San Marco, California

Sweet 11 year old (4/7/2008) Drake was released to us by his family who felt they could no longer manage his medical needs. He arrived quite overweight and with dry, inflamed and infected eyes, stenotic and infected ears, and obvious skin issues. We got him in right away to see our pawtnering vet in the area, Bressi Ranch Pet Hospital 🐾 so we could diagnose all of his issues and then begin to formulate an effective treatment plan.

Drake is suffering with “dry eye” (meaning he doesn’t produce an adequate amount of tears) and because it hasn’t been effectively treated he has a lot of secondary inflammation and infection. We have started him on an antibiotic and steroidal drop as well as a tear stimulant to help boost his tear production. We use Optixcare Plus, an artificial tear, around the clock to supplement his tears and adequately lubricate his eyes. We are already seeing that his eyes are more comfortable and appear to be responding very well to this treatment. Thankfully his corneal stains were negative and his intraocular pressures were normal.

Drake’s ears are so scarred and stenotic from chronic infection and inflammation that treating them is going to be a bit tricky as they are nearly closed up. We are using a wash, topical treatment, and oral medications to help try to “open them up” and access all the bacteria and yeast. His foster mom is using a keto wash to clean them and massaging in medication the best we can. Only time will tell how well his ears will respond to these efforts. We have certainly seen our fair share of very bad ears and Drake’s are definitely right on up there with the worst.

Drake’s skin, like his eyes and ears, is angry, inflammed, and has a lot of bacteria and yeast growth. We decided to go ahead and go right to a skin culture so that we didn’t waste any time trying broad spectrum antibiotics that may or may not be effective for his specific bacterial growth. Drake has obviously been in a lot of discomfort for a long time and it’s way past due to get to the bottom of his issues. The culture has been sent off and is ‘growing’ and the results will be in any day which will tell us exactly what is growing and exactly what medications will be most effective in treating it. While waiting for these results we have gone ahead and gotten him started on topical treatment which includes 2 medicated shampoos, chlorahexadine mousse, and a medicated spray. He is also getting good skin and coat supplements. He is such a good boy for his baths and his skin is already looking better and we feel very confident we can cure him of his discomfort once and for all.

While collecting a urine sample, a mass in his bladder was detected on ultrasound and radiographs confirmed it is a bladder stone. We just got the results back of his urinalysis which reveals a raging urinary tract infection, which is very likely responsible for the formation of that stone. So again, we went straight to a urine culture so we could learn exactly what kind of bacteria is growing and therefore how we can most effectively treat it. We are awaiting the results of the culture.

The rest of Drake’s labwork was fine - his fecal test was negative, heartworm and tick borne illness test was negative, and bloodwork was normal outside of some elevated values due to infection. His knees and hips are in good shape, especially given his age and carrying the extra weight. Due to his age we have started him on a daily joint supplement chew.

Drake has severe dental disease and is desperately in need of a dental cleaning. A significant heart murmur was detected though and he needs to see a veterinary cardiologist for an echocardiogram before he can be cleared for the dental. We would like to get some of his infections under control first as it could be affecting his heart health. We will be rechecking eyes, ears, skin, and urine in 2 weeks and then moving forward with a visit to the cardiologist and hopefully dental soon after.

Whew! As you can see we have quite a bit to tackle but we feel like we can make a huge difference in his health. There is a lot of room for improvement and so that makes us feel extremely positive and eager to get him to his best self. We are taking a riffle (vs. shotgun) approach, meaning that we are really zeroing in and targeting his specific issues. This is obviously more costly but at 11 years old he is very deserving of a comfortable, healthy, happy quality of life and we intend on ensuring he gets just that. We will be sure to share his culture results once we get them. You’re in good hands, Drake, we got this 💜 Drake is being fostered in San Marcos, California.




  • Male
  • Age:   11 (DOB 4/7/2008)
  • 26#
  • Asymtomatic murmur, dry eyes, bladder stone
  • Adoption Donation: $tba


UPDATE October 6th: Scrub a dub dub, Mr. Drake in the tub 🛁 Drake is getting a medicated bath which he gets three times a week to help treat and heal his skin. In between his baths he gets medicated mousse and sprays. We are awaiting the results of his skin culture which will tell us exactly what kind of bacteria is growing and therefore what medications are most effective so we can take the guesswork out and get this guy back to 100% faster 👊🏻

UPDATE October 12th: 

Precious Drake’s urine and skin culture and sensitivity reports are in. As we already knew, the cultures did indeed show bacterial growth - E. Coli in his urine and 2 types of Staphylococcus on his skin. The ongoing urinary infection has caused a bladder stone and his skin infections have obviously caused a lot of discomfort and itching.

The sensitivity test determines what antibiotics will be most effective for the given bacteria so that you can better target and effectively treat it. While we will often try a broad spectrum antibiotic and see how they respond, Drake has been suffering with chronic infection for too long and so culture and sensitivity tests were in order.

Drake’s sensitivity test was extremely helpful as it turns out he has some antibiotic resistances, including the antibiotic that we had started him on while we were awaiting test results 😳, so an antibiotic switch was in order and he is now on a more effective treatment.

In addition to these infections, he also arrived with eye infections secondary to untreated ‘dry eye’, dental disease/ oral infection, and really bad ear infections 💔 We are treating the eyes and ears and Drake will undergo a much needed dental cleaning as soon as we get some of these other infections under control. His eyes are looking great and his skin and coat are already looking so much better thanks to the medicated baths his foster mom is giving him 🛁

Drake will return to the vet in 2 weeks for a recheck of eyes, ears, skin, and urine and we will be sure to keep you posted on his medical progress 💜

UPDATE October 22nd: 

Drake is doing wonderfully in his foster home in San Marcos, California where his dry eye, urinary tract infection, ear infections, and skin infections that he arrived in with are being treated. He heads in for a recheck on Monday where we expect his report will show great improvements🤞🏻

Once the infections are under control we will begin to address his cardiac health, dental disease, and bladder stone. He’s handling all his issues and treatment like a total rockstar 💜

UPDATE October 28th: 

When Drake arrived into rescue after being released by his family he was in really poor shape. He had many medical issues that were just not being addressed properly and effectively and left untreated for so long had caused some pretty bad damage and a lot of discomfort. We cut right to the chase by starting with cultures of all his infections and sensitivity tests so we would know exactly what medications would work best for his specific infections. After diagnosing all of Drake’s issues we formulated a very thorough treatment plan which he has been on for the past several weeks. This treatment plan addressed his dry eye with secondary eye infections, ear infections, skin infections, urinary tract infection, and to support his needed weight loss. His sweet foster mom has been doing eye drops around the clock, daily ear cleaning and medication, skin treatments and medicated baths several times a week, and administering many medications and supplements. THE HARD WORK HAS PAID OFF! 🙌🏻

Drake had a recheck today and he is down from 27 pounds to 24. His skin and coat look excellent (as you can see) with no sign of any bacteria or yeast! His ears, which were badly stenotic and infected, are completely clear! His eyes are free from infection and his tear test went from 0 to 20 (now within normal range!) Urine was collected today and sent off to be re-cultured to see if we have any remaining bacterial growth to knock out. We should have those results back by the end of the week.

Onward to phase 2 as we now work to address Drake’s cardiac health as a significant heart murmur, likely due to mitral valve disease, has been detected. He is desperately in need of a dental cleaning and so he will first meet with a veterinary cardiologist for a cardiac evaluation and then will proceed with his dental and bladder stone removal (if it has not dissolved by then).

We are so thrilled with how well Drake has responded to his treatment and this 11 year old is acting like a puppy now that he feels so good 💜 Drake is being fostered in San Marcos, California and we will continue to keep you posted on his progress. Shout out to Bressi Ranch Pet Hospital for taking such good care of our guy 💕