Peachtree Corners, Georgia
MEET MIA 💜
Over the weekend we rescued 6.5 year old Mia (DOB 9/17/2014) off the auction block and out of the puppy mill industry. She has since undergone her intake vetting where she was fully assessed. No surprise here that Mia’s medical needs have been neglected and that she has been left to suffer in silence.
We are treating Mia for bad ear infections (middle photo), severe dental disease (top photo), dry eye with secondary infection and possible corneal endothelial degeneration (bottom photo), hookworms, and a urinary tract infection.
Her bloodwork came back quite wonky and so she was not able to safely undergo her much needed spay and dental this week. She will return to the vet on Monday for recheck in hopes that we have improvement with the labwork after a week of good nutrition, medicine, and care. If no improvement, we will begin to dig deeper. Mia will also see our ophthalmologist and we are awaiting a consultation appointment.
In the meantime, she’s getting settled into her foster home in Birmingham, Alabama 💜 She’s the most timid of the three but is warming up nicely to the gentle love she is receiving 💕 We also know she isn’t feeling great with all she has going on, but there are certainly brighter days ahead 🌈
UPDATE February 24, 2021: When Mia arrived into our care 2.5 weeks ago after being rescued at a puppy mill auction she was a very sick girl. We also discovered through ultrasound that she was pregnant and felt she’d be due around the first weekend of March. While we were eager to be able to take care of her many medical needs, it was just too risky given all her infections, hookworm infestation, and anemia to undergo a spay surgery and so we ultimately decided to let nature take its course. Last week, Mia moved up to our whelper so she could get all settled in.
Yesterday Mia began having concerning discharge and was brought in to the vet. Mia has pyometra - a bad uterine infection, and there were no babies found on radiograph or ultrasound, and heartbeats were no longer heard. At this point we don’t know exactly how or why this happened but we do know that Mia now needs emergency spay surgery which she is undergoing today. We may learn more about this and what happened once they are in and able to look at everything.
The hard decisions we’ve had to make regarding Mia’s health have now been taken out of our hands. Because there is no longer an abundance of blood going to the uterus and ovaries for the puppies, like there was previously, perhaps this will actually be a less risky surgery than what it was going to be initially. Maybe, just maybe, all the happened this way so Mia could now safely undergo surgery, be able to then get all her medical needs addressed, and have the best outcome possible.
The only thing we know for sure right now is that we have to get our Mia through this surgery safely today 🙏🏻 Please keep Mia and our skilled medical team in your thoughts and prayers. Her breeder/seller put her in a very, very bad and dangerous situation by breeding this very sick girl and at this point, we are just trying to save her life so she can go on with the kind of life she has always deserved.
UPDATE February 25, 2021: Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers for Miss Mia as she underwent emergency spay surgery today due to pyometra. The surgery went well 🙌🏼 and she was also able to get her much needed dental where she lost 9 bad teeth. She has been sprung out of the vet and headed back to her foster home for plenty of rest and recovery 💕
It is believed that she experienced “canine fetal reabsorption” or “puppy reabsorption” where the fetuses disintegrate in the uterus. This happens when there is infection (which Mia has) or another pregnancy problem. “There are a number of reasons that could qualify as a legitimate cause for puppy absorption. Some believe, because of its natural occurrence, it may be nature’s way of protecting the mother as a survival mechanism.” 🙏🏻
As much of a rollercoaster as it has been, we truly believe everything that transpired was for a reason and that all of this was necessary to ensure Mia could have a successful surgery and the best outcome possible. You see, we didn’t feel spay surgery earlier on was safe when so much blood was going to the uterus and ovaries and because of her parasite infestation, but we also didn’t love the idea of poor Mia who had so many medical needs delivering and caring for puppies when she needed so much care herself. We were worried about her health and safety in both instances and felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. We certainly could have never foreseen this unfolding this way but believe this truly allowed for the best outcome possible.
Mia remains on antibiotics and we will be closely monitored. She’s receiving treatment for her uterine infection, a bad urinary tract infection, ear infections, hookworms, and is now recovering from her dental and spay. She’s been such champ through this all and we are very happy and relieved to have this surgery behind her.
While moving forward, it’s hard not to look back and shudder to think of what would have happened to Mia had we not rescued her off the auction block 19 days ago. Pyometra is very serious and would have taken her life- alone, in a filthy puppy mill, having never known love. Her owner/breeder John Henry Miller from Coalgate, Oklahoma put her in a very very dangerous and bad situation and it just so happened she had us on that day to save her life.
John Henry Miller was investigated by our friends at Companion Animal Protection Society in 2007 and you can read more about his operation and see the environment that poor Mia was held hostage in here ➡️ https://www.caps-web.org/miller-john-henry/
UPDATE MARCH 18, 2021: So happy to finally bring to you a good health update on Miss Mia 💕 You may remember that we rescued 6 year old Mia off the auction block and out of the puppy mill industry and discovered she was pregnant. Unfortunately Mia was very sick with pyometra (uterine infection), lost her babies, and required an emergency spay surgery. Thankfully she survived the surgery and has healed well. Yesterday she returned to Caldwell Mill Animal Clinic for a recheck and we finally have a healthy girl 🙌🏼! All her bloodwork is now normal, her urinary tract infection has cleared, and her fecal test is negative following treatment for a terrible hookworm infestation. Mia’s heart, knees and hips are clear and congenitally sound, but we are still working on her eyes. She has an ophthalmology recheck coming up and we will be sure to bring you another update then 💜 This girl is alive and well today because she was rescued 🙏🏻
UPDATE APRIL 9, 2021: When we rescued sweet Miss Mia off the auction block and out of the puppy mill industry her eyes were completely cloudy, painful, and infected. She saw our ophthalmologist and we started her on eye drops to get those eyes looking and feeling much better!
Last week she returned to the ophthalmologist for a recheck which went very well - her corneas are continuing to clear, her tear production is within normal range, and her vision is good 👌🏻 She has Immune Keratitis which is an inflammatory disease of her corneas - her prognosis is very good but long term therapy is required. She will need to remain under the care of a veterinary ophthalmologist for life and her eye drops may need adjustment over time to keep any inflammation well managed and under control. She is currently on 2 eye drops, an immunosuppressant drop and a steroid drop, which she gets twice a day, everyday, likely for life.
We love seeing those bright eyes ✨ and are just so thankful we were able to secure Mia so we could give her this second chance at life where she can be happy and healthy 💜
UPDATE JUNE 12, 2021: Mia has earned herself a nickname of “Medical Mystery Mia” 🔍 Ever since we rescued 6 year old Mia off the auction block and out of the puppy mill industry in February, her health journey has been a complicated one full of twists and turns. She arrived into our care pregnant but sadly lost her babies when she became very critically ill from a severe uterine infection and underwent an emergency spay. Since then we’ve been fighting off reoccurring infections and some weird symptoms that pop up. She responds well to treatment but as soon as we feel we have everything resolved, something new appears.
She returned back to our vet in Birmingham, Alabama this past week for another full work up and deep dive. As a result, “Cushing’s Disease” is now on the table and she will undergo testing for that next week so we can either rule that or address it as our primary underlying issue. Cushing’s Disease is a condition in which the adrenal gland is over active and over producing of the hormone cortisol. The excessive cortisol level can cause all sorts of symptoms like hair loss, persistent bladder infections, excessive thirst, poor healing, ‘pot bellied’ appearance, and more… which is what we are seeing with Miss Mia. She also recently experienced a significant drop in her thyroid level and this could be linked to something like the Cushing’s or could be more of a primary issue and also responsible for some of those above symptoms.
Mia will undergo testing for Cushing’s this upcoming week and we will be sure to share the results with you. This sweet girl has been given the gift of a second chance at life and we are committed to ensuring she has the best outcome possible. We won’t stop until we get her all the answers and bring her to her best health and best self 💜
UPDATE JULY 25, 2021: We are cracking the case on “Medical Mystery Mia” 🔍 She has had reoccurring infection in her right ear that would respond well to medication and clear, but then would return. Once again, at her vet appointment on Thursday her right ear cytology showed re-growth. We decided to proceed with sending off cultures and when collecting for the culture, we encountered something totally unexpected… but that cracked her case 😳
Poor Mia has some sort of foreign object/materials deep in her ear which has been the culprit on her ongoing issues. From what was able to be removed on Thursday, it looks to be some sort of paper material that resembles wax paper. While perfect patient Mia tolerated quite a bit of it being removed, we fear that there is more. There is no telling how long that this has been in her ear as she arrived with horribly painful and swollen infected ears after we rescued her out of a puppy mill. The good news here is that this is was finally discovered and is fixable and we are exploring the best way to move forward with this to be able to ensure all foreign material is removed. Can you imagine how horrible it must feel to have something stuck in your ear?! Poor Mia 💔
The other symptoms that she had been displaying over the past couple months (mainly lethargy and hair loss) have now subsided since finding the right dose treatment for her low functioning thyroid. We have sent off a thyroid panel on Thursday to once again check her levels and are waiting on those results. She looks great and seems to be feeling good and active, and keeping her beautiful fur 💜 It’s taken some time but we definitely feel like we’ve got a good handle on her medical now and just need to get all that junk out of her ear! 🤢💜