Caoimhe (pronounced Keeva) is the Gaelic name meaning ‘gentle’, ‘beautiful’, or ‘precious’ which could not better describe this lovely soul that was brought into rescue in March 2015.
Before Paws United Dog Rescue, located in Strathroy, Ontario, took her in, she was a wandering dog, living outdoors and scavenging for food. She is from Walpole Island, a Native reserve in Southwestern Ontario.
In native reserves, dogs run rampant due to no population control and overpopulation is a huge issue. Wonderful rescues, like PUDR help take in these stray dogs, and other organizations like International Fund for Animal Welfare hold spay/neuter clinics for these poor reserves. This is how Caoimhe ended up with PUDR.
When arriving at rescue, she was a terrible mess. She was extremely malnourished, afraid of every noise, and to make it worse, pregnant. She had never lived inside a house, nor had she ever experienced a gentle human touch – it was all new experiences to her, and she was terrified.
Two days after arrival, she gave birth to 10 puppies. Due to her undernourishment, Caoimhe was unable to nurse the puppies all by herself, but the puppies still thrived, as did their mother. The rescue syringe-fed Caoimhe water, and hand-fed her food, while having the pups take turns nursing and formula feeding.
At 50 lbs, 10-15 lbs underweight, she had her first trip to the vet. A test revealed that Caoimhe was positive for heartworm disease. Blood test revealed microfilaria levels to be at about 3000, meaning that at least two adult worms are reproducing.
Despite issues breathing, and a cough due to the heartworms, Caoimhe was going strong. She was thriving in rescue and slowly gaining her trust towards people, and learning how to be a dog. Her puppies are being adopted out and finding their happy forever homes.
But tragedy struck as this article was in drafts, and Caoimhe was rushed to the emergency veterinarian due to coughing up blood. Unfortunately, she lost her battle against heartworm, and passed away in the caring arms of her foster mom, knowing she was loved and treasured.
We all mourn for the loss of such an amazing beautiful dog, but rescue work is never done. PUDR now has another young dog that has tested positive for heartworm, Pogo, and hope instead his ending will be happier.
Please consider donating to the treatment of Pogo and rescue other dogs like him, and send all your good healing thoughts to this sweet dog. And also please remember to protect your own dog from the deadly heartworm. It is easy to prevent, but difficult and expensive to treat.