One of the first things Marty did when he met the three resident Goldens was curl his lip and give a low growl. Yikes! Foster Mom discovered the possible cause of his behavior over the next several days.
Marty has a number of dog bite scars on his face and head. He also has a large scab on his ear and several more on his neck—all due to dog bites. So, as sick as he was, Marty was forced to protect himself recently.
Because of Marty's fear and uncertainty around the guys, Foster Mom initially kept Marty and the residents separated by a baby gate. We then took steps forward to introduce them to one another slowly. The process took about two weeks, but Foster Mom is now comfortable leaving the dogs loose together when leaving the house for errands, etc.
Marty and Foster Mom visited the vet, Dr. R,. for a much-needed checkup several days after Marty's arrival. Multiple urine, fecal, and blood tests were conducted, and he had a thorough physical exam.
Dr. R. determined that Marty is in renal failure. Our initial hope was that this condition was due to dehydration and thus, although not curable, would be a chronic condition that would enable Marty to go to a Forever Home. Unfortunately, the kidney failure is attributable to Lyme disease.
The vet indicated that this suggests that Marty's condition will deteriorate. Adoption is off the table.
Marty will be rechecked in a month. At that time, Dr. R. believes he will be able to offer a more informed estimate of Marty's life expectancy than he can now.
There were a number of other notable outcomes from Marty's first visit to Dr. R. He has worms, which we're now treating. We decided to hold off on regular vaccines for now so that we don't stress his system unduly. He was microchipped.
We will consider pain meds if Marty's joint discomfort and stiffness continue unabated. He has some potential dental issues, but they are not the top priority now. Marty's muscle tone is virtually nonexistent, and, to the extent that he can, limited exercise will be positive.
Marty and Foster Mom came home with so many meds that Foster Mom believes we could open our own pharmacy. Marty then asserted his independence: he does not like his pills in pill pockets! So, we're going "low-tech": his pills are camouflaged in small scoops of peanut butter and smeared on his leg. Morning - noon - and night. It works!