Last week, our dear friend Elizabeth Gunn of Gunn Dogs took in a 3 month old Goldendoodle puppy surrendered by it's owners for what they were calling "behavioral issues." The puppy Smokey was bought from a "breeder" selling pups out of a truck in the parking lot of the local MacDonald's..
Smokey would not allow the family to touch him, hold him and when they would try, he would cry out run away bumping into objects as he would try to hide from them. They said he had seizures (their vet said it was due to "low blood sugar) and that he was "crazy" and "way too much work" He had UTD shot records (given to the family by the "breeder") So Elizabeth took the pup knowing that our two organizations would be able to assess him properly and get him the proper care and rehabilitation and whatever else this poor boy needed to be happy and healthy.
The moment he arrived he had a seizure. He was immediately taken to the vet where he had another seizure. The vet came to the conclusion that Smokey had Epilepsy which would certainly account for his apparent behavior and he was placed on anti -seizure medication and sent home.
Smokey stopped seizing briefly but still cried out, ran away bumping into objects trying to hide. Elizabeth and I came to the conclusion that the puppy was suffering from blindness and neurological issues not associated with Epilepsy. We thought perhaps he had been abused, kicked in the head or struck with a blunt object and that head trauma was the reason for his symptoms and seizures.
Elizabeth also suddenly realized that despite his young age,his neurological symptoms and the blindness were also indicative of advanced Distemper. We were horrified by the thought but had to act immediately. So Smokey was rushed back to vet and the vet was told of Elizabeth's observations and our thoughts on diagnosis.
Tests showed no sign of head trauma or internal bleeding and the vet agreed as we had suspected that Smokey was indeed blind. Other tests did reveal our worst nightmare. Poor Smokey did indeed have advanced Distemper which due to his young age could only have been so advanced if he had contracted it from his mother while in-utero.
We are sad to announce that Smokey lost his battle with Distemper this morning, and has gone to the Rainbow Bridge.
Obviously Smokey's shot records were falsified, and/or this puppy miller has Distemper in his/her kennels. The sickening part is, this breeder was trying to sell several different breeds of puppies at this roadside truck stand. A ll of the puppies were there displayed outside.....in crates......in the 110 degree heat .
All of them probably have Distemper.
There are likely dozens of broken-hearted families out there as we write who purchased puppies from this roadside stand and this disreputable puppy mill "breeder" ...
Smokey belonged to a 14 year old girl before he was surrendered to us. Her father has not yet told her of his death.
Smokey was just an innocent baby - He was 8 weeks old when he was purchased - The untreated distemper resulted in his blindness, his seizures and the excrutiating pain he must have been feeling this past month.
To DRC & Gunn Dogs the thought of this is just too horrible and too much for us to bare.
We are cooperating with state law enforcement, the Arkansas State Department of Agriculture and HSUS to find out who this puppy miller is and shut them down!
If anyone is in Arkansas and has any information that may help, please let us know.
Rest in peace, little Smokey Angel.