Baby, October, 1999
The rescuer noticed the big chocolate Lab nosing around the garbage cans in her New Jersey neighborhood. She kept watching him for a few days and finally decided to take him home - especially after she saw him running frantically up and down the street, almost getting hit by passing cars. While the dog was wearing a collar, there were no tags. The rescuer tried finding his owner by calling the animal shelters in the area and the local and state police; she put an ad in the paper and asked people in the neighborhood if they had seen the dog before but nobody stepped forward to claim this boy, who she started calling Baby.
Now to find a home for the Lab - she could only take care of him for a short time herself - and to get him checked by a vet since Baby had some obvious health problems; he was limping badly and had difficulty breathing. She found LABMED through another dog site and applied for funding and she asked the SPCA she volunteers at for help in finding a foster home or placing the dog. She found a friend who was willing to board Baby temporarily and she had him checked by a vet who thought Baby was 6 to 8 years old. The vet told her that he believed that limp was due to an old - now healed - injury but he could not tell her why Baby had difficulty breathing. A heartworm test was done and came back negative and the vet suggested chest and leg x-rays to find out what was wrong. Meanwhile the rescuer found a family who was willing to adopt Baby but they wanted to be sure that he was not terminally ill. LABMED decided to fund Baby's diagnostics and the rescuer took him to her own vet who had not been available when she found Baby.
Her vet found out that Baby had hip dysplasia; he saw no evidence of old injuries. The labored breathing could be due to low-grade pneumonia or allergies; the vet saw no obvious problems on the chest x-ray. He recommended antibiotics or possibly steroids for Baby's breathing problem and anti-inflammatory drugs to treat the discomfort Baby was feeling from his bad hips. He did not think surgery was needed at this time since Baby was getting around quite well and the limp was already improving since Baby was receiving better care.
Baby's breathing improved quickly after he was put on medication. His adoptive family was told about the hip dysplasia and that there may be a need for surgery in the future. They decided to adopt him and Baby went to his new home. His rescuer believes he may have had an allergic reaction to the carpet in her house; his new home has hardwood floors and he is doing much better there. Along with the new family, Baby got a new name and is now called Chocolate Mousse.
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