A lot of shelter dogs have been dealt a tough hand in life and, as they’re sitting in their kennels looking for a new home, may not always be in tip top shape. However, that doesn’t mean that will always be the case…it just means you might have to take a little extra time with that dog to help him or her get over a few physical (or emotional) bumps in the road.
Take, for example, our dog Irie (above, waiting to leave the shelter). She was six months old when we adopted her and we immediately fell in love with her happy yet somewhat shy demeanor. Before we left the shelter, though, we’d already noticed that strange bumpy red rash on the stomach of this skinny young dog…
We adopted her on Saturday and took her to our vet on Monday. She confirmed what we’d guessed: yes, Irie was a little underweight and, yes, Irie had demodectic mange. The Demodex mites that transfer from a mother dog to her pups when nursing are usually suppressed by the dog’s immune system but stress (as in becoming a stray, getting picked up on the streets, then spending a month at a shelter as in Irie’s case) can cause a flare up.
Our vet started Irie on a series of dips and within a few months the mange was all cleared up. (As for the underweight part, that took care of itself very fast and there’s been no looking back since then…now we have to watch Irie’s weight and often have to switch to weight control food!)
Many shelters offer a free month of insurance with adoption; Irie had ShelterCare Pet Insurance. We received the first month free and paid for subsequent months; with the coverage, we were out very little out of pocket expense on her dips and treatment. When you’re adopting, be sure to ask if the fee/donation includes any insurance and take the paperwork with you on that first vet visit!
Don’t let small setbacks–many of which can be easily solved–stand in the way of adopting your new best friend!