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Brighter Days for Lexy the Shar Pei

Lovely Lexy the Shar Pei came to Sydney Dogs & Cats Home in October as a lost dog and was a little nervous to be here. Who can blame her, with there being so many new sounds, smells and people? Little did Lexy know, things would start looking up for her.

It was clear Lexy had a few health issues that needed addressing, including dental disease, inflammation in the ears, joint pain in her left hind leg, and bilateral entropion – a common issue in Shar Pei’s where the eyelids turn inwards. This can be painful as the eyelashes and skin constantly rub on the surface of the eye.

The Animal Care Team quickly came up with a plan to make Lexy comfortable and alleviate her pain. Lexy went into surgery for extraction of her diseased teeth, desexing and entropion correction. She was also prescribed pain medication to address her joint pain and inflammation.

Lexy’s surgeries were a success, and it clearly made a big difference for the lovely lady. With her discomfort behind her, Lexy became a lot less nervous and started making friends with the staff and volunteers. She became excited when she saw someone she knew outside her kennel and enjoyed having a chat with her doggy neighbour Maya.

Lexy’s favourite activity is her daily walks and sniffing everything in the neighbourhood. Since Lexy is a mature lady at nine years old, she prefers taking her time on her walks and is happy to amble alongside her humans rather than racing ahead. When Lexy isn’t basking in all the smells in the neighbourhood, she is stretched out and resting on her favourite comfy bed.

Lexy has now made a full recovery from her surgery and has even found her forever home! She is now spending her days snoozing on her bed and smelling everything she can in her new neighbourhood. She’s looking forward to many golden years ahead!


Published 15 December

A Big Future ‘in Sight’ for Treacle

Treacle came to Sydney Dogs & Cats Home as a tiny 4-week-old kitten with very unusual-looking eyes. She had a birth defect called eyelid agenesis – the complete absence of eyelids, which made her eyes look wide open all of the time. She looked constantly shocked, but it wasn’t surprise she was feeling – it was constant discomfort.

Without eyelids, Treacle’s cornea was completely exposed, which can lead to incomplete blinking, irritation from hair touching the cornea, ulceration and scarring. Without treatment, Treacle was at risk of long term damage to her vision.

As Treacle was so young when she came to the Home, she went to a foster home so she could grow and gain weight for surgery and adoption. She was put on a diet of baby cat food, milk and Hill’s dry biscuits, courtesy of our sponsor at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, which helped her get big and strong. Being in foster care also helped to socialise Treacle, introducing her to the pleasures of pats and affection. 

Our vets organised for Treacle to see an eye specialist, who made a plan for her treatment. She would need a very precise surgery, to take a graft from her lip and transpose it into her eye to create a new pseudo eyelid. Treacle would need 4-6 weeks of special eye drops to prepare for the big day. 

With her surgery booked and her future looking bright, our team got working to find Treacle’s new forever home. It wasn’t long before she found a family, who has been giving her eye drops every day in preparation for surgery. In mid-December with the help of our supporters, we funded Treacle’s eyelid surgery at a specialist vet, and we’re told she’s comfortable and doing very well post-op in her adopted home.

Treacle is now ‘looking forward’ to spending Christmas at home with fully functioning eyelids and a family committed to keeping her healthy and happy.


Published 15 December

Senior Pet Project: Joey and Stanley

Bonded buddies Joey and Stanley are a pair of senior gentlemen who came into Sydney Dogs & Cats Homes as lost dogs in desperate need of a fresh start. The two Maltese x Shih Tzus were very dishevelled with dirty, unkempt coats and troubling signs of serious health concerns.

It was clear Joey and Stanley had lived many years together and had much more in common than their curly, matted fur. Upon a vet check, it was discovered their health had been neglected for some time. They both had major dental disease, retained testicles and an umbilical hernia. All three of these issues were causing discomfort and can severely impact quality of life if left untreated, so a plan for treatment was devised and the dogs were sent into foster care with a trusted staff member.

Joey and Stanley received a clip and clean which revived their tired coats instantly and cleared the fur from their eyes. They are receiving pain relief medication and have been booked for dental surgery to scale, polish and extract some of their teeth. The duo will also have a desexing procedure, during which our vets will repair their hernias and resolve their retained testicles. This will prevent the contents of the abdomen from herniating and negate the risk of testicular cancer.

Unfortunately for Joey, his upcoming surgery won’t be the end of his veterinary care. Joey has a striking cloudy film over his eyes – a sign of cataracts and vision loss. In some cases, cataracts can lead to blindness, so it’s vital Joey gets the specialist support he needs. Joey is scheduled to see an ophthalmologist by the end of the year to see if surgery is the correct option to repair the cataracts in his eyes. If the surgery is right for him, Joey will ‘look forward’ to bumping into objects way less in future.

After an initial examination of Joey’s eyes, our vets put a stethoscope to Joey’s heart and were disappointed to hear a whooshing sound in between heartbeats – a heart murmur. Joey was booked in for blood tests and an echocardiogram to diagnose the reason for his heart murmur. The tests revealed he has Stage B1 Myxomatous Mitral Valve Degeneration. This is the early stage of heart disease, where a murmur is heard but there are no visible signs of heart failure or heart enlargement. Further intervention is not required at this stage and it won’t impact his quality of life, however if his condition does progress, therapy will be needed to delay the onset of congestive heart failure.

With their surgeries on the horizon, Joey and Stanley are looking forward to a comfortable future where they can eat, groom and move around without discomfort. They’re best buds, so it’s important they find a home together, with a family that will commit to giving them the health care they need.

If you can give Joey and Stanley the retirement they deserve where they can live a life of leisure, sunbathing and rolling around in the grass, then apply for these two senior boys today:


Published 14 December

Polly’s Express Journey

Fluffy girl Polly (previously Polar) is a three-year-old Japanese Spitz who came to Sydney Dogs & Cats Home as a lost dog with her mate Luka (previously Beluga). It was clear on arrival the pair was significantly overweight and had an appetite to match. Their fur was also in desperate need of a clip and brush, with mattes taking over their bodies and causing them to chew on their fur and wear down their teeth.

Our team gave Polly and Luka a pamper session which saw their coats clipped and brushed. This is a very important task for breeds like Spitz’s whose beautiful coats require regular grooming and maintenance.

Unfortunately for Polly, this wasn’t the end of her rehabilitation journey. She had a medial luxating patella (dislocated knee joint) that caused her to limp when she walked.

Our Animal Care Team got to work to make Polly feel more comfortable. While she and Luka were desexed, we performed x-rays on her pelvis and knee to investigate the severity of her dislocated knee joint.

While Polly waits for her x-ray results and treatment plan, she receives anti-inflammatory medication to reduce discomfort. She’s been recovering from her desexing surgery with Luka in foster care, enjoying the luxuries of a big backyard. It seems the pair were fed very well in their past home – a little too well – as they have learned to beg for their humans’ food. Polly and Luka are undergoing manners and toilet training in their foster home to ensure they’re ready for adopted life. To their dismay, they are also on weight loss plans to get them to an ideal weight. This will assist in minimising Polly’s joint inflammation as she won’t be carrying around extra weight.

Depending on Polly’s x-ray results, we may need to provide further treatment such as specialist surgery to resolve inflammation of her knee joint. But for now, she and Luka have been adopted and are looking forward to going to their new home, where they can enjoy a new, healthy life together.


Published 13 December

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