Hershey2, August, 2000
Hershey's owners contacted a volunteer of Animal Rescue Movement, Inc. in Jacksonville FL. They wanted help finding a new home for Hershey; he was getting out of the yard and they lived near a busy street. This was the third home for Hershey, a four year old neutered chocolate male; his first owners bought him as a puppy and gave him to an elderly lady when he was 1 1/2. This lady in turn gave him to the present owners who now gave him to the rescue.
The volunteer took Hershey to foster him until a forever home could be found. He went to get his health check and the vet found him to be heart worm positive. Hershey's rescuer had the vet start treatment right away. Since the rescue group she volunteers for was almost out of funds, she paid the vet herself and applied to LABMED for funding. After speaking with the vet, who confirmed that Hershey was a nice friendly boy and told us his prognosis was very good, LABMED reimbursed the rescuer for what she had already spent on Hershey's treatment. The rescuer paid for the preventive Hershey needed after the treatment.
But it did not go too well for Hershey. On his first weekly check-up after the heartworm treatment, his temperature was elevated. He was sent home with instructions to the rescuer to watch him closely and bring him to the vet if his condition should worsen. Hershey stayed the same; his next weekly check-up still showed an elevated temperature and his gums were pale. The vet was worried about liver function - the heartworm treatment is very hard on the liver. Blood tests were done and showed that Hershey had Glomerulonephritis. The vet explained this condition to the rescuer: "The kidney is like a pasta strainer" and the presence of heartworms and/or treatment caused the immune system to kick into high gear. This caused damage to the kidney (holes in the strainer) allowing the protein to "dump" out of the kidney. Sometimes with the proper medication/diet, the kidney will repair itself and fill in these "holes".
Hershey's rescuer once again came to LABMED for help. After talking to the vet again, LABMED decided to fund Hershey once more by paying for blood tests and medication. Hershey had already started his medication; he had gained some weight and was improving.
The good news is that Hershey has found a family who adopted him knowing he has special needs. He will have to eat a good quality protein diet supplemented by Omega 3 Fatty Acid for the rest of his life. Hershey's family will get him re-checked 6 months after the initial diagnosis to find out if his kidneys are getting better. LABMED was happy to be able to give Hershey not just one but two second chances!
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