Newman Vet of Deltona

Carrie giving Minnie Mouse a bath!

Carrie giving Minnie Mouse a bath!

I woke up this morning and noticed I received an email from my Vet, Newman of Deltona.  The message was sent at 1:50 AM.  Was I alarmed?  No!  It was Carrie telling me that Sven, one of our Frozen Puppies was developing Kennel Cough and Doctor Lim was putting him on Clavamox right away.  How many vets do that?  My vet does!

Yesterday was incredibly difficult, even though we were doing the right thing, saying goodbye to a little puppy is never easy.  Soon, we will be honoring the wonderful dogs we have lost this year, some were old, some were very young, but for now I’d like to share with you my experiences with our Vet, Newman Vet of Deltona.

Ray with William Wallace

Ray with Heartworm Positive William Wallace

If you’ve adopted from us lately, you’ve probably met us at the Vet.  Why?  I believe meeting at the vet makes the adoption easier!  If you want to purchase heartworm or flea preventative, you can!  If you want to purchase special dog food, Newman has their own line of pet food!

Two weeks ago, during Wendy’s adoption, her new owner felt a lump on her tail.  The lump had been examined by our vet during spay, but Wendy’s family wanted to talk face-to-face with a vet about it… so off they went into an examination room, and within just a few minutes, they felt comfortable to bring Wendy home with them!

The convenience, level of service and professionalism that Newman offers is unsurpassed.  But it’s more than just all of this.  Meeting your new dog at the vet is also psychologically a good transition space.  It’s neutral ground, not to mention Nacho is always there to cat-test dogs right in front of your eyes!

James with Bennetts Boots!

James with Bennetts Boots!

After being treated poorly, and spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars at local vets, Courtney, Ginger Doodle’s Mom (now Spec) refuses to go anywhere else.  Even though she drives about 60 miles out of her way, she trusts only Newman with her pup.  Courtney even tried a local groomer for Spec, and noticed that Spec had been injured… no more!  Spec trusts and loves James at Newman Deltona, and she will never go anywhere else!

Saying goodbye to your dog or cat is never an easy thing, regardless of the reason.  It’s rips your heart out.  Several months ago, one of the exam rooms at Newman’s was converted into a gorgeous and comfortable room designed specifically for saying goodbye to your best friend.  They call it the grieving room.  This is just more detail that the people of Newman take to help you, your family, your emotions, and more importantly, your pet.

Shannon recently adopted Minnie Mouse who is blind

Shannon recently adopted Minnie Mouse who is blind

I had to use that room yesterday for Anna.  Melissa showed me the x-rays.  She showed me a healthy pelvic bone, and then Anna’s.  It was horrific.  After the staff prepped Anna, I put her red bandanna on her, and presented her with her favorite bone.  The staff at Newman had already given her a toy duck that was twice her size!

Melissa asked me if I was staying for the procedure, or if I wanted to leave.  I was staying.  I always stay.  To me, it’s an honor and a privilege to be there when a dog passes over.  They come to us as unwanted and unloved strays, but once they enter into our rescue, they are no longer strays, they are special because they were chosen.

We gathered in the grieving room, and took turns holding her, and playing with her.  One by one, the employees came to give me a reassuring hug.  Many were teary-eyed.

Matt with Meredith, the Parvo Puppy

Matt with Meredith, the Parvo Puppy

I showered Anna with kisses, and I never left her side.  Dr. Ted Oliver never wants to euthanize an animal, he’ll do everything he can to avoid it.  But in Anna’s case, there was nothing anyone could do.  While I held her little head in my hands, Anna went peacefully to sleep while Doctor Oliver and I talked about her condition and the lack of options.

Once I opened the grieving room door, more employees greeted me with reassuring hugs, even the doctors!

So while yesterday was a really really bad day, I was surrounded by incredibly competent professionals, people who can practically finish my sentences, but more importantly, people who have an incredibly amount of compassion for the animals.

Melissa with Yodi

Melissa with Yodi

The protocols that The Dog Liberator follows for its foster dogs are the same protocols that we follow for our own dogs.  I guess what I’m trying to explain is even though she was only in our care for 2 days, the compassion and care that Newman Folks displayed was as if I had owned Anna for years.

I want to thank all of you for your warm thoughts and prayers yesterday.

I want to thank all of you for your warm thoughts and prayers yesterday.

So now it’s time for us to get back to work, and do what we’re supposed to do – find great homes for our rescued dogs.  Know that we don’t do this alone!  You absolutely can not rescue animals without having an awesome vet.

Meredith, the Parvo Puppy~Adopted

Matt of Newman DeLand with the Parvo Pup

Matt of Newman DeLand with the Parvo Pup

06/01/13:  I was shopping in DeLand with Sarah, it was “grown-up girl bonding day” (that’s what she calls it), when I noticed a missed call around 12:30 PM from Newman Veterinary Centers in DeLand.  Yes, I have every Vet programmed into my phone.  Sarah was trying on a pair of shoes when I told her, “stop, I have a call, and it’s DeLand Newman.”  They never call me!  At first I thought maybe one of my former adopters was in trouble, or they needed some paperwork, so I called, and it was Matt.  Matt works at the Deltona office often, and he has been my Vet tech many times.

“I have a Parvo puppy here, and she’s a Border Collie, can you take her?”  I thought it to be odd so I asked him a few questions, and I asked him to send me a photo, not really believing that it was a Border Collie.  “The dog’s owners surrendered her to us (the Vet) because they couldn’t afford the treatment.”

I paid for Sarah’s things, left the store and waited in the van, and there it was.  A text message from Matt and a gorgeous Border Collie looking like… well… Parvo!

We drove though McDonalds to grab a bite, and I headed over to Newman’s.  As I was driving, I explained to Sarah we would have to make chicken stew.  We would have to setup a crate in my bedroom, and set it all up Bart-style.  Sarah was quick to interrupt me (that’s her job, she’s a kid) and she named the pup.  I’d rather not share her name at this point, since her fate is still in God’s hands.

She's TDL now!

She’s TDL now!

When I arrived, I saw a lifeless body, a dog that was emaciated, a dog that wouldn’t lift her head, a dog that had evidence of Parvo.  “She hasn’t vomited in two days,”  Matt explained.  He went into detail about the dog’s history, but as he was, I realized that I could not bring this dog home with me.  If she’s not eating or drinking, she needs ISO, and she needs to be hospitalized.  “Oh, you must have misunderstood me,”  Matt explained.  I meant will you take ownership of her, and transport her to Deltona and watch over her care!”

You know what my answer was!

He gave me her IV fluids, some medicine, I signed paperwork to take ownership of the pup, and took copies of her lab results.  I just so happened to have a crate in my van, and he loaded her up.  Deltona was contacted and were aware that the pup was on her way.

hearing my voice she lifted her head briefly

hearing my voice she lifted her head briefly

Apparently, this pup was suffering for several days, not eating and vomiting.  The owners took her to DeLand on Tuesday.  She was given fluids and was treated for Parvo.  DeLand strongly urged that the owners take her to Deltona, where they can provide long-term treatment.  They promised they would, and Deltona was on standby waiting for a Parvo pup to arrive, but they never showed up.  Instead, they went back to DeLand on Thursday.  By that time, the pup was in really bad shape.  They had two options.  Euthanize or surrender the dog to Newman.

Why?  The dog was suffering without the treatment.  The cost to treat would be high, and the owners said they could not afford to treat.  For two days the folks at Newman Deland watched over the pup until she was stable…. hence the phone call to me!

On the way to Deltona, the unthinkable happened.  My van, the van that lost third gear last week, started to squeal, and smoke.  “Pull over Mommy!”  Sarah shouted.  I kept driving!  The mechanic warned me that I’d lose 2nd gear soon, and I guess that time has come.

I made crazy noises for her to face me, looks like she's asking "Is this van going to make it?"

I made crazy noises for her to face me, looks like she’s asking “Is this van going to make it?”

I arrived at Newman Deltona, (van still smoking) where George was waiting.  I was greeted by Dr. Pinzon and he reviewed the pups paperwork.  Her white bloodcell count is dangerously low.  The fact that she hasn’t vomited in two days is meaningless considering we don’t know when’s the last time she ate anything.

George carried the pup into the ISO room, laid the pup down in the same metal crate that Bart stayed in, and that’s when the flashbacks of Bart really started to him me.

I shared with Dr. Pinzon our success with Bart, the combination of glucose, anti-nausea shots, and a vitamin B shot.  I was hopeful.  Clearly, we’ve done this before, surely we can do it again.  Dr. Pinzon explained what I know to be true at this point; it’s a hit or miss.  There are no guarantees.  There is little hope, yet we won’t deny optimism.  It’s a 50/50.

George to the Rescue

George to the Rescue

So where does this pup come from?  If she’s 16 weeks old, she should’ve already been given her three sets of shots, and she should be clear of the threat of Parvo.  She couldn’t have come from a shelter or pound, she would have had all of her shots, and been spayed.  Could she come from a rescue that doesn’t quarantine and vet?  Did she come from a pet store or was she a flea market puppy?  We don’t know…. but maybe you know!  Maybe you’ve seen her face before on Facebook.  Maybe she looks familiar?

Bart's ISO Crate

Bart’s ISO Crate

Regardless, the folks at Newman are going to treat her with aggressive treatments, including a transfusion.  I’m not a vet, and I don’t understand everything that they are doing to her right now, but I know they are doing everything!  Her treatment will cost a minimum of $400 per day, including a vet tech to stay with her overnight.  I’m not really concerned about that at this point, because I know that the next 24 hours are critical.  I’m either going to get a call that she didn’t make it tomorrow, or I’m going to get a call that she’s eating.  It can go either way at this point, and we all know that.

I really want to be stocking up and arranging the private bathroom into an ISO room for her. I want to be shopping and get ready to make chicken stew. But I don’t think it’s wise right now to do all of those things. I need to force myself to wait, wait at least 24 hours. Wait to see what God has in store for this little girl.

Some people don’t believe in treating for Parvo, and sometimes I think it’s crazy.  I think Parvo is a God thing.  They either make it or they don’t.  Sometimes I feel that you’ve got to at least try.  She’s made it this far.  I don’t think it’s really up to us, you know?  I can tell by the look in her eyes that her will to live is very tiny at this point.  She probably feels like she’s been run over by a bus, and she’s probably sick and tired of feeling sick.  I can’t blame her.

For a moment, after really looking over this pups condition, knowing how many days she has suffered, I wanted to say that most people in general, suck! But people don’t suck! Look at the folks at Newman DeLand, how they called us, they called us to save this girl. Look at how Newman Deltona folks were chomping at the bit to help her. Everyone wants her to make it. People don’t suck!!!!  If she was a he I’d name her George, or Matt… or even Newman, but that’s not going to happen this time!

I have a lot of confidence that TDL supporters will help this pup, they always have… or I should say, YOU always have. I know you are going to pray for her, cheer her on, and help her in anyway you can, because that’s what you do.  I know that times are tough, but I still have a lot of confidence that if this little girl pulls through, you will help, and we watch her get stronger, we will watch her take her first bite of food, we’ll see her first wag, see her give her first kiss, and scream with pride when she starts running and playing. Because that’s what we do!

On the way home, I drove in the rain, again, just like I drove home in the rain when I left Bart there last year.  But when I drove home after leaving Bart in that same metal kennel, if you recall, I saw a rainbow.  This time, I looked all around me, waiting and hoping.  I turned left, I turned right, and looked over my shoulder, and I couldn’t find Goldie’s Rainbow.  I pulled into the driveway and shut the van off.  I disposed of the blanket that was in the crate, and stored the crate on the side of my house.  I looked around my neighborhood… still no rainbow.

Evening Update:  She is having her first transfusion.  She is standing up in her crate (great sign).  Nicole, a Vet Tech will be staying with her tonight so she will not be alone.  She will be closely monitored.  I’ll be happy when she starts to eat.  Until then, we watch, wait and pray!  Thank you for your outpouring support and prayers.  You can see more photos of the pup on Facebook and take a moment to read all of the supportive comments!

06/02/13 Morning Update:  I spoke with Ray at 7:30 am, and he said that the pup’s white cell count is within range, all of her blood work is within range, so the transfusion was a success.  I called at 10:30 am and spoke with George.  He believes she is much better today, she is lifting her head, and walking around in her crate a bit!  I suppose they are going to try to feed her soon, and she if she cares to take a bite.  If she does, we’ll have to see if she can hold it down.  If she does, she’s coming home with me.  No Woo Hoo yet, until I can see that she is eating.  My crock pot is ready to make gallons of chicken stew, but for now it’s sitting on the counter top, unplugged.

Wishful Stew!

Wishful Stew!

11:46 Update:  I am the most impatient person I know!  I can’t just sit here all day worrying and wondering.  One whole chicken, two sliced turkey legs, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, rosemary and garlic.  After it’s cooked, and I de-bone the chicken and turkey, I’ll add beef liver and a few noodles.  When it’s cool, before I serve, I’ll add more water, crushed vitamin C, and yogurt on the top!  This is Bart’s recipe, thanks to Andi Brown!





06/04/13 Update:  I brought Meredith home yesterday.  After taking a close look at her features, I wonder if she’s an Old English Sheepdog or Great Pyrenees mix!  She settled in quickly into her crate, and much to my surprise, not a peep.  She is not eating, and I’m very concerned.  Here’s what she has to say today.

Good morning Peeps. I’m still not eating. I threw up a little bit this morning. I slept all night, didn’t make a sound, boy I needed that. Gisele is really worried, I can see it in her face. She comes into my new room, and listens to me breathing. She is afraid, afraid of the potential that I will get upper respiratory. Seriously, that is the next phase if I don’t start eating. 

I know it’s not good to be a pessimist, and you guys are all cheering me on, but it’s Gisele’s job to be prepared, know her enemy and prepare for war. Parvo is an ugly thing, but Parvo and Pneumonia is… well, unspeakable.

I have a name now, thank you for that. Gisele is keeping her heart at a distance, giving me a chance, and trying to be hopeful, but knowing that my fate could turn on a dime.

She wants to start me on new meds today, but is reluctant because I’m not eating. One thing is for sure, I’m much happier here than at the Vet’s ISO room, no offense. More updates coming soon. ~Meredith

4:00 PM Update: Two syringes full of purified stew, and she’s eating on her own.


I had two bowls of stew this morning... I'm a moose!

I had two bowls of stew this morning… I’m a moose!

06/06/13 Update:  Meredith’s people have contacted TDL confirming what had happened to her.  She was very much loved by her owners, who could not possibly afford the treatment for Parvo, not many people can.  This is mainly because you never know what the pup will need.  Will it be two days in ISO or a week?  Will the pup need multiple transfusions or just one?

I’m very impressed with Meredith, she has not coughed, and her progress is incredible.  She had a beautiful poop yesterday, yes poop is important, and I had it tested.  Meredith is Parvo Negative!  She is still very emaciated, but her immune system  is fighting to stray strong!

We are actively looking for the right foster home, or adopter for  Meredith.  The Dog Liberator is now in the red.  When we are finished with Meredith’s care, including a third round of boosters, rabies, de-worming, spay and chip, Meredith will be at least a $1,200 dog.  While we received donations for her Veterinary care, I believe the donations totaled less than $200.  While we appreciate every dime, the money we spent on Meredith could have saved so many dogs, but that’s what we’re here for!  Meredith was worth it.  She will have a wonderful life, and she will be someone’s heart dog that is for sure!  Could it be you?

Meredith and her boy

Meredith and her boy

We always try to share as much as we know about all of our dogs.  What we don’t know, we guess.  We were contacted by Meredith’s original family.  A friend of the family saw her photo on our Facebook page.  Since they surrendered Meredith, they have been heartbroken.  I’m sure we’ve all been in their shoes, not knowing if our dog is going to make it or not.  I know when my Reckless had pyometra, I was devastated.  The cost for the surgery was over $1,000 and I didn’t have that kind of money, luckily, a friend helped me pay for her medical bills.  But what if I didn’t?

What happened with Meredith’s owners was knowing the cost of treating her, and the 50/50 chance of her surviving.  Many dogs who have parvo could cost up to $1,000 a day in ISO.  In Meredith’s case, she received a blood transfusion, and without knowing how many it would take before her labs were safe, the vet estimated that it could cost anywhere between $5,000 – $7,000.  This ballpark verbal quote was truly accurate.  However, Meredith surprised us all.  After one blood transfusion, her labs were perfect!  I took her home earlier than expected, mainly because she was going berzerk at the vet!  I kept her on medication to increase her appetite and medication for nausea.  That, combined with Andi Brown’s chicken stew, and Anita’s idea to use a syringe to force her to eat… worked!

In short, Meredith got lucky.  She had dozens of people praying for her, a great vet and veterinary staff, a medical treatment plan that worked… Meredith had all of us working together to save her life.  The folks at Newman’s Veterinary Centers were amazing.

After interviewing her previous owners, and discussing Meredith’s condition, they agreed to reimburse The Dog Liberator for Meredith’s care.  Meredith went back home tonight.  She was more than excited to see her old family, and it was obvious that they love her so very much.  Meredith will have her third booster shot in two weeks, and she will be spayed two weeks later.  She will be fostered by Linda and Leon of DeLand and after her spay, she will be their dog, once again.

I’ve talked about how quick we are to judge people while in rescue, probably because we see so many wrongs.  Dogs that are emaciated, beaten, tied to a tree all of their life, we’ve seen it all.  But sometimes, bad things happen to good people.  In Meredith’s case, she was suffering, and there were no guarantees that she would survive.

Wanna Go Home now?

Wanna Go Home now?

If you told me that my dog had cancer, might not survive, and it could cost $5,000 to try to save her, I personally would have to stop and think about it.  I’d have to weigh it all out.  I’d be scared as hell.

I know that at one time, you have all had to watch your dog suffer, not knowing if medicine can save him or her.  If you’re living pay day to pay day like I do, it’s a hard pill to swallow.  I have no doubt that regardless of the decision they made that day, it was hard on them.  Euthanize, treat or surrender is a decision many dog owners have been faced with.  If you’re wealthy, or are financially secure, your decision would be a no-brainer.  Not everyone is that fortunate.

I am convinced that when a dog owner finds out that their dog has heartworm, and they are given a quote to treat, many owners surrender that dog to the pound.  It’s so sad because there are other options to treat heartworm, but many times those options are offered to the owner.

What we have here in Dog Liberator is a community of caring people who help each other.  That’s something that Linda and Leon didn’t have.  They didn’t have a support system like we do.

After they left, I wondered if puppy insurance would’ve covered Parvo treatment?  I don’t know the answer to that question.  I suppose the Pet insurance company could consider Parvo a pre-existing condition, and it would not be covered.  I did find one company that does cover Parvo.  Should all new puppy owners buy pet insurance?  Maybe!  You can always drop it after your pup is 12 months old, and has all of its shots!  But check the policy and ask if Parvo is covered.  Read the fine print and check if Parvo is considered a pre-existing condition.

Meredith will receive excellent care, she will put on the weight that she lost due to this nasty virus, and she will be right as rain within no time.

I want to thank everyone with Newman Veterinary Centers, they were amazing (as always).  They really cared about Meredith the Moose!  They really wanted Meredith to make it, and she did because of them.

For those of you who donated toward Meredith’s care, THANK YOU!  If you’d like TDL to reimburse you for your donation, please drop me a line at If I don’t hear from you, rest assured, your donations go directly into our Veterinary Care Fund waiting for the next Meredith that we rescue…. together!

As a side note, I just want everyone to be aware of the numerous grants out there, that are available for dogs in need.  Some are designed for the dog owner, some are designed for the Veterinary Center that offers to discount their service.  Never give up!  Use the internet and find help!

06/08/13 Update:  After sorting through all of the facts and the emotions regarding Meredith, I realized that all of us have had a moment where we wish we could turn back the hands of time and have a do-over.  I guess that’s what Meredith’s family had a chance to do, do-over and get their dog back.

This comment was left on Facebook this morning.  I really appreciated reading it!

Kelle Taylor Brooks wrote:  That story touched me so much because I have been in that families shoes..a few years ago after depleting all savings and running up credit cards while going through breast cancer treatment a worker left my gate open and heart sheltie was hit by a car..It was after hours so my vet was closed and the emergency vet kept making me come up with hundreds of dollars for each procedure one at a time before they would treat..I was calling family members begging them for money or their credit cards. I had never been in a position where I had no credit to rely on. After $2000.00 and a horrible night my dog was euthanized at my vets in the morning. It is a helpless feeling when you have no additional funds to keep going on. That is so awesome that you were their saving angel who gave that boy his best friend back.

Sarah Buxbaum wrote:  I liked what you said about how we are sometimes quick to judge when we hear about surrenders. Sometimes it is their only chance, ya know? I am so Happy for Meredith that she not only survived this huge trial, but will get to keep her family. In her adoption pictures you can see the joy on her face to be with her people again.  Congratulations baby girl!

Meredith’s family wrote:  I have my baby girl home and thanks to Newman Deltona,  Gisele, Matt at Newman DeLand, and all staff  at Newman Veterinary Centers-SO SO GRATEFUL for all of your help to save her.  She was a gift to my husband who loves animals and he was recently claimed totally disabled, was forced into retirement and this pup was being given away at my place of work.  I thought she would  be  like a service dog which we could train her to be his right hand girl or at least give him a reason to live.

Thank you for all you did for our Camay.  We’ve been married for 26 years and have had pets for our kids.  We have had our first, who was a 10 year old rescue golden retriever Ajax, then came another GR  Comet, and then Ivory, which all have been lost to old age.  Then our sweet boy Kaboom is 3 years old this month.  

I haven’t seen Leon, my husband, this happy in a while.  We were so sad last week when we surrendered her but we  were so happy today when we picked her up and she was a pretty happy girl too!  Tomorrow we will go crate shopping, much to Leon’s dismay!  We will do what we are told to keep her happy and safe and healthy!  ~Linda

Why Spay? About Pyometra

Ryan and Reckless 2003

If you love your female dog, and she is not spayed yet, for whatever reason, you really should read this information, and make an appointment with your vet to have your female spayed. When my Reckless went into heat at the age of nine, it seemed to me like her heat cycle would never end.

I didn’t notice anything different about her, except after three weeks, there was a strange odor.  I mentioned it to a friend, not out of concern but out of frustration, and she hit the panic button.  She insisted that I rush Reckless to the vet, and once I arrived, the vet literally took Reckless from my arms, and got her into surgery immediately.  He said to me me sternly, “this is an emergency surgery.”  I was shocked.  The staff explained to me what Pyometra is, and if I would’ve waited any longer, my Reckless could have died.

Reckless 2006

Back then, I couldn’t afford to have Reckless spayed.  My local vet quoted me over $600, and that’s a lot of money to me.  I have learned that spaying your female early can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.  That surgery saved Reckless’ life, and gave me another four wonderful years with her. Recently, Sydney Wilson passed away suddenly, with very little warning, we believe she died of infection due to pyometra.  When dogs have medical issues, especially the herding breed, the owner rarely recognizes any symptoms.

Border Collies and Aussies will work themselves to death, and even with injured legs, like in the case of Bonnie Collie and Curry, they continue to “work” or play.  So if you have a dog that will catch a frisbee with a broken leg, don’t expect your dog to complain about an infection.  Dogs can’t write memos.

We all know how life-threatening a staff infection can be… Pyometra is life-threatening. If you live in the Central Florida area, and want to have your female spayed, call Newman Veterinary Centers, tell them about this article, mention The Dog Liberator, and ask them for a quote.  You may be surprised and learn how affordable this surgery is.   Don’t put this off!  If you have a crazy schedule, the Deltona office is open 365 days a year, and is open until midnight.  You can literally drop your dog off late at night, and pick her up the next day!  386-860-5335

What is Pyometra

That’s my Girl!

Pyometra is a bacterial infection of the uterus that mostly occurs in middle-aged or older unspayed female dogs, though it may also occur in cats or young dogs. It can result in the accumulation of infection in the bloodstream or abdominal cavity, which can rapidly lead to systemic infection, shock, and death. The severity of symptoms varies depending on whether the female’s cervix is open or closed.

Signs & Symptoms of Pyometra

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Drinking and urinating a lot
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abdominal pain and enlargement
  • Constant grooming around the vaginal opening

In the case of an open cervix, a thick, bloody, foul-smelling discharge draining from the vaginal opening is the first sign of an infected uterus. These dogs tend to appear less sick because the infection has a route to leave the body. If the dog’s cervix is closed, there will be no discharge and the infection can accumulate and spread into the bloodstream or enter the abdominal cavity. Symptoms can progress to those of shock, including a high fever and rapid pulse. The uterus will fill with pus and expand. Infections of other organs is common. The sick dog will need veterinary attention immediately.

Causes of Pyometra

The root cause of pyometra is heightened levels of progesterone, either found naturally in the four to eight weeks after a heat cycle, or induced by hormone-based therapies such as those used to prevent unwanted litters. The hormone estrogen is used in some of these “abortion” therapies, which, if given at a certain point after the heat cycle, can increase the effects of progesterone even further (though most of these therapies have been taken off the market). These high progesterone levels can cause cysts and pockets, which are prime target locations for bacteria. In pyometra cases, Escherichia coli (E. Coli) has been the most common bacteria isolated from the infected uterus due to its ability to thrive in a uterus sensitized by progesterone.

Diagnosis of Pyometra

Diagnosis begins with a complete history and a physical exam. Your veterinarian will most likely do the following:

  • History – Look at the dog’s spay history to see if she is intact.
  • CBC/Chemistry Panel – These blood tests will evaluate various internal organ functions, including the heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, metabolism, and electrolyte balance. The CBC is a measure of the amount and different kinds of red and white blood cells that are present in the body.
  • Discharge cultures – Your veterinarian will take a swab of the discharge secreting from your dog’s vaginal opening. This sample will be transferred to a slide and examined under a microscope.
  • Radiographs – These will show a distended uterus that displaces other organs in a closed cervix case.
  • Ultrasound – Taking an ultrasound of the uterus will show infection or a distended uterus in a closed cervix case.
  • Urinalysis – This may help rule out other causes of increased water intake and urination, as well as diagnose any secondary bladder infections.

Treatment for Pyometra

The bacterial infection cannot be resolved until the infected fluid is removed from the dog’s body, either by removing the uterus or draining the infection. In most cases, it is best to have the infected uterus removed by spaying the dog, taking special care not to rupture the uterus and release infection into the body cavity. After the uterus is removed, the dog will most likely be put onantibiotics for one to three weeks to clear up any remaining infection. In cases where the dog is intended to be bred in the future, treatment with intravenous fluid therapy and antibiotics may help alleviate the problem. If the cervix is closed and removal of the uterus is not desired, a hormone-like compound called prostaglandin can be given to relax the cervix in an attempt to drain the infection. However, in unspayed dogs that have had pyometra before, there is a high risk of recurrence.

Prevention of Pyometra

The best way to prevent pyometra is to spay all female dogs at a young age or at the end of their breeding career.  This information was obtained from Pet360.

The Christmas Collie

waiting to feel better

Last night, December 12th at 5:30 PM, I received a local call from a gentleman named Phil. There was a slight urgency in his voice and I prepared myself for the typical, “he’s such a sweet dog, and I’m moving.” Not this time. Phil told me that on Saturday, December 10th, he was renovating a rental property and he saw a collie in the middle of the road. “She was on Saxon Blvd., and that’s a very busy road. It took me some time to catch her, and I brought her into the back yard. We placed an ad on Craig’s List, hoping her owners would come forward, but they have not. I even searched Craig’s List for lost dog ads, and I didn’t see  a missing Collie,” Phil explained.

I wasn’t convinced that Phil had a purebred Collie, as those are very rare in Florida, even more rare in Deltona. I asked Phil to describe her for me, and his answer was simply, “Lassie.” Phil then described her medical condition. “I think she has the mange, I think she’s deaf, she has sores all over her body, ear mites, and she’s emaciated.”

I still could not believe that a stray Collie, was found in my town, less than one mile away from my home. The first thing I thought of was to alert Val-U-Vet and get an appointment to see Dr. Oliver, it was only 5:30 and they close at 6:00. I shared with them what I knew, and made an appointment.

I called Phil and he asked me several times if I’d like to see her, and even though I had not made dinner for my family yet, and I was exhausted, I called Megan and asked her to go with me. I left abruptly, telling my daughter Sarah that I’d be right back. “What is it?” She asked. “It’s a collie,” I replied. “What’s wrong with the dog, Mom?” She yelled from the front window. “That’s what I’m going to find out.”

Eating for Megan

The fear that this dog could be heartworm positive was more than I could bear. How do you treat a Collie with ivermectin? You don’t. Most vets believe that heartworm disease is a death sentence for a collie.

I brought a can of prescription dog food with me, and the moment I saw her, I was in shock. Her ears were swollen, her hips were so thin her bones literally protruded. Phil was right, she was totally deaf, and we believed that she only saw shadows. Megan started to feed her from her hand, and her appetite was unbelievable.

Phil described the dog’s condition on that Saturday.  “I checked to make sure she was alive, she wouldn’t move, and I made sure she was still breathing.  I had a bacon and egg sandwich, and I gave it to her, she took it so gently.  I’ve been feeding her twice a day, and her recovery is remarkable, so while you think she’s in bad shape, you should have seen her last Saturday.”

Skin infection due to fleas

As Megan and I talked with Phil, we tried to unravel the mystery of this Collie. We agreed that it is impossible for a deaf and visually impaired dog, of this size to be a stray for very long in Deltona. There are police cars on every corner, code enforcement vehicles driving by and the traffic alone would not allow a dog to survive on the streets for any length of time. Stray dogs in Deltona do not have wooded areas to hunker down. It’s not like rural Georgia or Alabama.  Deltona is a bedroom community, and stray dogs are either picked up by Animal Control, taken in by citizens, or hit by a car.

This Collie has not been a stray for long. It wouldn’t surprise me if she lived in the area in which she was found, close to Phil’s rental property.  Therefore, there are only a few possible scenarios:

A good Samaritan opened a gate, or untied a chain, and gave her freedom from starvation, she was left behind in a foreclosed and abandoned property, a maintenance worker for the real estate company released her from the property, or her owners were simply done with her, possibly all of the above.

Regardless, whoever did this should be prosecuted.  If you are reading this, and you know who owned this dog, please contact Val-U-Vet Deltona, you can remain anonymous.

I asked Phil to bring the Collie to Val-U-Vet Tuesday morning at 10:00 AM.  When I returned home, my children waited for details.  I shared with them the photos from my cell phone, and they started asking questions.  I told Sarah that I didn’t know if this Collie would make it.  I told Sarah that it was up to Dr. Oliver to tell me what’s wrong with her, and if she can survive.  I told Sarah that this dog is not adoptable because she is old, and very sick.

Sarah went to her bedroom and brought me one of our favorite books, The Christmas Collie.  The story about a young boy who receives a Collie for Christmas, who later gets his young son a Collie for Christmas.

“But Mom, if she’s not adopted, and she dies, she can’t go to the rainbow bridge,” Sarah said to me.  “We have to keep her.”

I didn’t sleep much last night, waking up every hour wondering if I was going to have to euthanize the Collie, wondering what I was going to tell my daughter.

Phil and I arrived at the vet at the same time.  The Collie was greeted by the staff, and they were outraged by her condition.  What’s really sad is that this Collie is not my worse case.  Jackson Browne, Collie Gisele, Shy Shannon, Maureen’s Hope, Goldie Hawn, Frances, and of course, Stella are some of my worst cases.  I called Maureen,  told her about my situation, and promised to call her after I had some definitive answers.

Waiting with rescuer, Phil

This was not my first rodeo, and I kept telling myself I can get through this.

I was introduced to Sean, a new Vet Tech, and thought to myself, this guy is brand new, and he is going to have me as one of his first clients, and one of the hardest cases?  This isn’t the way to start your new job!

I immediately asked for the dog to be scanned for a micro chip.  I was so hoping we would find one, so I could locate the Collie’s original owners.  Sorry, but I was hoping for a little bit of vengeance.  No chip was found.  Sean and I began to  review the different procedures that would be necessary for a treatment plan, but I wanted a heartworm test first.  Forget everything else, let’s get her tested first.

As we waited for the heartworm test results, Sean examined the Collie’s teeth, and much to my surprise, they weren’t as bad as I expected.  Her skin condition was probably the worse I have ever seen, she smelled of infection, a chunk of her ear is gone, and very swollen.  There were crate sores on her back paws, and severe hair loss and swelling around her neck.  Sean weighed the collie; 36 pounds.  Phil said his cat weighs 30 pounds!

“I didn’t want to call Animal Control,”  Phil repeated.  “I knew she would’ve had a chance then, they would have no choice but to put her down.”

Sean checks her out

The results were in… she is heartworm negative.  I covered my eyes and fought off my tears.  I couldn’t believe it.

Dr. Oliver walked in, and like I have seen  many times before, he leaned on the counter top, crossed his arms, and looked at the Collie, just like Dr. Susan Wayne did when she met Jackson Browne over two years ago.  “You did say you were ready for a challenge, right?”  I asked him in jest.

Dr. Oliver examined the Collie from head to toe, estimated her age to be nine years.  He provided me with a treatment plan, which includes fluids, antibiotics, Vitamin B, Medicinal Baths, fecal check, ear treatment, and full blood work.

So now we wait.  The Collie is in good hands.  She has a great chance of recovering and living a normal life, but who would adopt a nine-year old deaf Collie?  I think about all of the deaf dogs, and senior dogs that we have successfully re-homed, and I believe that if I give this Collie a chance, someone will also give her a chance.  In the meantime, once again, Maureen has offered to sponsor her treatment, and foster her.

Lady Saxon

I don’t know what we will name her, but for now, we’re calling her Lady Saxon.  It’s hard to be patient waiting for the results of the blood work, but I know that she is safe, and every day will be a better day for this Collie, thanks to people like Phil, Maureen, and the people at Val-U-Vet.

If Phil found me on Google, her owners could have found me just as easily. She was found only two miles away from my home, and all of her suffering was unnecessary.





It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of our Christmas Collie. While she was making some progress, months without food and water left her in a very weakened state. She knew she was loved by all of us, especially me! I ask that you visualize her playing at the rainbow bridge with our dogs that have passed on, the dogs that we loved and miss so very much. She is home for Christmas, with our Creator. ~gisele

Rescue from Breeder

Safe at Vet

I received an emergency call from an anonymous friend who has been trying to get these dogs out of their horrible conditions.  The same breeder that Jordan’s Prize and Zeus came from.  I called Val-u-Vet immediately, and they were ready to receive them all (sigh of relief).  I told Vanessa to prepare for the worse, that they would all be heartworm positive.  4 out of the 6 are, but if you include Jordan and Zeus that means 6 out of the 8 dogs from that breeder are HS+.  It makes me sick.

Two Japanese Chins (dehydrated and HW positive)

Two mini Doxies (cuteness overload)

Two King Charles Cavaliers (one with a severe ear infection, both heartworm positive)

All are either AKC or CKC, I’m still sorting through the paperwork.

The Doxies are in good shape, but they were the  two that had been bathed, and made available for sale for hundreds of dollars, on Craig’s list.

Considering how much this Breeder was paid for their litters, I don’t understand how a box of heartgard and a bottle of shampoo would’ve broken the bank.

When the dust settles, they will have:  HW test, bordetella, DHLpp, rabies, microchip, de-worming, bath, boarding, spay/neuter, nail clipping, ear cleaning, teeth cleaning, some tooth extractions, and monthly heartgard.   But there’s one more thing, once I evaluate their temperament.  Then they can have a successful adoption, and a permanent “clean” home!

Click here too review the comments that were made on Facebook about this video, and special thanks to Lynne Deal for contributing to their vetting.

Fiona, the Deaf Aussie Pup

Fiona the Deaf Aussie

On April 28th, I received a phone call from Terry Watts from Panama City.  “Gisele, I just got you a little pup”, she said.   I shook my head and thought to myself, she means she got Holly a little pup!  “I just couldn’t help myself.  I know I didn’t ask you first, I just saw her and jumped in the car right away to get her.  She was on Craig’s list, they were getting rid of her, she’s only 7 weeks old, and the poor little thing is deaf.”

I immediately smiled, because Terry didn’t know what she really did!  She just rescued a Wilson pup!  About two years ago, the Wilson family adopted Nitro from me, and they had been watching all of the Aussies the come through our rescue.  They were very interested in Baby GaGa, but Karyce’s Mom (Tina Nestrick) had already finalized Baby GaGa’s adoption.  I promised them that the next Deaf Aussie pup I rescued, would be theirs.

Nitro's Parents

I texted Jen Wilson immediately:  I have your pup!  She replied:  Pardon?  Then I forwarded photos and the pup had a home!

I wrapped up two transports the following weekend, one from Alabama and one from Georgia, and I was ready to work on getting the pup out of Panama City.  Every day I received a text or a phone call from the Wilsons, making sure the pup was on her way, and asking if I needed anything.  All I needed was time!

It was around 1:00 PM on May 4th, while I was putting the transport together, I had a feeling that being Mother’s Day weekend, I was not going to be successful.  I called Terry and asked her if she’d drive the pup half-way from Panama City to Daytona Beach.  We reviewed the map together and picked a meeting place.  With a little bit of gas money, Terry was ready to go!  I called the Wilsons, and believe it or not, they left about an hour later to get their pup!

Terry & the Wilsons

At 10:00 PM I received a photo of the meeting, and it was awesome.  The Wilsons got to meet Terry, and Terry got to meet them, and see for herself the  joy in their eyes and the love in their heart for this tiny pup that they had been waiting for!  The meeting created a ways and means for the Wilsons to thank Terry personally.  It sounds like a fairy tale doesn’t it?  Well, it is!  They named her Fiona!

Nitro & Fiona

While Jennifer may have thought that Fiona was her Mother’s Day gift, the real mom turned out to be Nitro!  It appears that Nitro has taken this pup under his wing!


The Wilsons will foster Fiona until she has had all of her shots, and is spayed, at that point, she will be permanently adopted.

Fiona at the Vet

I met Fiona at Val-u-Vet yesterday and had planned on meeting Dr. Oliver so she could receive her first set of shots, was de-wormed and microchipped.  However, Dr. Oliver popped in and said he wanted Dr. Dario Pinzon to see Fiona.  Why?  He’s their eye specialist, which is something that I had completely forgotten.  Dr. Pinzon examined Fiona’s eyes and even allowed Bill to see her pupils through the examining device.  He stressed the importance of sunlight for her retinas, and explained that because her pupils are not in the center of her eye, that they are offset, she will have poor vision if an object is entering her field of vision from her right side.  This was very useful information for training purposes.  The Wilsons will not purposely communicate with Fiona from her left side.  We still are not sure if she is completely deaf.  She seems to cock her head, and look around while we make loud noises, as if she’s wondering where the sound is coming from.  For now, I think it’s safe to say she has selective hearing!  Bill said, “isn’t that typical for a woman to have selective hearing!”

Bill & Fiona

What Dr. Pinzon didn’t realize was that my China and Fiona are the same, therefore everything he was explaining about Fiona, he was helping me with China.  Yes, it was a wonderful day!!!!  Thank you Terry!


Spotlight on Val-U-Vet of Deltona

Less than a year ago, someone recommended that I introduce myself to Val-U-Vet in Deltona. Driving dogs back and forth to affordable spay/neuter clinics was becoming a nightmare.

After talking with Val-U-Vet’s corporate office, we agreed on pricing for services, and defined what my standards would be for every dog that came into their office. Today, the number of dogs that they have vetted is in the hundreds!
Many of our adopters have continued to use Val-U-Vet after adoption. Their offices are located in Deltona, Sanford, DeLand, Ormond, Daytona and a new office will be opening in Edgewater.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dr. Kim and Dr. Oliver in the Deltona office, as a matter of fact, the level of care that the staff has given my medically fragile dogs like Maureen’s Hope, Guenther, and Frances was amazing. Dr. Evers of the DeLand office helped me diagnose Logan, and took special care of Cookie Dough’s delicate surgery.
Although we have never met, some of our adopters have expressed their gratitude to Dr. Charlie from the Sanford office. After Lola was adopted by the Bryant family, she had problems with her stitches, and Dr. Charlie did a remarkable job taking care of the little pup.
What really makes Val-u-Vet valuable is their staff. They know my dogs! When I walk into their office with a new dog, it’s amazing that they know the dog’s name! From time to time, they will ask me about dogs that have been adopted, and we reminisce a bit!
On New Year’s Eve, Melissa Keister, the Customer Service Representative from Val-U-Vet personally drove to meet a transport, picked up 3 adult dogs and drove them to her home, bathed them that night, and brought them to the clinic for us. Those dogs were Courage, Madigan and Katie! They were put on antibiotics immediately, heartworm tested and evaluated by Dr. Oliver. “No vaccinations, and absolutely no spay or neuter for Courage or Katie. Only Madigan was healthy enough this time. What was really cool was how excited the staff was when all of them tested negative for heartworm!
Just a few months ago, Melissa reviewed the heartworm results for Moonpie, and called me immediately. Something about the test made her nervous, even though it clearly stated that Moonpie was heartworm negative. She tried to explain to me why the test might be flawed, but it all went over my head! I approved another heartworm test and Melissa was right, Moonpie was positive.
To be successful in rescue, you need great dogs, quality fosters and awesome Doctors!
With the help of Cristina Florez, a Dog Liberator supporter, we recently had custom made plaques for our Vets to show our appreciation. So hanging up in Val-U-Vet’s Deltona office, is The Dog Liberator!

If you’re in the Central Florida area, check out their mobile shot clinic schedule and pricing!


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