What to know about Wally
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.
Three-year-old Wally has come a long way.