Dexter began his odyssey early on January 5, 2008. He stepped outside the Kentucky shelter he had called home for close to 2 months and hopped into the car of a transport volunteer. She drove him on the first leg of a long trip North. For the rest of that day and into the night, Dexter changed cars 10 times until he reached Bucks County, PA and his new foster parents.
Most of us would be quite cranky after a day like that. Not Dexter. He hopped out of the car and gave his foster mom and dad big kisses hello! And then he coughed.
Over the next week Dexter would cough now and again. Then it became more pronounced. Finally, it was off to the vet for Dexter where he was diagnosed with pneumonia and put on antibiotics.
A week went by without improvement and he went back to the vet for additional tests and x-rays. He had a trachea wash to gather some of the fluid in his lungs for testing. New antibiotics and cough suppressants were added to his regimen. Some days, Dexter seemed to be doing better. Other days the coughing was worse. And he started to wheeze when he breathed.
About 3 weeks into his pneumonia treatment his breathing became so labored he was rushed to the emergency animal hospital and put immediately into an oxygen cage. His lungs weren’t able to take in enough oxygen, his fever was elevated, and a new round of tests were initiated. It was time to take this to the next level.
Dexter underwent more tests. New x-rays showed his lungs had worsened. He underwent an ultrasound to check his heart and abdomen for abnormalities. More blood work was done to look for fungus and bacteria. Through it all, he charmed every doctor and vet technician he met.
After 6 days in the hospital, most of them spent on oxygen, Dexter was finally stabilized and sent back to his foster home with a course 7 meds to take daily. Dexter just kept getting sicker. He went back to the hospital when he couldn’t breathe and he stayed overnight again. With the doctors at this UPenn-affiliated hospital frustrated and stumped, Dexter made a trip to Red Bank Veterinary Hospital.
He was admitted and held for observation and more tests. When the tests didn’t provide answers, Dexter underwent surgery to remove tissue from his lung so a biopsy could be performed. Finally, it was determined that he suffered from a fungal infection of his lungs. Dexter began treatment with Itraconazole, an expensive anti-fungal medication. Treatment lasted over 6 months.
Rogers' Rescues spent over $12,000 in consultations, tests and treatment for Dexter. Pleas went out and angels were found to helped ease some of the financial strain caused by his treatments. Today he is happy and healthy. He loves to play Frisbee and is a wonderful ambassador for Rogers' Rescues everywhere he goes!
These days, Dexter is a happy, healthy and HANDSOME boy!