Whatever life’s challenges, this brave bulldog endures.
Many mornings, Kiki the bulldog can barely stand. One memorable, and recent, occasion she woke up in a puddle of her own urine.
“I thought this was her goodbye,” says Skip Van Der Marliere. Skip is the founder of Southern California Bulldog Rescue.
Since Skip took the pup in about two months ago, Kiki has inspired many an emergency vet trip. Every time, she’s pulled through.
Kiki’s story is made up of guess work. There’s very little known about her life prior to rescue. Her rescuers believe this brave bulldog endured a lifetime in a crate. A confinement so severe she developed scoliosis.
Given up by her previous owner in may, Kiki was malnourished and thin. She had two types of untreated autoimmune diseases and infected bed sores. One of her autoimmune conditions focuses on the bowels, the other is the source of her painfully raw and routinely infected skin.
“She was able to still walk, though that was even painful because of blistering sores on the bottom of her paws,” says Skip. “Despite her health issues, she was still always interested in what was going on around her and liked human contact.”
Skip has been trying hard to keep Kiki alive. To help this brave bulldog endure her medical issues and enjoy her new life she’s been given.
It’s not always easy.
Kiki’s skin problems are still acute. Weight gain is slow to nonexistent, partially because of the difficult to manage bowel issues. This is just one example of how her conditions worsen each other. Kiki can’t take the steroids or stem cell treatments that might help her skin until her bowel issues are addressed. Skip is trying out some “novel meats” like duck and rabbit. His hope is that Kiki may be able to tolerate them.
Until a more permanent solution is possible, Kiki’s skin requires medicated baths, and nice gentle scrubbing. Scrubbing uses all sorts of different brushes: tooth brushes, makeup brushes, anything soft.
Baths may not always be on Kiki’s agenda, but one thing certainly is. Attention, and lots of it. She likely didn’t get much of it before.
“She just lays still when you pet her and scratch her now. You can tell she loves it,” he says.
However much this brave bulldog endured before now, Kiki’s still not well. She’s lethargic, and doesn’t show interest in toys or treats.
If she becomes critical again — in need of oxygen or surgery — Skip and his husband have already decided to let her go.
But despite the ups and downs, that’s not now.
“It’s not her time to go,” says Skip.
Not long ago, Kiki’s fur started to grow in on her right front paw.
Recently Skip saw her trying to ascend the couch. She didn’t quite make it. But it was the first time Kiki made the decision to try something. Showed an interest in wanting something.
“It’s the baby steps forward that tell us we are doing good for her and she’s getting better,” says Skip. “She’s happy.”
Keep tabs on Kiki on the Southern California Bulldog Rescue Facebook page. Here’s where you can help donate to her care.
We hope you enjoyed Brave Bulldog Endures to Live a Happy Life
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