The vet wanted to put Darla down, but her owners made a sacrifice to give her another chance at life.
When dogs are brought to shelters with severe cases of mange, neglect is almost always the cause. But it's a weakened immune system, not a poor living condition, that is often the biggest threat. The average adult dog is strong enough to fight off the effects of demodectic mange, but young puppies and senior dogs aren't as lucky. They develop painful open sores that spread across the body and often suffer from secondary bacterial infections, fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
When Darla, a Great Dane, first showed symptoms, her owners took her to the vet. They knew there was something wrong with their beloved pet, but the vet wasn't convinced. Veterinarian services in the area lacked modern technology, and as far as their vet knew, there was nothing to be done about the dog's debilitating and mysterious skin condition.
Darla's owners regretfully watched as their dog's health continued to worsen. What started as a small rash soon spread to cover her entire body. She lost her fur and was in continual pain. Her family sought a second opinion, but they got an answer they never wanted. The best solution their vet had was to end Darla's misery through euthanasia.
Darla was sick, unhappy, and in constant pain, but they decided to look outside their small town for help. They found Adoptadane Rescue Queensland, an organization dedicated to the well-being of Great Danes. When Adoptadane Rescue staff first met Darla, neglect was first to come to mind.
"When she came in, we were all horrified. And we all assumed it was a case of neglect, because she was just in such horrendous, horrendous shape."
But they soon learned that wasn't the case at all. The local veterinarian service failed Darla, and her owners felt guilty and responsible. In order to give her a chance at life, they surrendered the dog they loved to the professional care of Adoptadane Rescue.
Over two months, Darla was finally given the medical attention she needed. Little by little, the ugly sores disappeared, the skin healed, and Darla's fur grew back. The pain ebbed away, and Darla was free to be the happy, playful dog she used to be.
Along with a new bill of health, Adoptadane Rescue also gave Darla a new forever family. She lived happily with her owners until she peacefully passed away in late 2016.
Darla's story is testament to the importance of proper veterinary care and proof that things aren't always how they seem. It was innocent ignorance, not neglect, that lead Darla down the painful path of demodectic mange. But thanks to owners who made the right decision and an organization willing to help, Darla's story is one of hope, not heartache.
What do you think of Darla's story? Let us know in the comments.
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