Clyde-Emaciated Boston in Recovery
Clyde-Emaciated Boston in Recovery.
by Robert Hudson
This is the story of Clyde, a 12 year old Boston Terrier who was starved to the brink of death, rescued, and is on the road to recovery. Lorraine Haan-Stewart has been fostering Bostons for years and specializes in rehab for the most severe cases.
“Clyde was owner surrendered to a shelter in Palm Valley, TX. The reason for surrender was that he had not eaten ‘for one week’. He was severely emaciated and weighed a little over 5.5lbs, and his eyes were badly infected. Owners said he is 12 years old. He was saved by Boston Terrier Rescue of North Texas who are based in Plano Texas.
They couldn’t arrange transport immediately to their vets up here so he was taken to an emergency animal hospital where he as given fluids and medication. Blood tests revealed nothing that would indicate a medical reason for not eating. He had X-rays taken and no blockage or evidence of why he couldn’t keep food down. Once he was stable a local volunteer kept him for a couple of days until day of transport.”
Clyde-Emaciated Boston in Recovery- The Truth
When you work in rescue, you see horrid things quite often. You hear all sorts of excuses and denial for the abuse. Lorraine cannot be fooled.
“Despite previous owners claim that he wouldn’t eat, he was hungry. So small amounts of food were given to start on his road to eating normally again. Being that he is 12 years old it will be hard to tell whether this amount of starvation will impact his kidneys or liver. Or whether he would have had those issues anyway as a senior dog.”
Clinging to Life
According to Lorraine, Clyde wasn’t very mobile when he first arrived. He was very weak and didn’t have the energy to move, couldn’t stand easily, and even laying down seemed uncomfortable for him because he didn’t have any ‘padding’- just skin and bones.
He has arthritis in his spine, which was noted when he had X-rays taken at the emergency hospital. His back was very curved but has since improved. His internal organs are now healthier because they have been building muscle and fat starting to protect them. and as such are also making his bones stronger.
“The immediate problem he has in his digestive system is having to restart itself. Initially he could not swallow easily, so soft (almost watery) food was all he could take. My vet gave me a few tins of prescription food normally given for their critical care patience, and that was a turning point for him. High calorie, high nutrition and easy on the stomach. I’ve had him for 2 weeks, and in that time he has put on weight and now is 8.5lbs
|Massage||Puppy diapers to prevent marking|
|Warm baths||Short walks|
Clyde-Emaciated Boston in Recovery- Gradual Feeding
My vet saw him yesterday and was taken aback at how well he has improved. She estimates his goal weight should be nearer 11lbs, so he had only half of his needed body weight. She also said that even if he had not eaten for one week he shouldn’t have lost that much weigh. The starvation was much longer than a week. The first step was to get him to eat anything; whether it was treats or human food. Anything to get him eating and to consume calories. Normal dog food, even the most expensive and high quality brands didn’t temp him.”
She went on to say, “Force feeding is never a good idea. Despite being hungry he has to want to eat. And eating was hard for him- uncomfortable even. I’ve no doubt his tummy hurt and that his intestines were struggling.
Once he found something he really likes (and it would change daily) it was just enough to feed little and often- every two hours from 8am-6pm. He had supplements to add to his food as well as antibiotics. But what might work one day, he would turn up his nose the next. It was trial and error every day, multiple times a day. The goal was, and still is, to get him to eat unaided.”
More Good Days
He has had some good and bad days, but over all he is showing great progress. He is becoming a member of Lorraine’s pack of seven dogs who have taken him under their wing.
“By far his favorite thing to do is to be cuddled by me, but even more so with my husband. I also currently have two other Boston Terrier fosters who are siblings and they came on the same transport from South Texas. “
“He’s interested in toys, but not sure what to do with them. However treats are a big hit! Basically being alive is big progress. I don’t think he’d have survived much longer without rescue intervention,” Lorraine told me.
A Fighter- Clyde has plenty of zest for life
“He’s gaining weight, building muscle, walking better and his spine is straightening out slightly. Not known whether he was used for breeding but he is still unaltered so it’s possible.
He is very socialized with my crew. He does sleep a fair bit because he is still recovering and he needs as much rest as possible to mend. So for the most part he just ‘chills’ with my crew or wanders around the garden for short bursts. It’s a little too soon to tell if he has any special needs. My suspicion is that his sight isn’t great which is likely age related, as he will often miss my hand when he reached for a treat or a piece of chicken”.
Clyde-Emaciated Boston on Recovery- Forever Home
According to Lorraine, a good match for Clyde would be an older couple without children, but not elderly. And perhaps with a low key dog that would not pester Clyde. He deserves a quiet life. “Even when he’s back to his fighting weight he will still be a tiny pup and therefore shouldn’t be with anyone that might trip over him and fall, or who might have boisterous youngsters who might accidently hurt him. He’s easy going, quiet and happy to be a lap dog.”
Do you have questions for Lorraine? Would you show her some love for all the work she does? Thank you Lorraine. You are an angel.
This blog is part of a series called Foster Tails. You might also like: