12/14/18 – Dharma update
Results from the tracheal wash have returned. Three bacteria strains were found. Two are susceptible to the antibiotic Dharms is on, called Excede. The third is sensitive to Nuflor, another antibiotic.
When Dharma’s current course of antibiotics is finished, she will be started on Nuflor to treat the third bacterial strain.
Dharma also has an abscess on her shoulder, the contents of which were tested. Tests returned positive for an antibiotic-resistant staph infection. We are currently drafting a plan of action with Dharma’s veterinary team at VCA Loomis Basin and will keep you updated.
As you can see, Dharma continues receiving fluids to keep her hydrated. The shaved portions of her belly are from full-body ultrasounds and radiographs. When she is done receiving fluids, caregivers put her coat back on to keep her warm during the cold days and nights.
When our animal care staff found Dharma, she was staring off in the distance, straining, and not eating.
Animal Care Director Hannah Beins knew these symptoms could indicate a urinary blockage or vitamin deficiency. When Dharma urinated, we knew it was something else. After Hannah consulted with our veterinarian, the the animal care team focused on the possibility that Dharma was suffering from polio, a Vitamin B deficiency.
We started Dharma on fluids, vitamin B and banamine (pain reliever) injections, and probiotics.
Dharma perked up but then began to backslide. After several days of little to no improvement, the animal care team drafted a new plan.
When we are faced with a major medical case, like Dharma’s, we know the costs will skyrocket.
Your gift covers the cost of diagnostics. We transported Dharma to VCA Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic. The veterinarians did blood-work and performed full-body radiographs and an ultrasound, which revealed several masses, a thickened colon and left lung lobe, low white blood cell count, low electrolytes and calcium.
Your donation is used for treatment options. Dharma was placed on antibiotics, subcutaneous calcium-enriched fluids four times a day, injectable anti-inflammatory medication, Bio-Sponge (absorbs bad bacteria in gut), and stall rest.
Your support helps us face the unknown. Several diseases were ruled, but the cause of Dharma’s illness remains unknown. We took Dharma back to the veterinarian for sedation and a tracheal wash, in which an incision is made in Dharma’s trachea, fluid flushed up and out, and a sample is taken to grow bacteria. Results take up to six weeks and we have not yet received them.
Until then, we wait. This unexpected emergency has added an additional $3,000 strain to our budget. But we know, with your help, we can continue to provide top level care with major medical cases, like Dharma, and to all of the other animals here.
We will keep you updated on Dharma’s prognosis and treatment plan. Until then, consider a donation to the Rescue Medical Fund, to help Dharma and animals like her!