Sadie’s saga is such a sad one and demonstrates the heartbreaking impact heartworms can have on a dog. A two-year-old mixed breed, she arrived at the Duplin County Animal Shelter in North Carolina on June 11th as a stray. Despite being emaciated and having heartworms, Sadie was described by folks at the shelter as being very sweet and friendly. She urgently needed rescue from this rural high-kill shelter.
On June 18th, Debbie Stezar with One Life to Live Rescue and Adoption in Pennsylvania requested our assistance for Sadie’s heartworm costs. If we would help, the rescue would pull her. We agreed and Sadie was safe. She was transported to the rescue on July 7th and placed in a loving foster home. “She is a bundle of energy,” Debbie told us, “I think she might have some Border Collie in her! She just loves being close to people.”
After gaining some much-needed weight, Sadie began her heartworm treatment on August 28th. Because she had microfilaria in her bloodstream, the vet opted to use a safer three-treatment protocol. Initially, she tolerated the first treatment okay. “She was kept quiet in an air-conditioned foster home,” Debbie said. “She was leash walked only to eliminate and fed a high-quality food. She did well with her treatment until September 16th. Then she stopped eating, started to have labored breathing and blood in her urine. We took her to our local veterinary ER and she went progressively downhill over the next 24 hours.”
“The vets at the ER found a huge ball of dead heartworms on the right side of her heart,” Debbie said. “She was diagnosed with Caval Syndrome. The only way to save her would be to manually remove the worms, but the vets doubted that she would survive the risky procedure. We had to make the difficult decision to let her go.” Sadie’s foster mom, Marie, was with her as she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Marie shared this with us: “When she first came to us as a foster, she really didn’t know anything. She had never been in a house, or it had been a very long time. She was afraid of the couch and the TV. She was a wild girl. But as time went by and we worked with her, with the help of the rescue, had her evaluated by an animal behaviorist she began to learn. She got calmer all the time, was better on walks and listened much better. We had taught her sit, stay, come, and we were working on shake. We had to keep her calm after her first injection, so no more walks. She was really a very sweet girl and getting better all the time. It was very hard to say goodbye to her, she will be missed and would have made someone a great pet.”
“I cry whenever I speak of her,” Debbie told us. “She was so happy and so full of life. Some of them just don’t get a break. But, at least she knew love for a few months with her foster mom. We had her cremated, and her foster mom has her ashes and will keep them safe and treasured for a very long time.” Rest in peace, Sadie. To see more photos of Sadie, click here.
RADAR paid $250 toward Sadie’s vetting costs related to end-of-life complications from heartworms.
UPDATE: Sadie crossed the Rainbow Bridge on September 17, 2018.
UPDATE: All funds for Sadie have been raised. We thank you very much.
If you would like to help us have the ability to help other dogs, please visit our Donations page.
Thank you to the following contributors, who have given specifically to Sadie:
Helping Hands for Hearts Fund ($100); Charisse Noldy Messina; Lorraine & Patrick Smith; Gretchen Kozen; Anonymous
Added on October 30, 2018.