The little boxer boy is still hanging out with me. I took him to the vet on Sunday morning, and she said his wounds did appear to be the result of a fight (though, since the majority of the wounds are to his back end, he may have been trying to get away). She pulled and prodded on him a bit and determined that nothing was broken — just that the wounds on his back legs were seriously inflamed and probably infected, particularly around the joints. They cleaned up the wounds, flushed out his ears (another infection) and prescribed some antibiotics/anti-inflammatories. They definitely appear to be working – the swelling has gone way down and he definitely seems to be feeling better.
Since that was going well, I took him out to a (seriously inexpensive) clinic on the recommendation of Paws in the City yesterday for a general wellness exam. He tested positive for hookworms and, unfortunately, heartworms. He’s not coughing a lot so hopefully he’s in the early stages. Regardless, once he’s healed up from his other miscellaneous problems, he’ll need to begin the heartworm treatment. The treatment is basically poison, and requires that the dog be strictly confined for a couple months — no walks, no running around. For those of you lucky enough to live in areas where heartworms aren’t a problem — you’re lucky. They’re ugly, and the treatment is ugly. The American Heartworm Society has a lot of information about prevention, diagnosis, effects and treatment, if you’re interested.
I’m working on trying to find him a good foster (or better yet, forever) home that can provide the environment he needs for the heartworm treatment. Even if I am able to integrate him into my pack (not a given, particularly since he’s an intact male), I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t be able to keep him as confined and immobilized as he needs to be for the next couple months.
But, until then, he’s hanging around. He’s definitely feeling much better, and his personality is coming out more and more. He’s such a sweetheart — he’s charmed everyone he’s come into contact with and has yet to show even the slightest hint of aggression. My two have been kept separate from him, but he has shown interest (with little nub tail wagging) in other dogs at the vets’ offices — and he even politely sniffed at a cat. He follows me around closely, looking for a little attention, and will sing if you stop petting him.
He’ll make someone a fabulous pet.