Ruby - A Life Worth Saving!
Meet Ruby. Ruby is a super sweet, petite 3 year old Hound/Cur mix who came to PAWS from a shelter in South Carolina. She was picked up as a stray in the south and is looking forward to settling down with a family that loves her. She is a very social, calm girl who likes to be close to people and loves to give kisses.
Ruby's hopes for a forever family were interrupted by the discovery of advanced stage heartworm disease. PAWS approved the lifesaving surgery (costing over $6,000) to remove the adult worms that were causing an obstruction in her heart. The cardiologist/surgeon, Dr. Jonathan Goodwin, even counted how many heartworms were surgically removed – a record 146 worms! Removal of such high numbers of worms eliminated the obstruction and as such, allowed Ruby to eat and wag her tail again the next day!
Honestly, Ruby is one lucky girl! As a Southern stray, she was prone to bites from mosquitos infected with heartworm larvae. The larvae mature into adult foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. This is why all dogs should be on a monthly heartworm prevention medicine to protect them from this very serious disease. Had Ruby wandered the streets for much longer, the heartworms would have killed her. Thank goodness she made the long journey to PAWS. If it wasn't for PAWS' medical team's quick thinking and diagnosis of the life-threatening illness (called Caval Syndrome for those medical Geeks), Ruby would never have made it. Without treatment, death generally occurs within 24 to 72 hours.
And may I say the stars aligned. Dr. Jonathan Goodwin, a traveling venerable cardiologist, happened to be at VCA Norwalk when Ruby was transported for treatment. He quickly diagnosed the situation and offered to do emergency surgery at another veterinary hospital, Guardian Animal Hospital in Brewster N.Y. after his rounds at 11 p.m. that evening!
You all saved a beautiful life!
Some of you may be curious if heartworm affects cats. The answer is yes. Even though cats harbor significantly less heartworms than dogs (typically one to three worms versus hundreds in dogs), it’s important to understand that even immature worms cause real damage. Moreover, the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease.
PAWS will continue to support Ruby as she undergoes additional heartworm treatment. Ruby is now looking forward to connecting with a family and enjoying many years of joy and love.
Will you please give generously so PAWS can help more heartworm positive animals (and all animals-in-need) like Ruby's?