Buster’s Story

August 8, 2013

Buster21Buster is now up to a whopping 21 pounds. He is slowly being tapered off prednisone and is currently down to 1 mg per day as opposed to 15 mg. Once he is completely off prednisone, he can begin getting his puppy vaccinations. He’s discovered that playing in the doggy swimming pool is pretty fun. Because of his condition, he’s been restricted from meeting dogs other than the resident dogs and a few others, so his foster mom with the help of trainer Cindy Ehlers (Pawsitive Pets), he’s learning how to correctly interact with other dogs.

As you can see from this photo, scar tissue continues to pull his lower eye lid down. GBR is going to continue with laser treatment to hopefully correct it, plus to stimulate hair growth. His whiskers and eye lashes have grown back and he’s starting to get some fuzz on his face. From the neck down, he looks like a normal golden puppy but his face may never look completely normal – does that matter though when he’s giving you that sweet golden lovin’?

 July 13, 2013

BusterBuster now weighs a whopping 15.5 pounds! He’s continuing with his laser treatments three days a week, concentrating on the scar tissue across muzzle. This scar is pulling down his lower eyelid, which prevents him from completely closing his eyes.

Over the next month, his prednisone dose is will be slowly reduced. Once he’s not taking any, he will finally get his distemper/parvo vaccinations. We estimate that he’ll be ready to look for his forever family around the beginning of October.

Thanks to trainer Cindy Ehlers, Buster is no longer growling when he is touched (can you blame him?). With her help, the excellent treatment he has received from Dr. Arpaia and the loving touch of his foster mom, Betty, Buster has come to realize that being touched does not always mean pain.


June 28, 2013

BusterBuster continues to improve every day. At the time this picture was taken, he weighed a whopping 10 pounds! If you look closely, you can see that he is growing hair on his forehead. His laser treatments are now down to twice a week and soon, we hope, we’ll begin reducing his prednisone dose. According to his vet, as new skin on his face is formed, he’ll begin to lose his bug-eyed look.

Since he’s unable at this time to get his puppy shots (he’s had one), we have to keep him isolated from other dogs. Parvo would be really scary with this little guy! Fortunately, his foster mom has a couple of resident dogs, so he is getting some dog and people socializing. He’s also going to start working with a trainer who can help his foster mom help him to learn that being handled is not all bad.


May 30Buster was seven weeks old when he first came to Golden Bond Rescue on May 30, 2013. He was one of eleven puppies who were owned by a breeder. At about five weeks old, his snout area began to swell and turn red. The diagnosis was puppy strangles, also known as canine juvenile cellulitus. The treatment consists of large doses of prednisone along with an antibiotic. Unfortunately, Buster’s owner was unable to get him to take the medication, so the disease rapidly progressed to the point where the fur and skin on his face and legs began to slough off. At the time his weight was 5 pounds.

June 3Once he came to GBR, he was taken to a specialist in Eugene where his recovery was doubtful. Oved the next several days, he had a few bouts of vomiting and not eating which led to his weight dropping to four pounds. His vet at McKenzie Animal Hospital in Springfield, OR aggressively treated his illness with the medications listed above, as well as: cold laser treatment five days a week; hydro-therapy four days a week (this treatment is similar that used on burn victims); and, to help with pain (his skin was too painful to touch),Tramadol and Gabapentin.

June 9We are happy to announce that Buster is now up to eight pounds, the horrible red, inflamed skin is being replaced with healthy pink skin and his eyelashes and whiskers are growing back. The most frequently asked question is, “Will his fur grow back?” We don’t know. Buster’s vet has told us that his case of strangles is the worse they have ever seen. Even though we don’t know about the regrowth of his fur, we can tell you that he is a very loving and snuggly golden. He loves to follow his foster mom around the house and is now playing outside and playing with toys.

Once Buster has finished his prednisone and laser treatment, he’ll be looking for a new home. He’s going to need a family who can love him in spite of his hairless face. You can see in this picture that the bad skin is slowly being replaced with nice healthy white skin.

Keep Buster in your thoughts. He’s a special boy who is fortunate to be living with a very special foster family.