• Female
  • Age 9 (7/15/2012)
  • 16#  
  • Hospice Placement


  Mareitta, Georgia

Welcome in, Carly 💔 We got a call from another rescue who was at an Atlanta area shelter yesterday pulling dogs and came across this poor, sweet girl coming off her stray hold and in obvious need of help, and asked if we could take her. Of course we could. We don’t know anything about a Carly but that it looks like she’s been through hell and back. After a warm bath 🛁 and a good night sleep 💤 she’s off to the vet this morning in Atlanta so we can start to determine and tackle her medical plan 📝We will keep you updated 💜

As promised, a preliminary medical update on Miss Carly to wrap up the eventful weekend we have had here at The Cavalier Rescue!

Full bloodwork, urinalysis, heartworm and tick borne illness test, and fecal test have all been sent out to the lab and we should have those results back Monday morning. Based on her physical exam, she has referrals going out to 4 of our specialists - orthopedic specialist, cardiologist, ophthalmologist, and oral/facial specialist. As far as we can remember, we don’t believe we’ve ever had a dog requiring a team of 4 specialists 😞
Our vet believes she may be around 12 years old but our ophthalmologist should be able to weigh in on that better. We are currently treating her for nasty eye infections and for “dry eye”. One of her eyes is producing some tears which is a very good sign as that let’s us know that her tear gland is not “dead” and just needs to be stimulated. Once the infections are controlled, we should be able to get more tears going from that gland. We decided to go ahead and send cultures out from her eyes so we can find out exactly what all bacteria is growing there so that we can be most effective in treating it. We should have those culture results back by the end of the week. Despite the raging infections and dryness, her vision is good 🙌🏼 We are cleaning, medicating, and lubricating her eyes around the clock for her comfort. They are already looking so much better and once the cultures are in and she sees our ophthalmologist, they will be shining bright in no time ✨
A significant heart murmur was detected, likely from mitral valve disease, and so she will need a full cardiac evaluation and echocardiogram so we can learn more about her heart to determine if she needs to start any heart medications and also to gauge her candidacy for any procedures under anesthesia that may be needing to occur. Believe it or not, the shelter went ahead and spayed her while she was there and thank goodness, she seems to be okay although that should not have been done without further work up.
As you can see she has some oral/dental issues and as far as we can tell right now she has considerable, considerable bone loss and a very fragile, possibly fractured, lower mandible. While we would like to extract that bottom tooth that is interfering with her bite, her jaw bone is just too fragile and she just needs to see our oral specialist so we can figure out what has caused this - trauma, infection that has eaten away at the bone, cancer? This is an area that we really can’t safely assess and so off to our oral specialist she will go. She is able to eat very well and doesn’t seem to be in any obvious signs of pain or discomfort with her mouth.
Most shocking though is her front feet and carpal joints and her radiographs left us speechless. It is obvious from her stance and gait that there were abnormalities there, but we weren’t expecting to see this degree of fractures and luxations. We aren’t sure exactly what caused this but at this time believe this to be trauma. We are going to have our orthopedic specialist take a look at her to be sure there isn’t anything that can or needs to be done there. Although she essentially walks down on her “wrists” she really manages to get around very well and again, with no obvious signs of pain or discomfort.
She is a little thing at 15 pounds but also malnourished. She has proven to be a hungry girl and great eater and so those good groceries will do her good! Despite everything she has going on, she is in good spirits and is sweet as sugar. She seems to know she’s in good hands and is appreciative of the help 💜 We will be getting her labwork in and her referrals sent out and then going from there! We will be sure to keep you along for every part of her transformation 👑 Her specialty care will be costly (and worth every penny) so if you are able to help her with a tax deductible donation, we would certainly appreciate it 💕 

UPDATE JULY 23. 2021: We heard that the toothfairy 🧚‍♀️ visited Carly last night! Yesterday, her snaggletooth which was barely hanging on came out 🦷 We are sure she’s more comfortable without that rotten tooth in the way 🙌🏼
Next week Carly will have her cardiac evaluation and echocardiogram ♥️ and the following week she will meet with our orthopedic specialist and ophthalmologist 👁 for consultations. Soon after she will see our oral/dental specialist.

UPDATE AUGUST 1. 2021: We spy 👀 Carly having a #SundayFunday ☀️ 💦 She loved the pool 💕 Look out for more Carly updates to come this week - on Tuesday she will make the short trip over to Birmingham, Alabama 🚘 and on Wednesday she will meet with our orthopedic specialist 🦴 and ophthalmologist 👁

UPDATE AUGUST 5. 2021:  Yesterday, sweet Carly met with our wonderful orthopedic surgeon in Birmingham, Alabama to discuss and address her numerous orthopedic issues. While her front feet are obviously affected, which we originally thought may be due to some sort of trauma, over the past week a back leg has also been giving her some trouble which made us wonder if there isn’t something “bigger” going on… indeed there is.

After assessing Carly, Dr. Dismukes feels she may have Immune Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA). Immune-mediated polyarthritis is a disorder of the immune system leading to inflammation in multiple joints. The immune system is usually responsible for fighting infections in the body but with polyarthritis, the immune system wrongly starts to attack the tissues of the joints and without intervention, this can cause a lot of damage… which is what we believe has happened here.

Inflammatory polyarthritis can also be brought on due to bacteria/infection or secondary to an underlying disease/cancer and so these things need to be ruled out in order to best understand her condition and ensure we are treating and managing her properly. Yesterday, she underwent a “joint tap” where fluid was extracted from her joints. This joint fluid has been sent out for testing and culture to analyze what it’s comprised of and ensure there is no sign of infection.

Next, we need to rule out an underlying disease/cancer so she’s been referred to an internist where she will undergo abdominal and chest scans to rule out any masses or other abnormalities. And then finally, based on findings we can get her started on a management plan which can prevent any further damage to her joints (and subsequent ligaments, cartilage, etc) and reduce inflammation and pain. While there is nothing we can do to “reverse” the damage that’s already been done, she was adapted and adjusted extremely well.

With the right management plan where her immune response can be calmed and inflammation can be reduced, and with her incredible fighter, survivor spirit, Dr. Dismukes felt she could have a good outcome and many quality days ahead   We will keep you posted as we await the joint fluid results to confirm this diagnosis. 

UPDATE AUGUST 12, 2021:  Yesterday, Carly had a consultation with our oral/dental specialist 🦷 in Birmingham, Alabama. Her mouth had yet to be assessed so we really weren’t sure what we were going to find 🔍 While we thought she was toothless, we did find 2 teeth in the very back of her mouth, one on each side. It is presumed that all other teeth have fallen out due to severe periodontal disease which is also believed to be the culprit of her significant jaw bone loss. All her gum tissue looked “normal” and we did not find any evidence of any growth. As for her pronounced underbite, we were concerned that there may have been trauma or cancer that caused the jaw to shift but nope, that’s just Carly! 💜
While it would be ideal to put Carly under anesthesia to take full dental radiographs and clean up the remaining teeth in her mouth, our priority at this time is addressing her recent Immune Mediated Polyarthritis diagnosis and working to get her into remission and overall healthier and stronger 💪🏽 before we would move forward with that. We are relieved that we are not dealing with any significant oral abnormalities and now turn our focus to next week’s consultation with internal medicine 💕

UPDATE AUGUST 19, 2021:  Hello bright eyes ✨ When Carly arrived into our care a month ago she was suffering with painful” dry eye” and secondary eye infections and inflammation (top photo) 💔 She scored very low on her tear test meaning that she wasn’t producing an adequate amount of tears to keep her eyes well lubricated and comfortable. She met with our wonderful ophthalmologist where we got her started on a tear stimulant drop to help stimulate her tear gland to be more production, antibiotic drops to treat her infection, anti inflammatory drops to reduce the inflammation, and a lubricating gel to ensure her eyes stay well lubricated and comfortable.
Carly’s eyes have responded so beautifully to her treatment as you can see (bottom photo), and she had a wonderful recheck with our ophthalmologist yesterday 💕 Carly’s left eye is now producing a normal amount of tears (she scored 15; 14 is normal) and her right eye is just slightly below normal (at 10). Her infection has been cleared and inflammation is way down. With her eyes in better shape, our ophthalmologist was able to more accurately “age” her and feels she is about 9 years old 💜
She also met with our internist yesterday to discuss treatment options for her Immune Mediated Polyarthritis and we picked a treatment plan that we felt was best for her - we will be sharing more about that soon!

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 15, 2021:  When foster mom forgets to take my snood off after dinner 🙄 and then proceed to take a photo 🙄- Carly

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 21, 2021:  It’s a big day for Carly as she is finally able to start treatment for her Immune Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA). Her body is attacking her joints, and has been for quite some time, so treatment is in the form of an immunosuppressant. Please send pawsitive thoughts 🐾 that she not only tolerates it well but that it proves to be an effective treatment option for her to get this into remission. While it can often take quite some time to find a well tolerated and effective therapy for IMPA, we are hoping we are one of the few that gets it right on first try 🙏🏻 Carly certainly deserves to be lucky 🍀

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 28, 2021:  It’s been a week since Carly has started treatment for her Immune Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA). IMPA is an auto-immune disease so treatment is in the form of an immunosuppressant. It takes about a month to be able to fully assess if the immunosuppressant she is on will be an effective and well tolerated treatment for her but so far so good! 🙌🏼 She seems to be tolerating it fine and we have even noticed some early, small improvements with her mobility 🙏🏻 Next week she will have her bloodwork rechecked to be sure the medication is agreeing with her organs as well 💜
It’s been 10 weeks since Carly arrived into our care in such bad shape that we had a hard time deciphering from her shelter photo if she was even a Cavalier 💔 But everyday since then she has gotten stronger 💪🏼, healthier, brighter ✨, and has blossomed into quite the beauty 🌺

UPDATE DECEMBER 16, 2021:  Lady in red ♥️ Miss Carly showed up festive and fabulous for her ophthalmology recheck yesterday! We are still working on clearing her cornea following a corneal ulceration. Unfortunately along with her immune mediated polyarthritis (IMPA) which has affected her joints so badly, she also has an immune mediated ulcerative disease of her cornea making her susceptible to ulcerate. Her ulcer is all healed but it’s taking awhile for her cornea to clear but with each appointment we are seeing improvement, albeit very slow. Carly will remain on immunosuppressants for her auto immune diseases as well as several eye drops to help try to prevent future ulcerations. Despite her medical challenges, in true Cavalier fashion Carly is always the perfect patient and remains pawsitive and in good spirits ✨

UPDATE JANUARY 6, 2022:  New year, same cute Carly 💕

UPDATE JANUARY 14, 2022:  Earlier this week Miss Carly met with all her specialists - her cardiologist, ophthalmologist, and internist.
Her echocardiogram revealed that there have been no changes/progression to her mitral valve disease since her last echo 6 months ago which is wonderful news. She has just mild changes/enlargement to the left side of her heart from her insufficient mitral valve and is on a medication to help keep it that way. We will be rechecking her heart again in 6 months to continue to monitor.
Her Immune Mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA) is managed at this time with her immunosuppressant medication, Leflunomide. Her bloodwork recheck reveals that she is still tolerating the drug well and she will continue to remain on the medication as long as her labwork values, which are monitored every 8-12 weeks, continue to look good. While we can’t erase the permanent damage done to her bones, tendons, and ligaments before she came to us, she is now walking comfortably, and easily, and her quality of life has greatly improved.
Her eyes, which are also affected by her auto immune diseases, are looking good and will require lifelong eye drops and close monitoring as her corneas are prone to ulcerate. One did indeed ulcerate a few months back which is now healed after requiring a couple procedures. Her tear production is now normal, her vision is excellent, and her eyes are very comfortable which is the goal.
Carly is a “furever foster” in our care where we will continue to monitor and manage all her many needs for the rest of her life including the special care and attention for an immunocompromised dog. We are so thankful to have all the resources to be able to do so which include her amazing medical team of her veterinarians and the financial means thanks to all your generous donations for this very special and deserving little girl 💜

UPDATE MARCH 6, 2022: Spring is in the air 🪴🌺💚

UPDATE APRIL 21, 2022: Miss Carly is a seasoned veteran when it comes to her internal medicine bloodwork rechecks. We recheck her bloodwork every 8-12 weeks to ensure she is still well tolerating her immunosuppressant medication which is used to manage her immune mediated polyarthritis (IMPA) - an autoimmune disease that attacks her joints. She has tolerated it very well since starting it back in September and pleased to report she had another great bloodwork recheck today 👏🏼 This is not always the case as many dogs with her diagnosis have to try several immunosuppressants before finding one that is both effective and safe for them, so we feel very fortunate. That said, at any time it can start to negatively affect her other organs and that’s why we continue to keep such close watch on her bloodwork 👀 so that we can catch it quickly if/when it does 💜

UPDATE MAY 15, 2022: Carly is staying cool and having herself a #SundayFunday with the splash pad 💦☀️💕

UPDATE JULY 2, 2022: 

Rise ☀️ and shine ✨ Good morning and happy weekend from a Carly in Birmingham, Alabama 💜 Where in the world are you? 🌎