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A puppy who bet the odds: Piglet’s story

09 August 2021
A puppy who bet the odds: Piglet’s story

Here at SPCA we have dozens of animals come through our doors every day. Our ‘transformation’ stories share the tales of those who come into our care, in pain and often fighting for their lives, and make an inspiring recovery. This is Piglet’s story.

A painful start

Piglet the puppy came into SPCA’s care covered in one of the worst cases of mange our vet team had ever seen. Her skin was red, raw and weeping. She had open, bleeding wounds on her small body, and her head had formed a thick, itchy crust.

Mange is a debilitating skin disease caused by parasitic mites and left untreated, it is horrific and extremely painful. Found wandering the streets alone, the disease had ravaged Piglet's skin. She was so pink and unrecognisable as a pup, that the SPCA team thought she was a piglet at first glance, and the name stuck.

At just three months old, this darling girl would have been in unimaginable pain and discomfort. Piglet had suffered more than any dog should ever have to in its lifetime. We don’t know how she came to be without her mother or any humans looking out for her, but we do know she urgently needed our help.

A complicated journey to recovery

Our vet team put her on an urgent treatment plan to help her recover and reduce her discomfort. This included pain relief and specialist medicated baths to soothe and treat her infected skin.

In her first few days under SPCA’s care, the team saw a big improvement in the quality of Piglet’s skin, so she was able to move into a foster home to continue her treatment. Foster homes provide a calmer, more dedicated environment where animals like Piglet can receive a level of love and care while they recover that cannot be offered in the shelter environment.

Unfortunately, it became evident that Piglet was also battling another skin condition called ringworm, which causes lesions, hair loss and dry skin. Poor Piglet’s journey to recovery became longer and her treatment intensified.

An unbelievable transformation

After her extended stay in foster care, Piglet was able to make a full recovery.

As well as the amazing dedication of her foster parents, a lot of New Zealanders are to thank for the care Piglet received. A recovery that takes as long as hers, and involves as much medication as she needed, quickly becomes very expensive. A plea was put out to the New Zealand public to help cover the costs of her care and SPCA was overwhelmed by the generous response which – for Piglet – made all the difference.

When Piglet came back to the Centre for a final time, the vet team who initially treated her barely recognised her. Here was a grown puppy, covered in a beautiful tri-colour coat of fur, and a world away from the small, scared young puppy they had met months ago.

Like all animals in SPCA’s care, Piglet needed to be desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and treated for fleas and worms before she could be made available for adoption. Once she was, it didn’t take long for interest in this lovely girl to start pouring in.

Today, Piglet is happy and is on trial adoption - our team have no doubt that it will be a perfect match. Looking at her now, it’s hard to believe the start she’s had, but we are so thrilled to have been there on her journey.

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