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Unlike some of the other dogs in our program, Cobain had a family of his own once upon a time in a small Midwest town. His first family lived across the street from the shelter; he was left outside for long hours during the day and would frequently let himself out to run over and try to play with the shelter dogs. This was his routine until he was given to another family and another family after that. Finally, after some time, the shelter got a phone call from a landlord stating that a tenant had left a dog in a kennel for over 48 hours with no food, water, or anywhere to potty. Of course they wouldn’t let him stay like that, so Cobain became a resident of the shelter he used to visit.
Cobain sat in this shelter for almost a year; all he saw was his kennel run. During his extended stay at the shelter, Cobain grew a little reactive to dogs, raising his stress levels. Being a small town shelter with limited resources, there was only so much they could do to help him. Finally, after 11 months, a foster spot opened up, and Cobain walked out of the shelter with the promise never to return.
Once he got settled in, he got a thorough check-up by our favorite vet Dr. Tom. We realized Cobain had a torn ACL in his back left leg, so not only was he in the shelter for a year he also had been sitting in pain for a long time. We scheduled surgery right away and repaired his bum knee. Cobain has recovered nicely and is back 100%, like nothing happened.
Because of his urgent surgery, and the recovery that followed, Cobain had to take things a little slower than usual. Introductions to canine residents, visits to public places, and pack walks had to take a back seat. Once fully recovered, he could start partaking in some fun things like pack walks, although canine introductions were still taken very slowly. But once Cobain had plenty of time to decompress from the stress of the shelter and settle into a good routine, he made a smooth integration with the resident dogs.
But it seems this kid just can’t catch a break. After fully recovering from his ACL surgery, Cobain began to experience significant GI symptoms. We started working with our vet, who was also consulting with specialists at IDEXX. We ran multiple tests, looking for Addison’s disease, checking hormone levels, and looking for culture growth. Cobain tried many treatments, including prescription food, immune suppressants, heavy steroids, and high-dose probiotics, but he wasn’t responding to them. So Cobain had to endure one more surgery to take biopsies of his GI system. The results show that Cobain has significant inflammation due to IBD (irritable bowel disease), but he doesn’t respond to the typical medication used to treat IBD. After another consult, a plan was made, a food switch to a dehydrated preservative-free dog food and a different drug that’s not typically used to treat IBS. The food switch has done wonders; the medication took some time to respond fully. Cobain's IBD is now completely under control.
Don’t worry; Cobain hasn’t let anything slow him down, not ACL surgery, not IBD; he is always happy no matter what he is going through. He doesn’t hold any grudges; he loves every person he meets. He is very attached to his people and would love nothing more than to be by your side. He’s just a laid-back young kid who wants to be part of a family again.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION TO COBAIN'S FOSTER FAMILY FOR THEIR TIME AND DONATIONS:
Mike & BJ