A German Shepherd left for dead in a wheelbarrow made an extremely unlikely recovery, thanks to loving rescuers. In November of 2016, the staff and volunteers at Harris County Shelter (HCS) in Houston received a shock when someone brought in a paralyzed and emaciated German Shepherd.
The starving dog, named Cubby, was so weakened and paralyzed that he had to be brought to the shelter in a wheelbarrow. His intentionally mangled ears and lifeless body horrified the shelter workers. Though he was at death’s door, shelter volunteers were determined to help him fight for his life.
Veterinarians performed every test they could based on his severe symptoms. The swelling of his brain and spinal cord meant Cubby was running out of time, but these humans didn’t give up on him the way his owner had.
According to his story on the shelter’s Facebook adoption page, “We were confident his eyes would tell us if it was time to let him pass. There was a look in him that day. We could see the plea in his eyes; he was trying, he wasn’t ready to give up.”
Cubby’s radical symptoms demanded radical treatment. Val’s Pals GSD & Large Paw Rescue offered to cover costs of medical treatment, and worked together with veterinary staff to quickly begin an intense treatment plan which could either cure Cubby or kill him.
Determining that the dog's symptoms pointed to severe parasitic infection in the brain, they began to administer high doses of the anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin. Ivermectin is used to treat conditions such as mange, intestinal parasites, and heartworm.
While safe in small doses, it can be toxic or have severe consequences such as blindness when administered in high doses.
After one injection, Cubby showed improvement, but not enough to ensure success. Again, volunteers looked into his eyes for the answer, and saw that he still seemed to be fighting to live. They continued the injections.
After his second dose, he stood up and tried to walk for the first time. He was then transferred to a foster home, with his day-to-day care overseen by Dr. Smith at Sienna Plantation Animal Hospital.
Cubby gained strength daily. Though he still showed neurological deficiencies, he made enough improvement for doctors to determine that he could continue to lead a happy and full life.
After enough progress was made, Cubby was given the green light to undergo treatment for heartworm disease. This easily preventable (and untreated) infection was what caused his traumatic condition.
Although Cubby’s recovery has been a long one, he is now ready to adopt! The Cubby of today is virtually unrecognizable from the dog who arrived almost dead in a wheelbarrow.
Cubby’s inspirational tale proves that love can be the deciding factor between life and death. this dog had not known love before arriving at the Harris County Shelter. He had to almost die before knowing what it’s like to be cared for. But, his will to live combined with the compassion of caring human beings catapulted him into recovery and pushed him forward to the assuredly incredible life he has ahead of him.
Thanks to the shelter volunteers, Val’s Pals Rescue, and a dedicated veterinary staff, Cubby had all the guardian angels he needed to make a miraculous recovery. His adoption story states that Cubby proved “no matter how cruel or uncaring some (humans) can be, they will always be outnumbered by those willing to do good, those willing to give of time and money to help those in need.”