Friday, September 2, 2016

128-lb Pit Bull Rescued by Emergency Veterinarian Hospital in Gaithersburg, MD

Welcome Olympia to the VCA VRA Family!

128-lb Pit Bull Rescued by Emergency Veterinarian Hospital in Gaithersburg, MD

Initially, I thought Olympia was just another dog in need who I shared on social media. My hope when sharing all rescues, required transports and potential adoptees is that one post will lead to another and eventually unearth a foster, or ideally, a forever home. This time my share was seen by Megan, a supervising technician where I work, VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She contacted me and suggested we speak with our management team about the possibility of fostering Olympia at our hospital. Our management team readily agreed and I sprang to set the wheels in motion by contacting her temporary shelter through Facebook, email and by telephone.

Once I connected with employees at the shelter, they gave me the limited background information they knew about Olympia. She was found as a stray and never re-claimed by her owner. She is an approximately eight (8) year old spayed female Pitbull mix who came to the shelter weighing roughly 128 pounds. Judging from her appearance, her ideal weight should be around 60 pounds. This translates into a sixty-eight-pound weight loss. Poor baby!

VCA VRA's Role in Olympia's Weight Loss and Rehabilitation

I also discussed with the shelter, the role our hospital could potentially play to provide Olympia a health plan for the immediate future. I explained, we are a specialty and emergency hospital, open at all times, who would be willing to care for Olympia during her weight loss journey. She would be kept solely at our hospital, except for occasional sleepovers at the homes of some of our employees. She would receive a strictly controlled diet, be enrolled in an in-house weight loss and rehabilitation program and receive frequent visits and a great deal of socialization from the 24/7 staff we employ. I described our facility, noting that we are a unique hospital and have a dedicated rehabilitation department with a pool (complete with doggy life vests), two underwater treadmills, an indoor treadmill, laser therapy and acupuncture. After my description of what we could and would provide Olympia, the Friends of Montgomery County Animal Care and Control gladly accepted our offer to foster Olympia! So my Critical Care technician, Natalie Baker, and I made the trip to Christiansburg, Virginia (go Hokies!) to pick up Miss Olympia on August 6, 2016.

Overweight and obese pets are a serious and difficult challenge for many owners, as their motivation is solely to assure their beloved cat or dog is happy. Sometimes, there are underlying diseases (like hypothyroidism) that can contribute to weight gain but more often than not, pet owners simply overfeed their animals. Unfortunately, obesity in pets creates many of the same risks found in obese humans. Some of the primary dangers to good health include: increased wear and tear on the joints leading to osteoarthritis, development of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory and cardiac disease, increased risk for the development of different types of cancer and sadly, decreased life expectancy.

Olympia does have existing joint issues but VCA Veterinary Referral Associates will do everything in our power to help her achieve her healthy weight and prevent further damage to her body. Both Olympia and our hospital would love your support and good thoughts during her journey! We will continue to keep you updated regarding her progress.

Welcome to the VRA family, sweet Olympia. We love you already, for sure!