Meet Andy Panda! He’s not a retired racing greyhound, but an old man in need of a place to spend his remaining years. He was found as a stray in Cleveland. The Cuyahoga County Dog Pound contacted us to see if there was anything we could do and when we met him, we knew we had to take him in. He’s about 10-12 years old and has a long list of medical issues, some of which are treatable and some of which are not. Andy’s been here about a month now, and had a full dental and lost four rotting teeth, been treated for a sheath infection and we are in the process of trying to help him with his severe arthritis and possible stenosis. Andy is a sweet boy who is mostly greyhound with a coonhound bark. Here he is, leaving the dog pound. His nails were woefully overgrown, but we’ve got them back to a manageable length, thanks in part to the wonderful vet techs that ground them down during his dental surgery.
Andy Panda says, “Arrrooooffffff!”
Please click here to read about our sanctuary.
Senior Andy Panda came to us with horrible, rotting teeth and bleeding gums. He was in pain, could not eat and was feeling rather rotten himself. Anesthesia, especially for an older greyhound, is always risky, and we ran an organ function panel and a CBC to help us assess his risk level. By some miracle, his blood work was normal and his heart murmur was mild. So, we made the decision to clean his teeth and extract the rotten ones. Two of his premolars were just hanging on and actually fell out before the cleaning began. Two others were extracted and all of his teeth were cleaned and polished.
Andy is doing much better now and is eating like a horse! He’s gained some weight, is more active and has a better outlook on life.
Dental disease, even mild tartar buildup, can lead to lots of other health issues. We have long advocated for daily brushing and good oral care. Some greyhounds are prone to dental issues, even with good care, and end up needing surgery and extractions no matter how vigilant their owners are. Many problems, however, can be avoided with a toothbrush and canine toothpaste or CET Oral Hygiene Gel.
Andy Panda has severe arthritis in his hips. When Andy first came to us, we immediately noticed his sagging back end. After a minute of so of standing upright, the photo above shows what happened. We started him on high doses of glucosamine/chondroitin (750mg/600mg) twice a day along with a homeopathic pain killer, Traumeel, twice a day. Mild exercise was also ordered to help him stay supple. After a month, we are pleased to say that Andy’s back end isn’t so saggy anymore! He’s still not able to stand for long periods, but he’s clearly more comfortable and can move about easier. Yesterday morning, Andy was feeling so good that he was bouncing around the bedroom in play! We are continuing to investigate what else can be done for his condition, but the initial treatment results are promising.
After trying all the traditional pain medications for Andy’s back without much success, we decided to try some more non-traditional therapies. X-rays confirmed that Andy has a herniated disc in his lumbar region, and some arthritis. Today, Andy went to see Dr. Jo and received his first laser therapy treatment. We were given a warm welcome by everyone at the Village Vet Clinic and Andy enjoyed all the treats! He has two more laser treatment appointments scheduled and we’ll be starting him on some stretching exercises, too. We should know shortly if this course of therapy will give him some relief from the pain. Please keep your fingers crossed for him.
Andy Panda is undergoing a course of laser therapy to hopefully reduce the inflammation and pain in his spine. He seems to love the warmth from the laser probe and stands very still while the vet or techs run the probe up and down his spine. We all have to wear goggles during the procedure and when we are all wearing goggles, Andy is by far, the most handsome one in the room!
Andy’s been having a rough time these last couple of weeks. His appetite dwindled and he hasn’t been drinking enough. His blood tests don’t really reveal any reason for his trouble, but his x-rays showed a terribly enlarged heart and possibly enlarged lymph nodes in his chest. His urine pH is a little high and he’s got struvite crystals forming. He’s taking antibiotics, cranberry supplements and Pepcid. We tried appetite stimulants, but shortly after we added these, Andy Panda began having episodes of stumbling and shaking – a possible side effect, or symptoms of near syncope from his bad heart. Everything is touch and go and we are living in the moment with him. He seems to feel a little better after he receives his sub-q fluids and tolerates the procedure well.
Andy is again reminding us how precious life is.
We miss you so much, Andy Panda. You were with us for only 7 1/2 months but you quickly became a huge part of our lives. You have made us better humans and we thank you.