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Finzi just after being rescued
Finzi just after being rescued
Image: Pete Wedderburn

Dumped and dying, Finzi's tale serves as warning to dog owners

Finzi’s tale is a cautionary one for dog owners, vet Pete Wedderburn said, warning people to make sure to worm their dogs.
Mar 10th 2013, 8:20 AM 14,299 25

A DOG WHO was dumped and dying had her life saved thanks to the actions of a Bray vet – and her tale is a cautionary one for all dog owners.

Well-known vet Pete Wedderburn kept his Facebook page Pete the Vet updated when he found a dying dog, whom he named Finzi, by the side of the road last week. He spoke to TheJournal.ie about how Finzi came through her ordeal – and how her illness is one other dog owners can learn from.

Collapsed

“This sort of thing happens a lot in my line of work,” said Wedderburn, who was out with his family last Sunday afternoon when they found a dog dumped beside the road.

She was just lying there – she couldn’t walk, she was collapsed. Her gums were as white as sheets and she was emaciated. She was dying.

The family brought the dog back to their home and said they would do what they could for her, picking up items from Wedderburn’s clinic, including fresh blood, which they were lucky to have left over from a previous operation.

They were able to give Finzi a blood transfusion and antibiotics, after which she vomited up worms. “These were worms which hadn’t been treated,” explained Wedderburn.

“A lot of people don’t know all puppies are born with worms. When she was a pup she would have suckled her mother and swallowed worm eggs, which hatched out into the intestine. Some go into the system and settle into the puppy’s mammary glands.” She would then pass these worms on to her young.

Wedderburn said that if there is one message he is keen to get out from this story, it is that dog owners should make sure they worm their dogs to prevent them becoming infected as Finzi was.

The vet was worried that Finzi could die, but hoped that she would come through against the odds. On Sunday night and Monday night she was kept on a drip, and had bloody diaorrhea full of worms. “It was still looking pretty bleak,” said Wedderburn. “It really was only on Tuesday that it started to genuinely pick up.”

On Tuesday morning, Finzi was even well enough to appear on TV3 with Wedderburn, but when they returned from the show they got some bad news. “Somebody had literally found a dead dog – Finzi’s brother. What I found upsetting is he was probably lying in the bushes and was probably too weak to make a sound.”

This story underlines how much of an emotional rollercoaster Wedderburn’s job as a vet can be. “I genuinely don’t think a day goes by without some emotional trauma, good ones and bad ones,” he said.

Animals are beings; they suffer just like we suffer. They have emotions, they feel abandoned, they feel miserable. It’s great to save one dog’s life.


(Pete Wedderburn/YouTube)

Wedderburn said that he was concerned that Finzi may have been abandoned because her owner couldn’t afford a vet. “It is important people realise there is always an option,” he said. “There is always help there.”

He advises people who need treatment for their pet but who don’t have the funds to go to their local vet and explain the situation. “If people are well intentioned and can scrape together some money and make some sort of effort, and prove they are genuine, most vets will be helpful,” he said, adding that animal rescue groups can also be contacted if people find animals that are in distress.

A story from Wedderburn’s veterinary clinic will be featured in each episode of the new series of Animal A&E, which is aired on TV3 at 7.30pm on Thursdays. All of the below photographs are taken from the Pete the Vet Facebook page, with permission.

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Aoife Barry

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