3/29/13: Please welcome Darla! Darla was found on the side of the road on Friday evening by our friends Troy and Tom. They immediately took Darla to the closest emergency vet for evaluation and called us on their way. Darla spent the evening there then Troy and Tom took her to Riverside Animal Hospital the next morning.
Darla is in “ruff shape”! She only weighs 29 pounds! She has severe dry eye and possible cataracts. She also has a skin, ear and tail pocket infection. Dr Ross started her on antibiotics on Saturday and will keep her for evaluation this week. We will know more in a few days about her condition and what, if any, surgeries are in her future.
On a good note, she is heartworm negative! Thank you Troy and Tom for caring enough to stop and help this little girl!
Update 4/15/13: Darla is still on antibiotics and steroids to clear up her horrible skin infection. Once her skin is looking better Dr Ross will be able to fullly examin the mass on her side and we will come up with a plan of action. Her eyes are already looking better with tacrolimus. She is a hungry little girl that will eat anything she can get in her mouth!
Update 5/16/13: Darla is doing well in her foster home. She is almost done with all of her prednisone. Once she is off of it for ten days she can be spayed and have her tumor evaluated.
Update 9/4/13: Darla had her big evaluation at UGA today and the news is not so good. Even though we initially thought she had some type of neurologic issue along with orthopedic issues in her joints, she did seem to improve when we began treatment with Carprofen although the suspicion was still in the back of my mind. She has also been having a difficult time with choking while she eats and I’ve had to watch her very closely. We muddled through and were successful in weight gain.
The neurologists, the Orthopedic surgeon and the soft tissue surgeons all evaluated her today. Unfortunately Darla DOES have a degenerative neuromuscular condition along with significant orthopedic issues in her rear legs. She is not a candidate for orthopedic surgery. We will begin Prednisone to treat both conditions in the future.
Her choking issues are a bit more complicated as well and work up is still ongoing. We’re not sure if they are the result of the same neuromuscular disorder or there is another anatomic problem causing the choking. She will undergo surgery tomorrow morning to assess the palate and to see if there’s a whole between her palate and nasal cavity. Not a clear picture at this point.
We will do whatever we can to give her the best life she can possibly have, regardless of any chronic medical conditions. She’s still a sweet, loving, curious and bright girl with lots of life to live and lots of love to give.
Update 9/5/13: late morning update: Darla did well during surgery. It was one of the longest palates they had even seen, also removed her tonsils and saccules near the larynx. She will be able to breath well for the first time in her life.
That was earlier………
Update 9/5/13: afternoon update: Now, little miss is being a bit difficult and they are having trouble oxygenating her. There is massive swelling where the palate was resected. She is getting a temporary tracheotomy right now. I’ll hear something from them later tonight, after she goes to recovery.
Update 9/5/13: evening update: she is out of surgery but waking up slowly this time. She vomited a little bit, they don’t think she aspirated but have started treatment for aspiration pneumonia just in case. She’s back in critical care where they are watching her very closely and are prepared to put her back on the ventilator if necessary….they don’t expect to have to do that but needed my permission, if necessary. Darla needs our prayers and positive thoughts.
Update 9/6/13: Morning update: She did OK during the night. Still not out of the woods but doing better this morning. Was excited to see her student today…..a good sign. Depending on how she progresses , they may challenge her later today by temporarily closing the teach tube to see how she does.
Update 9/11/13: Darla was released from UGA and is back at her foster home. Do to her medical condition Darla is not adoptable and will remain a permanent foster with GEBR.
October 14, 2015: Our precious permanent foster princess Darla, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on 10/13/2015.
Darla was designated a permanent foster shortly after she was rescued because of a progressive degenerative neuromuscular disorder. She lived with our director, Ruthann for the last 2 1/2 years…..you know the Tweet Wady.
Darla was a precious, mild mannered little girl who had difficulty walking(but we managed), she loved to eat, loved belly rubs, sunning herself on the patio, rolling in… the dirt, moving furniture and spending time each day finding the perfect placement for her perla bed. If not watched closely, she took pleasure in tipping over any water dish she could find. Despite her handicap, she loved to give foster mom a heart attack by jumping on and off the couch.
Darla got sick suddenly on 10/13. She was transported to UGA ER vet in respiratory distress. On examination, she was found to have a large mass (cancer)occluding her throat. The large mass along with the partial paralysis of her larynx/pharynx made survival impossible. She passed in the arms of the person she loved most in the world.
Darla showed no outward indications of illness relating to cancer. She was as chubby, active and impish as she had been everyday for the last 2 years.
Rest in Peace Darla (Lil’ Darlin’)
It was my pleasure to be your servant, nurse, chauffer, chef, maid and loving MOM. You owned my heart, Dar Dar.
D & T Payne