I am already neutered, housetrained, up to date with shots, good with kids, good with dogs, and good with cats.
Bruno was saved from OC Animal Care on Jan 31st. Emaciated to the core and covered in ticks, Bruno was only available to be seen or taken by a rescue group. Labeled as "unsocial" we knew this sick Pit Bull did not stand a chance getting rescued. When examining him in his OC cage, he was lifeless. He barely moved, made no eye contact and appeared to have given up a long time ago. We were so happy to be able to help him that day.
Once back at The Pet Rescue Center, I began to clean him up and get him as comfortable as I could. In the bath I washed away a lifetime of dirt, cleansed his fly strike ears and removed 20+ ticks. Although I wanted to feed him everything and anything, it is not wise to over feed an emaciated pet. His stomach is very small and he is not used to consuming a normal amount of food for his weight. We had to have him on multiple medications not only to increase his appetite but to keep the food down after it was consumed.
The next challenge was finding the source of his emaciation. It would be easy to assume that Bruno was potentially starved, but there are other likely possibilities we couldn’t rule out. IBD is the first thing that comes to mind when we see a dog in this condition. IBD or (Irritable Bowel Disease) is a disorder of the intestinal tract. It is characterized by diarrhea, weight loss, anemia and malnutrition. Diet, intestinal infection or abnormalities in the immune system can cause the lining of the intestine to be invaded with inflammatory cells and this inflammation interferes with the ability to digest and absorb nutrients. It can be treated, but there is not an easy cure. We could not diagnose him as an IBD patient unless taking him to surgery to explore the intestinal walls and we couldn’t take him to surgery unless he gained weight. We were in a tough spot and reached out to the public for help with his boarding, feeding and testing fees. Our amazing supporters paid for him to receive his day to day care for at least a few months.
Much to my surprise, only 1 week after we brought him home he had gained 4-5 pounds. He started to really like our morning routine of weighing him in, taking a long walk, treats and basic training and cuddle time. He put on a little less than 1 lb a day steadily for the next few weeks. Every day he came more out of his shell. Greeting with hesitation in the beginning to jumping to peoples arms like a baby. It was clear that Bruno missed out on some puppy years. He had definitely never seen toys until now. Leash and collar took awhile to understand. And being hugged or cuddled turned him into a ball of mush. Something in his eyes began to change. He was greeting the morning staff with excitement and wiggles. He slowly lost all his fears and hesitative moves. A month into it, he had put on almost 20 lbs. We took him to his first event in Laguna Beach. He got to be in a parade. This was a big test to his previous (unsocial) label he received at OC Shelter. He passed with flying colors. He greeted all new people and many new dogs. He let children walk him through streets where people were screaming, clapping, throwing candy and every other possible unnerving behavior. He never stopped smiling. It was pretty clear that we had a very special and grateful boy on our hands.
By the middle of March, Bruno had put on 25 lbs total, built some muscle and completely transformed inside and out. Bruno put on weight so well and had such little intestinal problems throughout, that we were ready to take him to surgery as a normal, healthy, adult. He was neutered and microchipped and had no need for an exploratory surgery. It is so hard to believe a dog this amazing could have been neglected, but he was. Now, we have a 2 year old, healthy, neutered, Pit Bull that has the heart and soul of a puppy. He is experiencing his new world without grudges and living in the past.
Now that Bruno is ready for a family, he wants someone to play fetch with and cuddle with. The more people in the home the merrier because he LOVES attention and affection. All of our rescues are special for their own reasons and Bruno is going to be a very special boy for a very special family. All interested families can contact Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are available at www.thepetrescuecenter.org