What to know about Wally

South Shore Breaker - - WHEELS - TRACY JESSIMAN RE­CY­CLED LOVE re­cy­cledlove@east­link.ca

To­day’s col­umn is about a lit­tle dog named Wally and his med­i­cal jour­ney in res­cue. He was a very sick boy when he first en­tered his fos­ter mother’s home, but she nursed him back to health with a team of tal­ented vet­eri­nar­i­ans from Nova Sco­tia to Prince Ed­ward Is­land. De­spite be­ing ill and suf­fer­ing from seizures, Wally had the sweet­est, most lov­ing dis­po­si­tion.

I can as­sure you Wally is cur­rently a happy, healthy lit­tle guy liv­ing it up in Bridge­wa­ter. He tor­ments his two doggy brothers and his three-legged kitty sis­ter. Wally is dearly loved and he is a cher­ished mem­ber of the fam­ily. He loves ev­ery­one he meets and I am con­fi­dent that if Wally met an ele­phant or a gi­raffe, he would love them also.

Wally’s res­cue jour­ney with Mis­fit Manor Dog Res­cue and his fos­ter mother, El­iz­a­beth An­drews, started on March 16, the very day he moved in with An­drews. Wally’s vet­eri­nar­i­ans had re­cently dis­cov­ered he had a liver shunt. An­drews is a re­tired nurse and she sent me the fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tion to ex­plain Wally’s med­i­cal di­ag­no­sis:

“A Por­tosys­temic Shunt (PSS) are ab­nor­mal blood ves­sels that al­low nor­mal blood to pass di­rectly into the cir­cu­la­tory [sys­tem] with­out first pass­ing through the liver. This means that tox­ins, pro­teins and nu­tri­ents ab­sorbed by the in­testines by­pass the liver and are shunted di­rectly into the sys­temic cir­cu­la­tion and are not fil­tered by the liver. Th­ese tox­ins make the dog sick and can cause ataxia (sway­ing as if in­tox­i­cated), seizures, blind­ness and even death. With­out treat­ment their life span is lim­ited. Wally had surgery that placed an Ameroid con­stric­tor band on the shunt to slowly close off the ab­nor­mal blood ves­sel.”

Wally will be three years old at the end of this month and weighs 4.8 pounds. Mis­fit Manor wanted to give Wally ev­ery op­por­tu­nity for a healthy, long life, so they pulled out all the stops for his med­i­cal treat­ments.

On March 25, (10 days after Wally ar­rived in res­cue), An­drews and I drove Wally to Prince Ed­ward Is­land for a CT scan at the Ve­teri­nary Teach­ing Hos­pi­tal at the Univer­sity of Prince Ed­ward Is­land. We spent the night at the Delta Ho­tels Prince Ed­ward and Wally was a rock star. Ev­ery em­ployee and guest met, held and took self­ies with Wally. He was so pop­u­lar that the Delta car park left a card in­side my car for Wally, wish­ing him good luck and it was signed by the staff. They also put Wally on their Face­book page.

We ad­mit­ted Wally to the vet­eri­nar­ian hos­pi­tal on March 26 and then drove back to Hal­i­fax. At 5 a.m. on March 28, we drove back to Prince Ed­ward Is­land to pick up hand­some Wally, then turned around and drove home.

The CT scan even­tu­ally came in and con­firmed Wally needed life­sav­ing surgery, so An­drews drove Wally back to Prince Ed­ward Is­land on April 9 for surgery and picked him up on April 15. Wally spent most of his time in in­ten­sive care, where the vet­eri­nar­i­ans and care staff fell in love with him.

Wally was posted for adop­tion, but by this point An­drews could not part with him. She adopted Wally, know­ing the lit­tle guy may need fur­ther surgery, but she is pre­pared to care and love him for the rest of his life. It’s an­other suc­cess­ful fos­ter fail for An­drews.

Please be kind to an­i­mals.

Tracy Jessiman is a pet por­trait artist who lives in Hal­i­fax with her hus­band and their three pets. She is a vol­un­teer with An­i­mal Res­cue Coali­tions of Nova Sco­tia. She has been res­cu­ing an­i­mals most of her life, but more in­ti­mately, an­i­mals res­cued her.

El­iz­a­beth An­drews

Three-year-old Wally has come a long way.

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