Illinois Birddog Rescue, Inc. is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. That means all of your donations will be tax deductible!

Special Needs Dogs

DONATIONS DESPERATELY NEEDED!!

I have not edited this page for a while -- but seeing the faces of some of the special dogs we have saved and helped recover from so much neglect and abuse the last 14 years- has been amazing. I always say it takes a village and many volunteers have come and gone- but wow what a testimonial to all the hard work it takes to save an abused and neglected dog. Fourteen years of dog rescue-- you see so much terrible stuff, but most of these dogs all found their forever loving homes with your help. It takes a village...

Please go to HELP IBR - IBR's Official Fundraising Site for all donation information and the latest updates about dogs in need.

Here are some of our current special needs dogs-- although all of our dogs are special needs as ALL are fighting tick borne disease which is bad enough, but we do have our hands full with new dogs with heartworm disease and many still in the treatment program. It's beena heck of a half year fundraising for 2 of Matilda's boys with hip surgery and now needing to raise another $1200 to have her daughter's hip surgery. Matilda herself is in our heartworm slow kill program. Some day I have NO IDEA how I am going to pay for dog food much less basic overhead like computer and internet. Our antibiotic and heartguard expense is so high with every dog and puppy fighting several tick borne diseases.

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Four New Heartworm Disease Dogs Need Your Help!!

All 4 of these sweet girls were going to be killed in over crowed shelters in Illinois and Southern Indiana. All are just so sweet but their health has been neglected and to help them get better will take hundreds of dollars. Depending how long Daisy has being 13 years old, she will be in the slow kill program the rest of her life. Our new little beagle Charlotte also has mammary cancer we are fundraising for. We know when we take these dogs into our program that we will have to fund raise our butts off and we are asking you once again for your support. Any donation no matter how big or small would be appreciated.


Years of Special Needs Dogs


An Amazing Update- Peaches

How about a wonderful update on our first rescue of 2013. Peaches is doing absolutely amazing a year later and our 7th Slow Kill Heartworm treatment success story!!! Thanks to her foster to adopt daddy Ji for all his help and dedication and unconditional LOVE!!!


Aberdeen- A Labor of Love!


Working in the Field April 27th, 2013.

Aberdeen was pulled from being killed in an over crowded shelter in Franklin, Kentucky in June of 2012. She was a disaster when she finally got to Chicago last August from her temp foster home as her skin was infected due to her being immuno compromised due to long term tick borne disease. That manifested in food allergies and mange and both ears were also terribly infected. Aberdeen tested positive for Ehrlichia and Lyme disease via IFA Serology, and our vet recommended getting her started on doxycycline and clindamycin for the skin infections and then she transitioned to doxycycline and amoxicillin to help heal her gut. In August, we also started twice weekly medicated shampoos and I still spray her daily with Chlorhexidine antimicrobial wash to help the stubborn infected areas of her skin. To help with the Demodectic and Sarcoptic mange- she was treated with Promeris (bought from the internet as our vets no longer carried it) and that immediately helped with the Demodex. Two months later we started her on Revolution to go after the more difficult Sarcoptic mange. During this time we also kept after her ear infections.

During treatment, Aberdeen was a very good girl and her energy level has gone up exponentially and she started to lock on point to every tweetie in her foster home's back yard. When we tested her scent pointing abilities in early November, we were thrilled how birdy she was and the most recent photo shows her pointing quail in April. The cost to care for a dog with so many health issues like Aberdeen is very expensive due to all the testing, retesting, medications and limited ingredient Wellness Lamb and Sweet Potato canned food. The average monthly expense to care for Aberdeen and many of our infected dogs can easily run $100+ per dog or more so please consider becoming a monthly sponsor to help keep this little rescue going.

These dogs are worth every penny and we hope you think so too. Follow up testing Aberdeen she is still fighting Ehrlichia but we know she is most likely incurable and the Lyme is in remission. In October 2013, Aberdeen will be running in her first AKC Hunt test and her registered name is IBR's Mistress of the Highlands. She should pass with high scores! (SHE SURE DID!!)




Thanks to Kristy Zelewsky- Aberdeen's foster mom for taking such good care of her and making sure she stayed on her strict diet and daily meds. IBR Pres (and web master) Lisa- handled the daily shampoos and daily medicated soakings. Aberdeen has been such a trooper through it all. God love this dog- she is such a blessing.

Aberdeen is now adopted and living in Sheboygan, Wisconsin with 2 other IBR adopted Setters. LIFE IS GOOD!

We are in need desperate need of sponsors and foster homes for this special Pointer in need. You can contribute as little as $5 by using our HELP IBR link and you can click on the Foster home or adoption links in the menu on the left.

UPDATE: Our new Pointer is going to be named Jake Worthington- the ADORABLE country stand out on TEAM BLAKE on The Voice. As I watched the show I kept thinking our little Pointer is so WORTHY of a better life. He is safe now in temp boarding and will be coming in for initial vetting and evaluation on April 15th. Thanks to all that have contributed to his care so far.



A Sweet Neglected and Sickly Setter Needs Your Help!


McCartney's infected cherry eye.


Wire embedded in McCartney's matted tail.

McCartney (Click on his name to see more Facebook photos and video) is our latest English Setter rescue. He was found as a stray in Perry County, Illinois. His condition was deplorable- his eye was infected and he needs Cherry Eye surgery. I don't think I have ever seen a tail so matted and when he was groomed- wire was found embedded in his fur. Upon arrival to the vet he had a temperature of 103.5 and surely he is infected with at least Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. As he also has an upper respiratory infection- he is currently in quarantine at the vet and is being medicated to help him get better.

While McCartney has suffered some terrible neglect- he was still wagging his tail when I pulled him off the transport run. It is because of generous donations that we can help dogs like him. We are asking you for your help again.

UPDATE 1-26-12: McCartney is doing GREAT! His treatment for Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lung worm is going well. He is happy and safe in foster care and in a few more weeks, he will have his much needed eye surgery. Thanks to all that have helped with his care!

UPDATE: McCartney is ADOPTED!!!

With nearly 45 dogs and puppies in our program at present, one of our biggest expenses is holistic dog food for some of our special needs dogs and medication for those that are still fighting tick borne diseases in foster care. Due to Setter Gavin's liver issues- he is on a combination of a Northwest Naturals Beef raw diet and Wellness canned Lamb besides all his supplements. Cost per month to feed him alone is nearly $200. Please help us this HOWLiday season with a thoughtful donation for the care of some of our wonderful pooches.


Mandi's 75/25 Surgery Fundraising Raffle

IBRís Help Save Mandilyn 75/25 Raffle Fundraiser. Mandiís mast cell tumor on her leg has come back and is inoperable now as it completely surrounding her knee and causing her pain. Instead of putting her to sleep- we are trying to raise funds to have her leg amputated so that she can have a better quality of life. Here is Mandi's Old Blog. Here is some video of special sweet Mandi on You Tube. Surgery is scheduled for 8-30-11. The day of surgery, Mandi was play bowing with me and dancing around in Pointeresque fashion. I am glad she doesn't know what is ahead.

UPDATE 9-2-11: Mandi's leg was saved!! Dr. Hanover at the Animal Hospital of Gurnee did his best to save her leg. Thankfully the tumor had not invaded her bone- but he did have to remove some additional tissue and muscle- but she is doing fine. We will need to fundraise for her chemotherapy- but one step at a time. Here is some video of post surgery You Tube. If you can spare $25 to help us help Mandi- please give to one of our fundraisers.

UPDATE 9-6-11: Thanks to some wonderful folks- we were able to raise $1150 in Mandi's Raffle. Her surgery was $981 with our discount so we almost raised enough. Congrats to Stephanie Spurrier our amazing Pointer Angel out of Texas for winning the Raffle. Stephanie has donated thousands to IBR this past year to help us save more dogs and puppies. XOXO UPDATE 12-2011: Mandi's cancer returned sadly and she was let out of her pain. We were devastated by her loss.

Mandi this past Spring pointing a pheasant from 10 feet away. No sign of the tumor.

A view of the mast cell tumor.
Post surgery 9-1-11.


Puppy Harley Needs Your Help!!!

Harley was originally Miguel from the 11 Boys & 2 Girls of Summer Litters from July and August of 2015. His momma Matilda and his litter were in danger of being put to sleep in an over crowded shelter in Alabama with another new Momma and her 6 puppies. We paid a driver to bring both litters to foster care in Ohio and this was his original photo album from the fall. Matilda it was discovered was infected with heartworms, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. You can see in the photo above how thin she was and we can only imagine with those serious health issues, Harley may have had some growth issues while he was in the womb as his momma was malnourished.

When we were dealing with Tommy's terrible health crisis, Carol offered to take Harley in and here I posted a new Facebook album in November. He was so sweet to his brother as sick as Tommy was.In January Harley's foster to adopt momma noticed him not playing so much and he seemed to be in pain. We had X-rays done and sadly he has terrible hip dysplasia. All he wants to do is play but it is so painful for him as the hips are slipping out of their sockets.

There is a procedure called FHO Femoral Hip Ostectomy and we are consulting with Dr. Jacobsen in Oswego about this procedure on Harley. He has done orhtopedic procedures on 2 IBR dogs and is a very good surgeon. We know based on past surgeries we are looking at a $3000 procedure, but Harley will need follow up chriopractic care, swimming therapy and he still needs his tick borne disease blood work and neuter besides. We hope in Tommy's memory that we can raise funds for his brother.

Please click on this link to help donate to Harley's surgery

PUPDATE: Harley is doing GREAT! The surgery was a complete success!

Clancy- Terrible Heartbreaking Neglect


Clancy came into our program in September of 2014. She was severely malnourished at least 15lbs underweight and she was also infected with heartworm, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. As she was first delivered to a local shelter, she caught kennel cough there that turned into terrible pneumonia in foster care. Because she is so immuno compromised- her infections have really caused her to struggle including a terrible sinus and chest infection. While she spent 4 weeks in the care of our local vet, she still struggled and we felt it was best to put her back in home care where she has her ups and downs. We could surely use donation for her previous vet bills which were in the thousands and also to help with her current vet bills, medications and food.

Click here for Clancy's Facebook Foster Care Album.



Tommy is one of our very special puppies that was rescued from Alabama along with his littermates and Thelma and her litter in August. Both families were at risk of being killed in over crowded shelters and thankfully we raised some funds to pay a driver to bring them to foster care in Ohio. At 9 weeks old he moved to foster to adopt with a girl we entrusted with his care. Sadly his care went terribly wrong and he nearly died. Click on Tommy's Video to see how this poor baby is struggling. Only time will tell if the damage and terrible decision making will cause permanent damage to this little guy-- but his new foster momma is doing her best to help him recover while we work with our local vet/adopter to deal with his medical issues. We will also be contacting some canine chiropractors to see if they can also offer some help. We welcome your prayers and donations to help with his care.






BOTH Jake and Bertram had their Complete Blood Counts, Chemistries and 371 tick panels done no Saturday by Dr. John. We know Jake has at least Ehrlichia and Lyme disease and the longer he is treated- the less fearful he is. Click on Jake's video in NC to see how pathetic he was and in foster care in Illinois. Bertram is gaining weight quickly while he is being treated proactively for his tick borne disease. PAWSIES crossed-- we may have a new foster to adopt home for him. Click here for Bert's happy howling video. When you support IBR-- you help doggies like Jake and Bertram.


New rescue Pointers means more expensive vetting bills. To date we have been able to do blood work on Jilly, Champ and Dudley, and they are all positive for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. We fundraised to bring Jilly, Champ and Paw Paw to town from Alabama but that cost was $700. All still need to be spayed and neutered and Dudley needs his neuter besides extra surgery to remove some creepy nipples. Please consider a thoughtful donation to help the Pointers in our program. Here are their Facebook albums Dudley , Jilly , Champ and Paw Paw.




NEW AT RISK LITTERS 2015


Date of Birth February 28th, 10 puppies-- 9 survivors. Kimmie's Facebook Album Kimmie is positive for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever and is a rescue from Ohio.



Date of Birth April 23 & 24, 9 puppies. Trudy's Facebook Album Trudy is positive for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever and is a rescue from Mercer County Kentucky. Tester puppy Hudson positive for Lyme disease at 9 weeks old.



Approximate Date of Birth April 14. The Endearing Litter Facebook Album This litter was born under a porch where we pulled Trudy from and the rescue is still trying to catch their momma. There were engorged ticks on many of the beagle and dog population pulled from this property in Mercer County, Kentucky.



Approximate Date of Birth June 26th, 7 puppies--4 survivors. Rainbow Plus 4's Facebook Album and Rainbow's Fundraiser Rainbow is suffering with heartworm disease and was pulled from an over crowded shelter near Birmingham, Alabama with terrible mange. Once we got her started on antibiotics, no more puppies died and once we got her puppies on amoxicillin, their mange started to clear up. We will be testing Rainbow soon.

Rainbow's puppies are now ready to move to foster to adopt. Their are healthy and they are so cuddly and so loving. These pups are going to make the greatest of companions and wonderful family pets. Please click on the Foster to Adopt link to the left to submit your application to bring one of these precious babies home!



Date of Birth July 16th, 8 puppies. Ellie's Country Bumpkins Facebook Album Ellie was pulled from Hazard County in Kentucky and was covered in engorged ticks. While her 4DX snap test only revealed Ehrlichia, a better IDEXX 371 IFA serology showed is infected with Ehrlichia, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. She was very ill and many of her puppies were also ill and were on sub Q fluids to get them hydrated. When their vet started them on oral amoxicillin, the puppies started to nurse better. All are doing well now with oral meds.



Date of Birth: Matilda's July 26th, 7 puppies. Date of Birth: Thelma's puppies, August 4, 9 puppies, 6 survivors. Matilda & Thelma's Facebook page . Both Matilda and Thelma Sue were in over crowded shelters in Alabama, pregnant and in line to be put to sleep with her unborn puppies. Thankfully a temporary foster was found and the mommies started to co parent when brought together in foster care in Ohio.



UPDATE: Austell is safe in foster care, click here for her updates via her Facebook Photo Album.



Addison is a very special Irish Setter that we rescued over 10 years ago. He was found abandoned in a car in Chicago and was brought to the local animal control. He was adopted quickly but over the years he developed terrible skin allergy issues and some aggression issues. His adopted momma Sonya contacted me for help in 2009 and as we were learning about better testing options for tick borne disease. Addison had the IDEXX 371 IFA Serology done and it was discovered he had a low titer for Lyme disease. Dr. Hanover assisted with his treatment but long term antibiotics were not prescribed for chronic troubling infections. So Sonya treated and then once he was off his meds, Addison would relapse. Sadly one of the health issues we have found in many of our long term infected dogs is spleen cancer. Too many of our adopters have lost their dogs when these aggressive tumors rupture causing the dog to bleed out or metastasize through the dog's body and when it is found it is often too late.

Addison has been having some digestive issues for a few months and a proactive x-ray and ultrasound has revealed a mass on his spleen. We know too well how serious this is but at the same time, Sonya is having some major surgery herself and may be put on disability and was considering putting Addison down. Thankfully my vet has offered us a rescue discount for his surgery and we are going to document his procedure with photos and video and while a sample of the spleen with be biopsied to see if it is in fact cancer--hemangiosarcoma or hopefully just hemangioma, but we are also sending samples to Texas A & M to have it DNA tested for several tick borne diseases. If we do find Lyme disease DNA in Addison's spleen- that will help us continue to get the word out why better testing is so important. Please consider helping Addison and IBR with a thoughtful donation. Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, February 4th.

Click here for ADDISON'S FUNDRAISER.

UPDATE: Addison's surgery went well. A very large tumor was found attached to his spleen and thank goodness we got it out in time. Click here for his Facebook Surgery Photos. Thanks to all that have donated for his surgery expenses so far.

Molly UPDATE!!

Molly was adopted by her foster mommy in July and we look forward to new updates about her adventures in the field in the future!

May 2014: Molly has made an amazing transformation in just 5 weeks but she is still fighting some serious tick borne diseases. She needs follow up blood work and medications. You can contribute as little as $5 by using our HELP IBR .



Worthy has done very well post eye surgery but we need to get him out of boarding and into a loving caring foster or foster to adopt home for his heartworm and tick borne disease complications. Ideal candidate would have another playful dog for him to hang with and also a decent sized fenced in yard. He still needs follow up blood work and medications as well and you can contribute as little as $5 by using our HELP IBR . If you can help foster, please fill out our application HERE .

Wiconi Needs Your Help!

UPDATE July 2013: Coni's surgery was done on June 17th and he is ahead of schedule with his recovery. He has also moved to Kentucky and is in a loving foster to adopt home. If you follow IBR Facebook, you will see all his new photos! Thanks to all that contributed to his care.

Wiconi was rescued from a neglect situation in Missouri where he was left out in the heat last summer. When he was moved to the emergency vet it was discovered that he had a 106 temp and he nearly died. Follow up testing showed he was loaded with intestinal parasites and he also sadly is infected with several tick borne diseases. He was doing well in foster care until he jumped the fence and was hit by a car in February. He will need follow up FHO Femoral Head Ostectomy due to the scar tissue and arthritis. His ER bills ran nearly $1,200 and new estimates for the hip surgery are $1,000. We need your help once again and any donation would be most appreciated. One time gifts can be made via our DONATE link (to the left of your screen) or via our HelpIBR site.

Sponsor a pet in our program.


Emergency Help Needed for a Senior English Setter

Rawlin with his foster dad- Chris.

Rawlin- post surgery/ tired and weak.

Rawlin came into our rescue from Iowa in 2009. He was in foster care a short time and then was adopted by a family in Minnesota. Sadly he needed to come back to us after a year due to a family crisis. As we were transferring him from one foster home to another he became gravely ill Friday May 6th. He was brought to the local Doggie ER and it was discovered that he had a bleeding mass in his abdomen. Our first worry was spleen cancer--but the mass was actually attached to his intestine. Surgery went well and the mass was removed but the biopsy came in and it is Hemangiosarcoma- an aggressive cancer. Thankfully, his foster family has agreed to hospice him and keep him comfortable. When the day comes that we need to end his suffering, the local vet has agreed to do a house call and let him go at home. He will then be buried in Wisconsin. We are incredibly saddened by all of this and a $2500 vet bill will hurt this rescue immensely because until we pay it down we can't do any heartworm treatments for Lord Byron or Arlie nor can we do Mildred's mastectomy. Without your help--IBR will not be able to help the other dogs in our program nor save more. Please if you can help with Rawlin's ChipIn--we would be truly grateful.

Update 5-31-11: Rawlin is doing well in Hospice in Janesville, WI. He is eating and enjoying rolling in the grass and getting lots of snuggling time. We hope to keep him comfortable.

Update 8-1-11: Today we let Rawlin go after nearly 3 months in hospice care. He was doing well but over the weekend started to struggle. Follow up X-rays showed that the cancer had metastasized to his heart and lungs and we felt it was in his best interest to let him out of his pain. His foster dad Chris was with him when he passed. God Speed Rawlin!


The Kentucky Kids Need Your Help!

Every day I get emails of Pointers and Setters that are in high kill, overcrowded shelters that have days if not hours to live. One after the other the emails of urgent dogs keep coming in; how do you decide who lives or dies?? As a group, the IBR volunteers post anything and everything on our Facebook page for help and as I post dogs for help, when I get a volunteer to foster and maybe some initial donations to help that dog, that how we decide which dog we can save. However, sometimes I see a face like Lord Byron- emaciated, barely able to stand on his own and I will call the shelter and commit without having a place for the dog to go and hope that someone will step up to help. Lord Byron surely would have died alone and in pain had we not sprung into action and expedited his rescue. Below is a list of Pointer and Setters we have pulled out of Kentucky since the beginning of the year. Vetting is expensive, especially the need to test all for tick borne illnesses and with our current outstanding debt we are asking for your help once again. Please help us help these birddogs so that we can continue to save more.

UPDATE 3-22-11 Tick panels are in on some of the dogs. The influx of infected dogs from Kentucky continues...sadly. But thanks to contributions we know how to properly diagnose and treat so all these dogs will go on to live happy painfree lives.

We always need new foster homes so if you'd like to help, please fill out our foster home application.

UPDATE 2013: While Larkin is in hospice care, all the other birddogs featured below are ADOPTED!!! YAY!!!


Covered in ticks, his ear oozing with puss and blood and emaciated and barely able to stand- here is Lord Byron saved 3-12.

Blood work shows Lord Byron is also infected with heartworms which will make for a difficult treatment and recovery especially if he has tick borne co infections. First vet bill was $477 so any contributions for his care would be most appreciated!

Who could be so cruel and allow this dog to suffer with so much neglect? He could barely hold himself up he was so anemic. We are greatful to Susan in Kentucky for pulling him from the shelter and getting him to her vet so quickly.

Amaryllis- Lyme disease & Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

She is going to make a wonderful pet and companion.

While getting her shampoo, I found bird shot pellets in her ear :O(.

Narcissus- Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

On the transport together--Joe and Narcy getting along.

Narcy was a very good girl for her shampoo--she felt so much better after she was CLEAN!.

Joe Bob--drop dead gorgeous Lemon and White Pointer puppy. Lyme disease.

No one was coming to save sweet Joe and he was destined to be killed, put in a the trash and put in a landfill.

He is amazing--so sweet and resilient. Joe Bob is going to make someone a very happy camper through IBR's adoption program.

Larkin came in from the same shelter as Joe Bob. He is blind in one eye and is suffering from Lyme disease- but he is in the best foster home and should do well once he gets on some antibiotics. Another senior dog dumped.

Sweet Mocha Java--saved from an over-crowded Tennessee shelter with no hope of adoption with her positive heartworm status. She is doing great in foster care. Lyme disease.

Little puppy Lady Amethyst--dumped at the shelter in Kentucky because she wouldn't hunt. She is also being treated for Lyme disease and doing very well!

Thanks to all that helped with the first Kentucky Kids Chip In. You have no idea how your contributions help make a difference in saving these dogs and eventually bringing joy and many years of happiness to their lucky adopters!

Here is some video of the girls romping at their over night stay.


A Starving Pointer in Louisiana

The brave journey of a pointer infected with Babesia and Lyme Disease and his champion foster Mom.

Little Louis- too weak to stand- 29lbs

On Friday October 22nd,2010 I was busy getting adoption packets, microchips and medication ready to send out for the new dogs in our program. A new email popped into my inbox and there were photos of a starving emaciated little black and white Pointer and a plea for help. Cheryl's email read "I was called about this dog that someone found laying in a ditch, and left for dead! This guy brought him to a vet (Bellevue Animal Clinic in Opelousas) and this dog is HW-, and weighs only 30 lbs, HE IS IN SERIOUS CONDITION, and could not be given shots at this time! He did get antibiotics and is looking better (as per the man??????) I saw this dog today and it broke my heart. He is NOT being cared for, as he should in this condition. PLEASE I'm begging you to help him??? Do any of you know a Pointer Rescue? The vet thinks he is about 2 years as he does not have much plaque on his teeth, I looked! He is so sweet BUT soooo weak, does anyone have the time, place and patience to love this boy til I find a rescue? Please forward I REALLY NEED HELP FOR THIS BOY!!!! Thanks for caring, Cheryl."

Of course I stopped everything and contacted this gal.

I have started a ChipIn so that we can start fundraising for his care. He will need a lot of blood work and we will have to rule out tick borne illnesses and intestinal parasites. He will also need to be feed a good diet slowly. I do have a foster home waiting in Chicago once he is strong enough to travel.

VIDEO of Louis from October 24th -- He was giving up...

UPDATE 10-25-10 At 4PM Louis' temp was 104.2 (normal 101.9) after being 102.2 earlier today. I finally got a chance to chat with the vet this afternoon to try and get some much needed bloodwork done. The in house CBC/Chem showed ELEVATED White Blood Cells, Neutrophils, and his Alkaline Phosphatase (liver enzyme) was at 729 which was 5X normal range. Besides liver issues Kenzie's Bun and Creatinine were below normal. Platelets are the low end of normal and K (blood clotting factor) was also high. Besides all that, Louis is very anemic. So FINALLY the vet gave him an antibiotic injection and sent him home with 14 days of doxy. Cheryl is going to buy him some yummy Wellness moist food tomorrow to help with the doxy. If I were to guess what he has, I would have to say Lyme disease for sure but most likely Rocky Mountain spotted fever too. This poor dog. Tick panel is being sent out but the results won't be in for several days. The follow up appointment was $350 (the one earlier today was $90) but we have only raised $305. If you can spare a few bucks please ChipIn. He is not out of the woods yet, but at least we have more hope than we had earlier today.--Lisa

UPDATE 10-27-10 VIDEO of Louis from October 27th. After 48 hours on doxycycline our baby boy is BETTER!!! From Lisa his temp foster mom in Louisiana, "Well, our boy is feeling his oats! This morning he pranced out of his crate and followed me out the back door like he does every morning. But instead of going out to the yard, he re-thought the whole plan and then turned and RAN back inside the house to poop on my kitchen floor! Maybe he wanted to spare me another early morning of following him around the yard in my bathrobe with a flashlight to analyze his stool! Bottom line: Louis is acting more and more like life is wonderful and worth sticking around for. He hasn't shown a lot of interest in engaging with my dog but prefers to stick like glue to me. But his little tail wags often and hard and I think I'm beginning to notice the beginning of a layer of insulation covering his frame. At least it seems that his little ribs and backbone are losing the sharp outlines. True love of a dog. Healthier behavior and still doing well with food and meds."

UPDATE 10-29-10 The tick panel that was used was Antech SA330 and the titer values for Ehrlichia, Lyme and Rocky Mountain spotted fever start at 1:64. Dogs born with these diseases typically are so immuno challenged that they can't produce high antibody levels. Louis is positive for Lyme disease at 1:64 and we'll retest in Illinois with the IDEXX 371 to see if he also has Ehrlichia and RMSF at 1:25 or above. With the doxy treatment, he is bouncing back quickly-- the swelling and stiffness is going away, the fever is gone and he is gaining weight. My guess is the vet was very surprised to have a Lyme dog in Louisiana.

UPDATE 11-07-10 Thanks to some wonderful drivers, Louis is now in Illinois and will be seeing our vet on Monday. What a relief he is finally here.

UPDATE 11-10-10 We've had several ups and downs with our sweet Louis. He seemed to be rebounding but then took a turn for the worse. A follow up tick panel shows Babesia and his prognosis is guarded at this time. At least we finally have more answers but he has a long road to get better. We appreciate any thoughts and prayers that he makes a full recovery. Any contributions to help with his vetting costs will also be appreciated!!

UPDATE 11-15-10 Louis started on IV fluids and IV antibiotics on 11-10 when his health started to decline. His first Babesia treatment was on 11-12-10 and Dr. Edmundson was worried about his Glucose dropping and started him on IV Glucose. His foster momma went to visit him on 11-14 and he seemed to be doing much better. If we can get him through the next few weeks, he might have a good chance at a full recovery. Paws crossed!

UPDATE 11-21-10 Louis is out of the hospital and home with his foster mom. He is starting some new antibiotics and hopefully will start to gain weight soon. We know he has a long way to go as Lyme disease is a horrible disease--adding Babesia to the mix will make his recover slow. We have never dealt with both of these diseases together so it will be a challenge as Louis continues to make progress with a few set backs. He's such a little fighter!!

UPDATE 12-10-10 Louis continues to get better and follow up blood work shows his immune system is stronger and his bone marrow is also happer post Babesia treatment as he is no longer anemic. We have now switched his medication from doxycycline and amoxicillin to Ceftin--which is widely used to treat humans with Lyme disease. He is gaining weight slowly and we are hopeful he will be going home soon.

UPDATE 2-3-11 Louis went down hill terribly the last 10 days. He may have gotten infected with giardia in Ilinois and that caused terrible diarrhea and he couldn't take his Babesia and Lyme medications. He became very week and could not walk due to the joint pain. Carol had also gone to Florida for a few weeks and has been trying to help him via phone calls to me and Dr. Lynn from 1200 miles away. While Carol had been consulting with Dr. Lynn in IL, I had consulted with my sister who is also a DVM down in Sarasota, Florida. My sister felt we are doing all we can and to absolutely NOT do any steroids--which has been my thinking as well. Steroids suppress the immune system and the last thing you want to do with an immuno compromised dog is suppress it with Pred. Dr. Lynn wanted to do the pred so I begged Carol to just start retreating the Babesia with the Mepron and Zithromax and also double up his Ceftin for the Lyme. I had sent Carol a great old article on Babesia from some research I did--and I think we are finally back on the right path. Walking on the beach and pointing seagulls is definitely a good sign!!

Here's some recent email updates from Carol but please continue to pray we can save this little fellow.

01-30-11 Louis is really weak. BUT he is happily eating the raw Natural INSTINCTS medallions,five or six at a time, with some of the Wellness Kibble (made from all meat with SOME veggies and rice in it...no wheat or corn). Fevers intermittently up to 103.9 but usually just 102.9 or lower.

I had him on amoxycillin only (and his probiotics and the Panacur) due to his severe diarrhea. That is over now/stools totally normal) so I put him back on just DOXY/AMOXY am and pm plus his daily milk thistle and pro-colon and other pro-biotics. I am going to add back the Green Mussle homeopathic caps (for joint/cartilage/synovial fluid/tendon) to try to give him some joint pain relief. He is sooooooo in pain joint-wise.

BUT now after reading this, I am going to re-start the Mepron t.i.d and Azithromycin b.i.d .... and that means he's back full-throttle on everything EXCEPT the Ceftin ...unless you think I should do all AND CEFTIN .... Ceftin on top of everything I think is going to kill him...

His gums are still pale...not totally gray but still very little pink at all. I am going to take him into a vet across the bridge from where we are here in West Coast Florida ... five minutes...and just WEIGH him... I would be amazed if he weighs anything over 25 pounds. He really looks thinner than ever. AND since I won't be back in Illinois until after mid FEB, should I have more chem/cbc done? Urinalysis? before then? Maybe after he's been back on all the meds for a week or so? Whatever you think...I can have it all done across the way... Just tell me which lab to use/test names.

I am also giving him 500 cc LRS sub-q Q.O.D.(every other day). He is drinking better from the elevated bowl...less frothy, thick drool going back into the food and water bowls. I also notice his neuro idiosyncracies are back: only approaching doors and his food / water from counter-clockwise.... Not sure, also, how good his eyesight is now....at night especially. I remember Lisa Meaux (Louisiana Mom) mentioning that impression when he was down there.

I am still game on keeping up trying to heal him/make him survive....BUT how much can this little guy take? I guess only LOUIS knows that answer and as long as that little tail is wagging when I call his name and he responds to food and water offers, I will hang in there....he certainly is. I am torn....he seems to be so near that "RAINBOW BRIDGE" from time to time....I absolutely don't want him suffering...
Love, Carol (and Louis)

PS to Lisa M and Cheryl: As you can tell, he tested positive for Babesia just minimallly, but blood-value-wise it was consistent with Babesia and LYME for sure. Jury still out on whether Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Erlycchia and anything else is underlying, just waiting to surface once these other diseases are knocked down.

02-02-11 Now down to 27.6 pounds as of this morning.... Eating very well....on Ceftin 500 mg bid, Mepron 1.3 cc tid, Azithromycin once a day along with Green Mussel extract compound for joint fluidity and synovial fluid balance and 500 cc Lactated Ringer's Solution sub-q every other day. Drinking well now from a raised water dish, less frothy/clear drool now. He even pointed some this afternoon when we were walking along a beach path and he scared up some seagulls: front paw up, tail not erect up in air but he did raise it to horizontal....stood stone still until they lurched up into the air and then he really tried to go after them....

This is the first time since NOVEMBER 9th that he acted the least bit interested in anything outside....so I take this as a positive sign. He was able to walk a block or so...without tiring. In fact, he was pulling ME instead of me trying to coax him along.

PAWS CROSSED and prayers coveted for his recovery. He is scarily thin....looks like a concentration camp dog. Love,Carol

Thanks to all that continue to contribute to his care.

Louis in Sunny Florida--Just What the Doctor Ordered


Louis in Florida.


Watching Seagulls.

Update 02-09-11: Louis' Florida trip is going much better--a week ago were talking about letting him go--now he is rebounding. Here's an update: One week after he started to crash- we found out that C0Q10 can interfere with Mepron absorption so we got him off of that. The stomach bug really hurt him as he was off all his meds completely. We started him back up on the Mepron/ Zithromax combination and increased his Ceftin to 500mg BID. No pred. So far so good!! Fever is gone and his gums are much pinker. Carol is going to weigh him this week and see if he is closer to 30lbs. He is eating well and pulling her on the leash. Louis is holding his head high like a proud Pointer and he is VERY interested in pelicans!

Perhaps we finally are on the road to recovery! We are hopeful again. --Lisa

UPDATE: Louis' suffering ended when he was put to sleep the Spring of 2012. His Necropsy showed he had a condition called Sarcoidosis throughout most of his major organs and the cause was listed as tick borne disease related.


Emergency Funds Needed to Help a Pointer Shot in the Leg


Barbi and foster dad Mike.

The end of December I was emailed a photo of a cute little Lemon and White Pointer that was in an over crowded shelter in Southern Illinois. She came into the shelter with a bad limp. The last thing this rescue needed was to take in another special needs dog--but I just couldn't let her die alone and frightened in a shelter like so many dogs all over this country. I found a foster home and brought her in. Barbi is a sweet dog and as we were worried she had an ACL tear--as we examined her--we saw a small dime sized scar on the front of her rear right leg and another quarter sized scar on the inside of the same leg. Before the X-rays confirmed it--we knew she had been shot. The agony this dog must have been in after a hunter tried to kill her-most likely because she wasn't the perfect hunting dog.

As we were told the injury was too old to repair and needed to be amputated,I consulted with Dr. Jacobsen, an old friend of the rescue, and he is willing to try and repair the bone surgically. We need your help once again to give one of our special needs dogs the medical attention she needs due to the cruelest of deeds by an unkind human being. Please contribute what you can so that we can get her out of her pain and onto the road to recovery. --Lisa

01-21-11 Barbi's tick panel is in: she is infected with Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Our research shows that many Pointers and Setters infected with Lyme disease can not smell game birds as their olfactory senses are compromised due to the nature of the disease. I really hope we can save this little lady's leg and get her on birds once she is healed.


Bullet fragments on X-ray.


Thigh bone broken.

UPDATE: Barbi is now happily adopted in Wisconsin!


Surgeries Are Scheduled for Pointers Mandi and Sassy

Surgery was scheduled for our sweet Pointers- Mandi (mast cell cancerous tumor) and Sassy (possible mammary cancer) on November 22nd at the Animal Hospital of Gurnee. Both of these girls have so far survived heartworm treatment and both have been on antibiotics for Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever infections. We are hopeful that both surgeries will go well and our girls will find their forever homes after they are fully recovered. Please help our girls with a donation for their vetting care.

Mandilyn came from an overcrowded shelter in Southern Illinois and had 5 puppies Thanksgiving weekend 2009. Three of the puppies survived and her daughter Tamborine has had terrible health issues ever since she was little including a life threatening disease called Puppy Strangles. Tamborine has also had liver and kidney issues her whole young life. As most every dog or puppy we pull from Illinois is infected with a tick borne illness or two or three, we were certain that there had to be an underlying illness. Mandi started on doxycycline as soon as her daughters were finished nursing as part of her pre-heartworm treatment prep, but every tick panel we did on her was negative. I continued to be skeptical especially with her feverish behavior and daughter's poor health. Finally we have an answer as we were able to test one of the other daughters--Harmonica now known as Periwinkle. Her tick panel shows Lyme disease AND Rocky Mountain spotted fever and at low levels that indicate she was infected from birth. FINALLY an answer that can explain Mandi's struggles and Tamborine's weakened immune system. All of this testing and retesting this past year has been so expensive. With Mandi's cancer diagnosis--another huge vet bill we just aren't prepared for.

Mandi on point/ August 2010

Mandilyn post surgery/11-24-10


Sassy came into our rescue in January of this year after being in danger of being put to sleep in an over-crowded shelter in Oklahoma. She was diagnosed with Heartowm and Lyme disease and also Rocky Mountain spotted fever. She also had some noticeable mammary masses and mastitis. Her Heartworm treatment is complete and she's been on antibiotics for a long time and she is now ready for surgery to remove some suspiscious mammary masses from her abdomen. We are hopeful that she has a good recovery and will find her forever home after that. She is a HOOT!!


Sassy's sweet face.



Mammary tumors.


Sassy-post surgery.


Warm compresses on the surgery area.

Sassy is lucky that she didn't need a full mastectomy--only a partial. We are hopeful that she makes a complete recovery and that she doesn't need follow up. If only she had been spayed, given heartworm and flea and tick preventative. What a brave stoic amazing little dog.

Please consider donation to this little rescue so we can pay down our bills and be able to help amazing dogs like Mandi and Sassy in the future.


Foster Home Needed For a Lost Injured Illinois Pointer

BOregard- found on October 29th
Bo-fever broken.
Bo with Nancy.

BO-Injuries from Barbed Wire?
11-02-10
11-07-10
11-19-10

On October 30th I got this email with a plea for help for an injured Pointer in Central Il: Hi Lisa,my name is Nancy and I live in central Illinois. Yesterday 10-29-10 a dog wondered into my yard. I have attached pics. He is a sweet loveable dog and is obviously used to being in a house. I don't think he is more than maybe 2 or 3 years old. I was wondering if you could take him. I call him Bo. Please let me know what of if you can do for him. I can't believe he has made it as long as he has, it is obvious that he has not had a decent meal in a long time. He also has a wound on each front leg. They look identical but I can not figure out what caused them. I am presently doctoring them. Please excuse the pics as it was hard to take them by myself he didn;t want to stand still he wanted to be petted. :) Thank you so much for your time.

Nancy has agreed to foster him for IBR and we are hopeful that a vet can clean the wound and suture them back up and get him on some much needed antibiotic. I have no idea what this may cost--but he'll need follow up care and the IBR mandatory blood work to see if he has any underlying tick borne illnesses. If you can spare a few dollars to help him out, we would be most greatful!

Update 11-5-10: Tick Panel is in and Bo has Rocky Mountain spotted fever. He has started on doxycycline and his fever is now gone! Nancy reports that she thinks he is a puppy and I have to agree. I don't think he is more than 8 months old. What a sweetie!

Update 11-19-10: Nearly all healed, Bo is doing great but we still need a foster home for him. He is living in a kennel outdoors and he belongs on a comfy couch in a warm home. If you can help foster, please fill out our online foster home application. Thanks to those that have contributed to his care so far. --Lisa



MYRNA LOY--Another Sweet Senior Setter with Heartworm Disease

Myrna Loy was rescued from an overcrowded shelter west of Columbus, OH. She is a Black and White American Field bred English Setter and another senior dog that has suffered from neglect and possible abuse. We do think she was hit by a car and as she has an outside wound that is healing--she will squeal if you lift her up from her chest reason making us wonder if her ribs aren't bruised. Myrna wandered onto a farm in Ohio and found a safe place in a barn until she went to the Animal Shelter. An IBR volunteer had seen her profile on petfinder and knew that she wanted to help. Follow up testing shows Myrna is Heartworm positive and her liver is struggling. Myrna also had facial motor seizures and a bladder infection but has made some huge progress since we started her on doxycycline. We suspect there is an underlying tick borne illness. As she was also limping and stiff when she arrived in foster care, 2 weeks on the antibiotics she is galloping in the yard :O).

Myrna will need a lot of TLC as we head towards her heartworm treatment and we would welcome your help with her Chip In Fundraiser. We also need to move her to a more quiet foster home as there is too much activity in her current home and she will need to be less stressed. She is a tiny little girl weighing in at about 35lbs. If you would be willing to help foster her, please fill out our foster home application.

Please watch her petfinder page for future updates on her progress.



Clooney--Another Sweet Senior Setter with Heartworm Disease

8-31-10 Clooney was rescued from an overcrowded shelter in Sparta, IL. No one was going to adopt him due to his heartworm status. Clooney is a very handsome Tri-color and White American Field Bred English Setter. His execution date was September 2nd--but thankfully we located a wonderful foster home in Minneapolis/St. Paul. We hope to get him to a vet in the next week for some senior blood panels and then he will go for Minnesota for his heartworm treatment once he is ready.

We would be greatful for any contributions to help with his care.

TERRIBLE NEWS--9-6-10 While we had found a foster home for Clooney, he succumbed to heart failure on Labor Day and was humanely put to sleep at the shelter he was in. We are devastated by his loss and had so hoped to give him a chance at a new life pain free. In his memory--please donate to help the rest of the senior dogs in IBR's program.



Bonnie Lynn--She ain't Singin the Blues Any Longer

Meet our newest Granny- Bonnie Lynn. Our red-head with white highlighted hair is a Senior Labbie mix and she ain't singin the blues any longer. Bonnie Lynn was in an over-crowded shelter near Louisville, KY and no one came to her rescue. She was in danger of being put to sleep but luckily we found her a foster home near Detroit and we are hoping to move her the weekend of August 21st.


Ollie--the Long Road to Recovery


Sweet Ollie


Ollie holding on.

Ollie is a handsome 7-8 year old Black and White American Field Bred stray Setter who was running out of time in an over-crowded shelter in Russellville, KY. Sadly, blood work shows he has heartworm disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). I do think that Ollie has an extremely bad heartworm infestation as he struggles to breathe and his gums are so very pale--most likely due to the lack of oxygen to his lungs from his heart. He could also be very anemic. As he is also struggling with Kennel Cough--the last thing he needs is an upper respiratory infection.

I haven't been this worried about treating an older dog in a long time. If we are not cautious--Ollie could die. At this time we are pre-treating him with doxycycline for the Wolbachia issue and also for the Kennel Cough and RMSF. He will need to be on doxy for up to 2 months ever after he is heartworm negative as our research shows that the RMSF infection is very difficult to fight in an older dog with a very compromised immune system.

From the shelter volunteer that contacted IBR about Ollie, "I am glad to hear he is doing well. He is such a sweet dog and had no options until you spoke up for him. It broke my heart to think he would just die here. You have a very kind heart and don`t just care about the young and beautiful.. he is beautiful though!" Think happy thoughts that Ollie makes a full recovery - he deserves to have a loving home. If all goes well--Ollie will be available for adoption in May if not sooner.

UPDATE 02-16-10 Ollie has recovered from his Pneumonia and his bloodwork looks decent. Due to his heart murmur, we will just do one Immiticide injection and repeat with a double in several weeks. He will be on doxycycline therapy up to two months post a negative heartworm test as Rocky Mountain spotted fever will hang in there until his immune system is less challenged. Thanks to an amazing donation by Amy Dempsey and family in memory of her sweet dog Tucker, a huge dent in Ollie's vetting expenses has been made.

Visit our Donation blog to read about Tucker.

UPDATE 3-25-10 A month after his first Immiticide injection, Ollie's CBC/Chem looks pretty good, however his latest tick panel shows not only does he have Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but he also has Lyme disease. It may have been in remission and the start of the antibiotics has brought it to the surface. He still has a bit of a cough but chest X-rays look good.

UPDATE 06-14-10 Ollie had made it through the final phase of his heartworm treatment (5-18 and 5-19) and was doing great. At about the second week mark he started to have diarrhea and stopped eating. He also started drooling. His temperature shot up to 104 and follow up blood work showed his Immune System was shutting down. As he was slightly anemic his red blood cell production got much worse and he became very week. The vet didn't think he was going to make it as his his pneumonia returned and it was touch and go for a while. As of this writing he is home being force fed but resting. He is still very weak but we are hopeful he will overcome all the issues.

We took our time with Ollie's care due to his Lyme disease and RMSF. We knew it was going to be a rough go so please say a prayer that he continues to fight.

UPDATE 8-05-10 GOOD NEWS!! Two months after Ollie nearly died he is doing amazing! He also has a home waiting for him with adopted Setter- Rory. Sometimes I feel so blessed with the amazing folks that adopt our senior dogs. YAY!!

Ollie in January

Ollie in July!

Here is some old video of Ollie and a steam bath to try and help him with the terrible congestion in his lungs from the Heartworm disease complicated by Kennel Cough back in January 2010. I was trying very hard to help him get over this as I worry that it may advance to pneumonia.


Geezers & Grannies

Meet Winslow Homer! He is our latest Old Geezer rescue pooch. Homer was in an over-crowded shelter near Heath, Ohio when we saw his sad photos. He was depressed, not eating and in danger of being put to sleep. Thankfully an IBR volunteer was able to pull him to safety and so far he is doing GREAT! Look he is all smiles!! Homer is doing well in foster care and although he has some terrible arthritis in his neck, he is happy. Homer even traveled to Illinois for one of our fundraising Garage Sales in June. It was so exciting to meet him in person.

Here is his photo album on Facebook. Please also visit our Geezers & Grannies section to see some of our very special senior dogs looking for a place to rest their heads in their golden years.


Mandi & Ophelia-- Some Tough Ol Bird--dogs!!


Mandilyn and Ophelia


Ophelia Blooming!

Mandilyn and Ophelia have had a tough journey in foster care--but hopefully the worst will be over soon. Mandi was treated for Heartworm disease on March 25th and 26th and Ophie had the last of her mammary tumors removed. We are hopeful this will be her last surgery and that her body will finally also be able to fight off the two tick borne illnesses--Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever that have caused her to struggle for months. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Check out Mandi and Ophelia at our recent fundraiser. Also check out Ophelia's new hair do--the shag is gone for the spring.

UPDATE 4-6-10 We've got some great news. Ophelia's biopsies were benign--so she is done with any more boob jobs!! She is bouncing back really well and constantly pawing me and wanting her ears rubbed anytime we snuggle. GOOD GIRL!! Mandi is also doing amazingly well 2 weeks post heartworm treatment. She hasn't missed a beat and is recovering beautifully. Hooray for our special senior girls.

We welcome any donations to off set the medical bills for Miss Mandilyn and Ophelia.


Mandilyn--A Long Journey Ahead


Mandi--nursing duties over!


Mandi and the pups on Facebook

Mandilyn is a beautiful Black and White American Field Bred English Pointer that was in danger of being put to sleep in an overcrowded shelter in Southern Illinois. A wonderful rescuer pulled her to safety and gave her a safe place to stay while she had her puppies on November 21st. On December 12th, Mandi with girls in tow, were flown via Pilots and Paws to Ohio for permanent foster care. Sadly, Mandilyn has Heartworm disease and had a huge tapeworm that caused her to be dehydrated all the time while nursing her girls Harmonica (adopted), Tamborine and Clarinette (adopted). Now that the girls are weaned, Mandi finally was able to get the medication to get rid of her intestinal parasite and she is also starting her pre-heartworm regimine of Heartgard plus to start killing the Heartworm larve and also doxycycline to help with the Wolbachia bacterium.

UPDATE 03-07-10 Mandi and her girls came to Chicagoland over the weekend. Clarinette and Harmonica were adopted locally and Mandi was moved to her new foster home so that we could finally get her heartworm treatment started. Sadly--under closer examination--it was discovered that Mandi has a few masses in her mammaries and a few suspicious tumors on her body. Another intact female, overbred with mammary cancer--not again. SSIIGGGHHHH...

Nothing IBR can't handle--I suppose. Mandi's foster mom is also dealing with breast cancer and is so brave. She is a single mother of 3 kids going through chemotherapy. God love her for still opening her home to one of IBR's special needs dogs. Thank you Noreen and family. I hope they can all love on each other for comfort.

UPDATE 06-01-10 Mandi sailed throught heartworm treatment. GOOD GIRL!! She is ready for adoption :O).

We welcome any donations to off set the medical bills for Miss Mandilyn.


Ophelia's Surgery--Update


I'm BETTER!!!


Ophelia on Facebook

Ophelia had a partial mastectomy on Monday, November 23rd to remove some tumors in her mammary glands. In other words--breast cancer for dogs. Her chest X-rays are clear so we are hopeful that if this is cancer--we have caught it in time. As these tumors are hormone related, had she been spayed, Ophelia would not have had to go through this grueling procedure. She has recovered beautifully from part 1 of her surgery and will be having the rest of her mammaries (with suspicious tumors) removed in early February. Before we attempted this procedure, Ophelia needed to be treated for months for two tick borne illnesses--Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If only someone had taken good care of her--she would not have suffered so. Ophelia is a very special girl and the fourth birddog who has come to IBR with special needs due to neglect. Please consider a donation to off set some of her vetting expenses.

We worked doggies on upland birds the other day and Ophelia did fantastic!! Check her out on YouTube.

UPDATE 06-01-10 Ophelia is doing great. She still has Ehrlichia and RMSF antibodies which is troubling and we will be adding a new antibiotic, Rifamin, in an effort to try and keep both infections from becoming chronic. She has had an adopter waiting for her since last October but she should be going home soon.


Sasparilla--Another Sweet Pointer with Lyme Disease and Mastitis


John and Sassy


The mammary masses.

In early December we heard about two Pointers in Oklahoma that were nearing their euthanasia date. Sasparilla aka Sassy is our newest pretty petite Orange and White gal that sadly has mammary cancer. She just seems way to young to have this life threatening issue and it is a shame she wasn't spayed when she was younger. Sadly, blood work shows she is also fighting Lyme disease. We can't even consider any type of surgery until she overcomes that illness and currently her foster mom is trying to fatten her up as she is about 5 pounds underweight. As Lyme disease can affect the liver and kidneys among other things, it is often difficult for us to help these dogs gain weight as there is an enzyme deficiency related to the struggling liver.

UPDATE 02-16-10 After a month on doxycycline for her Lyme disease, Sassy is feeling and eating better. It also looks like the mammary masses are shrinking giving us hope that it is just a terrible case of Mastitis due to the Lyme disease. She has another month of treatment to go--so we are hopeful!!

UPDATE 03-25-10 Sassy has had a set back. Not only does her tick Panel Serology show her antibody levels have increased for Lyme disease, but now she is also fighting Rocky Mountain spotted fever. We will also know soon if she is heartworm positive--adding to her serious health issues. We are still hopeful her mammary issues are related to the illnesses she is fighting and that eventually the mastitis will go away once the other health issues are resolved. Poor kid--so much to be dealing with. Please consider a donation to IBR to help us get Sassy the care she needs.

UPDATE 8-05-10 Sassy is doing very well in foster care. She is still showing heartworm antibodies but the tick borne illnesses we were able to diagnose appear to be gone. Her mammary issue still seems to be problematic. As she is from Oklahoma, we do worry about a Babesia infection so we will be testing her for that soon.

Here is a video that shows the nasty tumor on Sassy's abdomen. Folks wonder why we insist on spaying and neutering. Besides helping control the pet over population--it is also to prevent hormone related cancer. Now with her Lyme disease diagnosis--we have to wonder if there is a link as most of the dogs we bring in with mammary cancer DO have an underlying tick borne illness.

UPDATE 06-01-10 Well the worst appears to be over. Sassy made it through heartworm treatment and is fighting her TBI's in the comfort of her new foster home near Springfield, IL. She LOVES her new foster daddy and seems to be feeling like her old self. We are hopeful that her latest heartworm test will be negative and that the antibody levels for the Lyme and RMSF will be lower. She is a LOVE!!

UPDATE 8-05-10 Sassy is doing very well in foster care. She is still showing heartworm antibodies but the tick borne illnesses we were able to diagnose appear to be gone. Her mammary issue still seems to be problematic. As she is from Oklahoma, we do worry about a Babesia infection so we will be testing her for that soon.


Blanchy McMuffin

Blanch was rescued last fall and treated 8 weeks for Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. As our research is showing--that was not a long enough course of antibiotics and we will also be testing her for Babesia soon. Thanks to the Good family for taking such great care of her :O).

Recently we discovered she has a few mammary masses and will be undergoing surgery to have them removed. We are starting to see a link between our Pink Ladies with mammary issues and tick borne illnesses. A former volunteer--Lindsey Miller-- had some insight into this discovery. "Hey Lisa- I read on your website about dogs with tick bourne illness developing mammary cancer. I think there are rational mechanisms that could link these two conditions. Cancer and tumors result from mutations or changes to the genetic code, the DNA. When these changes exist they can alter or disrupt protein function. For a cell to become cancerous there are numerous mutations that have taken place. There are a lot of checks and balances in each cell and each of these needs to be disrupted before cancer can occur. Each time a cell divides there is an opportunity for another mutation to exist. Cancer cells are those that have accumulated mutliple mutations that have given them growth advantage and allowed them to stop responding to normal signally- these are cells that have gone rogue. Estrogen is related because it stimulates breast cells to divide thereby increasing the number of cells containing mutations and increases the number of times these cells have divided (more opportunities for mutations)

The immune system is involved because the immune system is able to detect and destroy these cells before they become dangerous. Often times mutations will affect proteins located on the cell surface. The immune system should recognize abnormal proteins and destroy that cell. If the immune system is impaired there is a greater chance it will not destroy the abnormal cell as it should.

I do not think this interaction has been clearly demonstrated. This is just a basic/simplified review of cancer and the immune system."

Please read our Ticked Off! section to learn about this very important health crisis affecting our pets.

UPDATE 3-25-10 Biopsy results are in and WHAT A RELIEF!! the tumors were benigh. WOO HOO!! Now all little Miss Blanch needs to do is continue her treatment for the tick borne illnesses--Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever and she should be ready for her new forever home soon!!

UPDATE 6-14-10 Blanchey's foster dad reports that she is doing AWESOME!! We will be redoing her blood work this week and hope to see that her antibody levels for the Ehrlichia and RMSF are lower and that her immune system has finally got things under control. She goes for daily walks and she had a great romp a the local dog park a few weeks ago. She is so special!!!

UPDATE 8-05-10 BLANCH IS ADOPTED!! Her foster family decided they couldn't part with her again. YAY!!


Sweet Rory-- Fighting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever


Rory on Facebook

Rory--shampoo time!

Rory is a sweet Black and White Setter that came into the rescue 5 years ago. Back then we didn't know about most tick borne illnesses--especially Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). Rory seemed healthy enough and was treated for mange and then adopted to a nice retired fireman in Wisconsin.

In the fall of 2009, Rory needed to be returned to IBR when his Daddy had a stroke. Sadly at that time we were told Rory had allergies and the vet had him on prednisone the whole time. Not good. Knowing what we know now--we immediately had Rory tested and sure enough he had a low antibody level for RMSF. So we started treating him with antibiotics for that while weaning him off the steroids. Rory had a complete meltdown and developed skin issues and scratched most of his hair off. Then his foster home had him on some dog food that made him much worse.

Finally I got my hands on him and took what I learned about Bogie--another Setter with Allergy/RMSF complications and after 2 weeks of better food, antibacterial/ antimicrobial Chlorhexidine washes to help with the skin infections, adding Digest Gold to help with his Leaky Gutt Syndrome and a treatment of Revolution in case he had his mange back--Rory is doing AMAZING!!

Rory is probably close to 10 years old and his chances for adoption are remote at best. He has some eye changes and has a cataract forming in his right eye--poor baby. We do adore him as he is so sweet and his foster mom is committed to keeping him if he can't find a new forever home. We do need donations to help off set his medical bills and to help with his Wellness Lamb and Sweet Potato moist dog food.

UPDATE 02-16-10 Rory is now prednisone free and off the medication for Rocky Mountain spotted fever. He is doing well on the Lamb diet and just seems to happy! We will retest him in a few months to see if he is cured. What a special dog.

UPDATE 8-05-10 I was contacted by Rory's old adopter in July and as he has made a full recovery- he asked to have him back and we were thrilled to unite Rory and Dennis! Dennis is also going to adopt Ollie and give him his forever home. Thanks so much to foster mom Kristy who was committed to giving Rory his forever home and graciously gave him back to his old daddy. You are my hero!! :O)


Brandon--Our Big Ryman Setter with Heartworm and Lyme Disease


Handsome Brandon


Brandon says "I love my foster mama!"

Brandon is a gorgeous Orange and White American Field Bred stray Setter who was hit by a car in central Illinois and brought into foster care in November of 2009. His injuries consisted of a dislocated hip and some road rash. Further blood testing showed he has heartworm disease. As we pre-treat all heartworm dogs with doxycycline for the Wolbachia bacteria associated with adult heartworms, we figured if there was a tick borne illness coinfection-- we were covered. As it turns out, Brandon was diagnosed with Lyme disease on 1-12 from an IDEXX Serology test (4DX Snap was neg for Lyme) and he will need to be on antibiotics for up to two months after a negative heartworm test.

Brandon is a big boy weighing in at about 60lbs. He has some muscle atrophy and some soreness in his back end due to the injuries he received from the car accident. So far chiropractic care has helped him immensely.

Brandon is interested in chasing and barking at tweetie birds and will need a lot of work before he shows any real hunting potential. Lyme disease alone will affect his scenting abilities but we know that once he starts to lock up on tweeties instead of chasing them--that his brain is healing.

UPDATE 02-16-10 WELL IT'S HAPPENED!!! Brandon's brain and sensory issues seem to have resolved from his Lyme disease. We tested him on upland birds over the weekend--and he not only locked on point--he held beautifully. He is 5 weeks post heartworm treatment and I imagine now that his brain is working, the worms are gone and now his body is able to go after the Lyme disease. Brandon's hyperness is also gone and he is now a calmer dog in the home and is completely house trained. We will be retesting his bloodwork soon to confirm.

Brandon recovering nicely from his recent heartworm treatment. The English slip leads can be found for sale in our Go Shopping section.

Brandon was adopted in April :O).


2009 Another Ruff Year--Stats

Our 9th year of operations posed more fundraising challenges as the sick, injured, neglected and abused dogs and puppies came in one after the other. As we scrambled to find funding to help our current population of dogs and puppies in foster care, we were blessed with new enthusiastic help. Our tick borne illness diagnosis, treatment and research also continued as more and more dogs and puppies came into our care infected with Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma and Rocky Mountain spotted fever or the combination of two or three. At this point, when we don't get a positive serology for a tick borne illness--we are still suspicious. We tested 78 dogs in 2009 and 61 were positive (that's 78% or 8 out of 10) and we suspected a few more with odd behaviors had a false negative and we treated anyways. As most of our heartworm positive dogs also had tick borne coinfections, that posed more challenges for us to help these dog recover and find new forever homes. Sadly the hardest issues were our sweet girls with mammary cancer. Our vets only give these dogs a 50/50 chance of surviving beyond 18 months post surgery, but we feel that is a worth the extra time and expense to let these girls learn about how it is to be loved and cared for. If only they had been spayed...

Here are our statistics for our incoming dogs and puppies for 2009.


  • Dogs & Puppies Saved: 105
  • Dogs & Puppies Adopted: 80
  • Dogs diagnosed and treated for Heartworm disease: 13
  • Dogs & puppies diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease: 8
  • Dogs & puppies diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease and Anaplasma: 1
  • Dogs & puppies diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease and RMSF: 11
  • Dogs & puppies diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease, Ehrlichia & RMSF: 2
  • Dogs & puppies diagnosed and treated for Ehrlichia: 3
  • Dogs & puppies diagnosed and treated for Ehrlichia and RMSF: 5
  • Dogs & puppies diagnosed and treated for RMSF: 25
  • Dogs & puppies diagnosed and treated for Anaplasma: 1
  • Dogs with Mammary cancer: 4
  • Deaf dogs or puppies: 2
  • Cherry eye surgery: 1

  • Poor Sweet Duckie (sleeping setter) is now in hospice care. She came to us in February of 2009 after her back leg had been amputated. Upon arrival she was diagnosed with Heartworm disease, Lyme disease, Ehrlichia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. She also has mammary cancer. After 11 months in foster care and with ongoing treatment, she is heartworm and Lyme negative but she still has chronic Ehrlichia and RMSF. She was too anemic to do any surgery until recently and during her spay it was discovered she needed her spleen removed because of a tumor. This is so sad and the doctor has given her 10 months to live. We are hopeful she will outlive his prognosis. Duckie's story

    Please read our Ticked Off! section to learn about this very important health crisis affecting our pets.

    Fundraising with FirstGiving.com

    Please help us reach our fundraising goal of $10,000 so we can continue our work helping save these homeless hunters and other abused and neglected dogs and puppies! We have a long way to go and any amount - -big or small--will make a huge difference especially if the dog or puppy is in an area where they use gas chambers to euthanize. We see the worst that humans can do to defenseless animals- but with your donation- we will be able to do more to end the suffering of many frightened dogs and puppies.

    Click here to read about the special needs dogs of 2008