Poor Xander has spent his entire life in the puppy mill industry which means he has never known what has existed outside of life inside a filthy cage 💔 Xander is 8 years old and a tiny little man at 13 pounds.
His intake vetting revealed that he has “dry eye” (low tear production) and a lot of inflammation and irritation. We’ve started him on a tear stimulant drop to help boost his tear production, an artificial tear/ eye lubricant to help supplement his tear production and for comfort, and a steroid drop to help with the inflammation and irritation. His eyes are already feeling much better 🙌🏻
Like all our other puppy mill dogs, Xander has bad ear infections and the gunk just kept on coming out (see qtips). When he is under for his neuter and dental tomorrow he will have his ears thoroughly cleaned and then packed with medications to help treat the infection.
Xander’s knees and hips are clear but like most adult Cavaliers he does have a detectable heart murmur likely due to mitral valve disease/ insufficiency. We will have a relisten of his heart before he is available for adoption to see if it has changed at all, as many do after a much needed dental and treatment of infections.
All his labwork looked great so he has been cleared for his neuter, dental, and ear treatment for tomorrow. Getting him physical healthy is the ‘easy’ part, while rehabilitation and socializing and teaching him to learn to trust humans is the challenging part. Xander is being fostered in Perryville, Missouri and we will be sure to keep you updated on his progress 💜
UPDATE December 18, 2019: Sweet little Xander, who we rescued out of the puppy mill industry, has been with our Missouri team for the past two months. He arrived to us with several medical issues, like all puppy mill dogs do, including severe “dry eye”. Unfortunately we have not been able to successfully stimulate his tear gland and he is producing zero tears. Additionally, his heart murmur has sounded “different” and concerning at times of rechecks. Therefore, we made the decision to move him to Birmingham, Alabama where he will have access to our full medical team including our wonderful ophthalmologist and cardiologist. He has arrived here safe and sound and will start by seeing our ophthalmologist on Monday afternoon. He has settled in very well to his new foster home and we will be sure to keep you updated as we begin to more aggressively tackle his medical needs 💜
Update December 23, 2019: A week ago we moved Xander from Missouri to Birmingham, Alabama so that we could best addresss his medical needs. He had arrived into rescue with “dry eye” and we had been trying to boost his tear production for over a month, but were unsuccessful. Upon his arrival here on Monday he had no tear production and produced zeros on his tear test. We made an appointment with our ophthalmologist and in the meantime decided to change up his tear stimulant. Today was his consult with our wonderful ophthalmologist and much to our surprise and delight, he is producing tears 🙌🏻
There are a few different types of tear stimulants and while we always start with the one that we have found to be most successful for our Cavaliers, every dog responds differently to them and is very much a game of trial and error. We are thrilled to have found one that seems to be working well for Xander! We will be continuing it and rechecking his tear production in a couple of weeks.
A new discovery today though was that Xander has distichia (an eyelash disorder that causes inward growth) which causes chronic discomfort, irritation, and inflammation. Xander his distichia on both eyes, on both the upper and lower lids. The best way to remove these unwanted lashes is through cryotherapy (freezing). You may recall Roo had this procedure done earlier this year. This is something we would like to move forward with to finally relieve this sweetheart from such discomfort.
Next up though is his cardiac evaluation with our wonderful cardiologist as a significant heart murmur has been detected. He will undergo his echocardiogram on January 14th so we can learn more about his heart, determine if he would benefit from starting any heart medications, and “clear” him for his distichia cryotherapy procedure. We definitely feel like we are on the right track 💜
Update February 3, 2020:
2 weeks ago, little Xander underwent cryoepilation for his distichia (abnormal eyelashes growing in towards the eye causing corneal damage). We can only imagine the relief of having those irritating eyelashes removed 🙌🏻 Today he went in for his 2 week post-op recheck and has healed wonderfully!
Did you know that cryoepilation is the best therapy for permanent removal of distichia (extra/ abnormal eyelashes)? With this freezing therapy there is only a 15-20% chance of regrowth.
Xander is now medically cleared for adoption and we will begin to work with his foster family to get him listed for adoption over the next week or two. Xander is located in Birmingham, Alabama 💜