A small, scruffy black puppy was found on Christmas day, wandering the streets of Khayelitsha, looking for food and someone to care for her. We picked her up and took her to our NPO veterinary clinic.
Her skin was in a terrible condition. She was covered with mange and had sores all over her back. Immediately she was given mange, flea and tick treatment and daily application of coconut oil to help the sores heal. Due to malnutrition her feet were flat and wide and her leg ligaments lax. When walking she placed everything up to her knee joint on the ground.
After the puppy had received treatment and nutritious food for a week, our community service veterinarian, Melissa, decided to foster her and took her home. Needless to say, she quickly became a foster failure and was adopted. Melissa called her Scrat, after the squirrel in the movie Ice Age.
But Scrat’s struggles were not over yet. She contracted ehrlichia (a tick-born infectious disease) and was placed on Doxydog medication for three weeks as treatment. As a knock-on effect she also contracted uveitis (an eye infection) and was given chloramphenicol eye drops. This is when Melissa noticed that Scrat couldn't see very well. She took Scrat to the ophthalmologist at Panorama veterinary clinic where she was diagnosed with an early onset of retinal degeneration. She would soon be completely blind.
As if this poor girl hadn’t been through enough, her previous owners had also cut her ears while she was still living in the township. These, however, healed well and she now has little ears with no tips.
Today, Scrat is a perfectly happy and healthy little dog. Her feet have pulled up straight, her skin has healed and, although she is currently half blind, she is dealing with her blindness well – she runs, goes hiking, enjoys swims at the beach and even goes rock-climbing
Thanks to Melissa and our veterinary team at Mdzananda, this little girl has been given a new lease on life. She might soon become fully blind, but with such caring people looking after her, she will have the best life ever despite her blindness.