On 26 September 2021, while taking another dog to the Animal Wellness Clinic (Beth, now sadly passed away), we came across a distraught young man with a 6-month old Belgian Malinois with Distemper. The family had other dogs so wished this one to be destroyed to protect the others.
We felt with sufficient medication and care, Peanut (as we named her) stood a chance at surviving, but being at capacity at the Sanctuary, we were delighted when staff members Gemma and Adrian stepped in to foster her.
With the help and financial support of many donors, we were able to cover the extensive list of medications and food that seemed to be having an impact. She began to eat, to walk around, and seemed to be making a come-back.
However, Distemper is an unpredictable disease; for a while it's an ongoing battle between the dog's immune system and the virus. Just when you think the immune system is winning, the virus can ramp up and overwhelm it. She started to show loss of balance and appetite, but rallied when after Doc Pierre's visit where she was placed on an IV and began eating again. Blood tests showed she had Erlichia, a potentially fatal tick-borne disease, and in the early hours of 5 October 2021, Peanut began to show signs of extreme discomfort, and within hours, had passed away from Acute Pancreatitis, which is often a complication seen with distemper. It's very sudden and kills very quickly.
We are heartbroken, as are her foster carers. At least she died on her own schedule and was given a chance to fight the disease. She also spent the last 10 days by the ocean surrounded by love.