no concern as to what would happen to him next. His caretaker and the vets constantly remarked about his calm, gentle and happy nature throughout such uncomfortable experiences.
We have to send a very special thank you to Deb Hardin of C.A.R.E. She stepped up to foster Lobo and without her love and care, we’re not sure he would have survived. She made countless trips to the vet during the frightening spider bite time and gave Lobo all the extra care, love and support he needed to fight through all this illness and come out the happy, healthy awesome boy he is today.
We hope that Lobo’s health obstacles are behind him and that the only thing awaiting him now is a forever family!
If you are interested in meeting Lobo, please fill out an application!
Lobo is sponsored by Patricia Kennedy through her volunteer service grant from Booz Allen Hamilton.
City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties volunteers.