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Dec 8, 2021

Rare Infection Threatens Puppy’s Life


Thanks to supporters like you, DCHS veterinarians were able to identify and treat this puppy's rare and highly debilitating disease in time to save his life.

UPDATE: This Sweet Pup Has Been Adopted!

We're thrilled to share the news that Pitch found his new family! Now called Bucky, he’s steadily making himself at home.

You may already know the beginning of Bucky’s story. After he displayed some worrisome symptoms, DCHS’s veterinarians conducted several tests to determine that he has hepatozoonosis, a tick-borne disease. This disease cannot be cured, but it can be put into remission. Bucky needs to take his meds for two years, and we sent him home with a full one-year supply to start him and his new family on the path to success. (If you haven't read Bucky's full story yet, keep scrolling to read the beginning of his journey to find his new home!)

Because of these special needs, we worried we’d struggle to find him his perfect family. But there was no need to worry! Amy, Jesse, and Emily were searching for a furry friend to complete their family. Bucky reminded them of their last dog who also had anxiety and a chronic disease that required daily medication. Their previous experience gave them the tools they needed to provide Bucky the home and care he needed.

“We figured he would be a great fit for us!” says Amy. “We are very familiar with strict medicine schedules and picky eating, so taking on Bucky was basically already routine for us.”

After bringing him home, they gave him plenty of time and patience while he settled in. He’s slowly coming out of his shell. Amy adds, “His ears are absolutely adorable, they are so big and move around to show his mood.”

“Bucky is very curious,” says Amy. “He loves sniffing, finding sticks to chew on and digging holes in the sand box in our backyard when the sun is out. He runs around the yard, playing by himself flinging around rope toys.”

Bucky also makes an excellent officemate.

“He loves to be our co-worker in our home office,” Amy continues, “probably because it’s a small room so he feels a bit more comfortable. When we are working, he walks up and loves to get his ears and head petted and keeps asking for more when we stop. He is getting used to his name, perks up when he hears it plus the word ‘inside’ then, runs into the house to sit on his bed, plopping his butt down and looking so darn cute!”

Amy continues, “We are just so grateful to the care he received at DCHS prior to our adoption of him, in his diagnosis and finding the right fit for him as he looked for his forever home. Thank you for helping us make our home full of the click, click, click sound of puppy paws on our hardwood floor again!”

It’s thanks to supporters like you that DCHS can provide care to pups like Bucky who need extra sleuthing work from our veterinarians to diagnose them and specialized foster care to keep them safe and healthy until we can find their perfect homes. You make it possible for us to help each one of the thousands of animals that come through our doors each year.

When you donate before December 31st, your gift is DOUBLED up to $15,000 thanks to a generous matching gift from the Don and Marilyn Anderson Foundation.

Donate today to DOUBLE your impact for animals like Bucky.

The Beginning of Bucky's Journey (When He Was Still Called Pitch)

At Dane County Humane Society (DCHS), our veterinarians have just about seen it all: a duck with a lame right leg, a kitten with a spinal lesion, and even an alligator with abrasions on his face. But sometimes they are faced with a case they haven’t seen before and have to use their experience and sleuthing skills to find a solution. It’s thanks to generous supporters like you that we can conduct the tests and evaluations necessary to make the right diagnosis and heal the animals in our care.

When you give by December 31, 2021, your gift will be doubled up to $15,000 thanks to a matching gift from the Don and Marilyn Anderson Foundation.

When Pitch first arrived from an overcrowded shelter in Mississippi, he seemed to have an upper respiratory infection. Our Animal Medical Services team initially identified it as kennel cough and started him on antibiotics. Kennel cough is a common illness in places that house many dogs, and we expected a full recovery in two weeks.

A few days later, a volunteer noticed that Pitch was limping. Our vets examined him, but they had some difficulty determining exactly where the injury was. It seemed likely Pitch had sore muscles in his leg, so we started him on mild pain medication and scheduled a recheck for three days later.

Poor Pitch didn’t feel well. The following day in the play yard, he could barely stand, laying back down a second or two after being lifted to his feet. Pitch’s joints were very swollen and he moved stiffly. Quickly, blood tests were run and suggested an inflammatory or infectious disease. We decided it was time for X-rays to determine whether he had a skeletal injury, but none was found.

Over the next few days, Pitch continued to get even worse. He wouldn’t get up from his bed even when people approached. He had thick discharge running from his eyes, and his temperature spiked. His symptoms were extremely worrisome.

Finally, we had a breakthrough. Additional tests came back from the lab, and shelter veterinarians were able to diagnose Pitch with hepatozoonosis, a tick-borne disease that often leads to death. This disease, unfortunately, isn’t curable, but it can be managed if found in time. We started his treatment immediately.

After two weeks of initial treatment, Pitch was transitioned to the drug that should put the disease into remission. He’ll need to remain on it for two years, but after just a few days, he was responding well and making great improvements.

In spite of it all, Pitch is a sweet pup, snuggly and cuddly with his foster mom, and friendly with her cats. He tries every day to get those cats to play with him! After all his medical struggles, it is heartwarming to see him blossom into a playful puppy.

We made him available for adoption and waited for his perfect family to come find him.

Your support of DCHS gives us the ability to help, treat, and heal thousands of animals every year. Please make your donation by December 31st and make twice the impact for animals like Pitch (now Bucky!).

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