Dog covered in barnacle-like sores makes remarkable recovery

Dog covered in barnacle-like sores makes remarkable recovery

A rescue dog is hoping 2021 will be much brighter for her after a remarkable transformation now sees her looking for a loving new home.

Saskia looking good after treatment © RSPCA

Eight-year-old German Shepherd Saskia looks like a completely different dog to the skinny, frightened dog who arrived with one of the worst skin infections our staff have ever seen. The infection was so bad it caused her rear end to appear as though it was covered in weeping, bloody barnacles.

Saskia's skin was horrendous

She arrived at Longview Animal Centre in Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, in April 2020 after being rescued by our inspectors.

She was emaciated, weighed just 23kg, had infections in both ears and extremely long, overgrown claws. But it was her skin that was a sight to behold.

Hannah Kirrane, our animal centre manager at Blackpool and North Lancs Branch which runs the centre, said:

Saskia had one of the most horrendous skin conditions and infections we've ever seen. She was missing almost all of the fur down her legs and over her rear end and her skin was covered in weeping sores and scabs.

She added:

"On her back and bottom, the skin was raw and hardened and looked like barnacles. Her skin was hard like stone. She must have been so uncomfortable. We believe it was caused by untreated fleas which, over time, escalated and became infected."

Saskia has needed intensive treatment

Saskia came to the attention of our inspectors after members of the public raised concerns for her welfare and she was signed over into our care. Vets and staff at the centre immediately started an intensive treatment programme to help her.

Hannah added:

"She began an intensive course of treatment including pain relief, antibiotics and daily medicated baths. She was weighed daily and, at one point, was on six feeds a day to build up her weight. She's still receiving regular baths which will need to be continued in her new home but all of her other medication has since stopped and she's on a standard diet having gained an incredible 11kg since arriving. Her ears will need close monitoring in her new home and she would benefit from regular ear cleaning."

Saskia still carries the scars from her previous neglect

Saskia with barnacle-like sores © RSPCA

Poor Saskia has been left with emotional scars as well as physical ones, following her ordeal. Staff are looking for an adult-only home for her with confident owners who have experience owning German Shepherds.

Hannah added:

"We'd really like Saskia's new owners to live near to the centre so that they can come in and meet Saskia multiple times to get to know her before taking her home. This will need to be done once Government guidelines allow.

"Unsurprisingly given her history, Saskia can be unsure of new people and barks to show she's nervous. Once she knows you she's extremely affectionate but she needs time to build up her confidence around new people.

"She can be vocal when passing other dogs but can easily be distracted with treats! Despite her age, she can be quite giddy and full of beans! She loves to play with water, splashing in the paddling pool or playing with the hose pipe. She also enjoys running around the paddocks and playing with toys. 

"She's an absolute joy to be around and will make a wonderful companion for the right people. She certainly deserves a loving new home after all that she's been through."