A Friend In Need...

By: Pam Wiese Email
By: Pam Wiese Email

Certain breeds of animals are more likely to suffer from genetic diseases, but that doesn't mean they make bad pets.

Some of the health issues seen at the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha are due to environment or improper care, but some are genetic and more common to certain breeds. And some animals have a little of both.

Bamboo is a Chinese Shar-Pei, known for it's wrinkly skin so her face and neck have loose skin with folds. That genetic makeup created a problem with her eyes. Bamboo came in with a condition called entropion. Basically her eyelids rolled in on themselves, causing the eyelashes to rub on the surface of her eyes.

Fortunately, the NHS veterinary team has seen this condition before and was able to perform corrective surgery. They reshaped her eyes by rolling the lids back out so the lashes no longer irritate her eyes. The condition already left some permanent scarring on her corneas so Bamboo can't see as well as she used to.

Bamboo also came in heartworm positive. Heartworm is easily avoided if owners provide preventive medications. But without that care, heartworm is, unfortunately, easy to contract in any climate where mosquitos live as the insects spread the disease when biting. The worms actually grow in the dog's body and migrate to the heart where they break down the muscle. Left untreated, heartworm will kill the dog.

The disease and treatment are hard on dogs, who must be kept quiet during the month it takes to knock the disease down. Bamboo has been successfully treated for heartworm as well.

This girl hasn't had the easiest life or the best care, but she's now on the road to recovery. Bamboo needs an owner who understands she's been through a lot and wants to give her a stress-free life. She's potty trained and loves going on walks and grabbing a chin scratch. In exchange, she'll be a gentle, loyal companion.

The Nebraska Humane Society at 8929 Fort Street is open weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can always look up animals and find information at nehumanesociety.org.

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