Elderly Eydie: from wounded stray with heatstroke to long-term love with foster parents

August 07, 2018

Elderly Eydie was truly a sorry sight when she arrived at RSPCA South Australia’s doors in the middle of a fierce January heatwave.

Her badly overgrown coat was so severely matted that hundreds of grass seeds had burrowed down deep into her skin, creating multiple wounds that left the poor Cocker Spaniel-cross in terrible pain.

But, after being treated by RSPCA South Australia’s caring veterinary team and then recovering in foster care, Eydie couldn’t be happier, or have a more luscious coat!

‘Grass seeds were matted throughout her coat ­– the poor thing had holes in her skin’

It was a sad but hopeful day when Eydie came into our hands as a stray in January 2018.

In dire need of care, the 8-year-old had such a badly matted coat that she was riddled with hundreds – if not thousands – of grass seeds. She was overheated and, understandably, very distressed.

“The grass seeds were all matted throughout her coat. While some were embedded in her skin, some had actually penetrated through and created an infection,” RSPCA South Australia veterinarian Gayle Kothari recalls.

A matted, grass-seed-ridden, and very hot Eydie.

But Eydie’s matted coat wasn’t actually even Gayle’s first concern.

“When Eydie came to us it was a scorching hot day and she had heatstroke – that was the immediate problem. We instantly bathed her in cold water to cool her down,” Gayle recalls.

”It wasn’t until we had a closer look that we noticed she had severe pain in her left front leg. That’s when we discovered that live maggots had also taken up residence in her thickly matted coat!”

A bucket full-to-the-brim with Eydie’s matted coat and grass seeds.

Weekly surgeries to slowly bring Eydie back to health

Beyond that horrible discovery, Eydie also had a series of health problems, including severe dermatitis, and showed signs of the beginnings of kidney failure.

“That first day we spent four hours with Eydie under anaesthetic trying to get the majority of the matted hair and grass seeds off – the poor thing had holes left in her skin,” says Gayle.

Having to then undergo weekly surgeries for nearly two months to remove all the grass seeds, poor Eydie must have been in so much pain. But it wouldn’t be this way forever.

Eydie during treatment at RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter.

A temporary foster home turns into long-term love for Eydie

When RSPCA Lonsdale volunteer Keith spent his Sundays walking Eydie during her treatment, he saw something special in the affectionate Cocker Spaniel-cross.

Endeared by her sweet nature and concerned for her future, he fostered her for a month while the poor pup had weekly surgery to remove all the grass seeds.

Grateful Eydie having cuddles with her adopted owner Keith.
Grateful Eydie having cuddles with her adopted owner Keith.

It wasn’t long before this ‘foster fail’ turned into adoption and Eydie found a permanent home with kind-hearted Keith and his wife Margaret at Bellevue Heights.

“When I first met Eydie, she was a very quiet dog who didn’t seem to have a lot of energy. I think she was just a bit run-down,” Keith recalls. “We wanted to make sure she had somewhere nice to go for her retirement years. She’s a lovely dog.”

While staff at RSPCA South Australia had named this senior pup Edith, Keith and Margaret opted to shorten this to Eydie. “We thought Edith sounded like someone’s maiden aunt,” Keith jokes.

Eydie and Keith’s wife Margaret napping together.
Eydie and Keith’s wife Margaret napping together.

High spirits and plenty of friends for this hearing-impaired pup

Keith and Margaret have noticed that elderly Eydie is a touch deaf, but that definitely doesn’t lower her spirits. Sniffing anything and everything, this once-stray pup is naturally curious and not afraid to demand a good feed.

“She is somewhat food obsessed,” Keith says. “We have to keep it under control for her weight.”

Aw, Eydie … who can blame her?

Who could say no to that face?
Who could say no to that face?

In addition to food, Eydie has an appetite for companionship with fellow creatures, having settled in quickly with Keith’s other animals – most of whom are fellow RSPCA South Australia adoptees.

“They all mill around together. Really, they ‘tolerate’ each other very nicely!” Keith says.

Eydie co-existing peacefully with Milky the cat – another of Keith and Margaret’s RSPCA South Australia adoptees.
Eydie co-existing peacefully with Milky the cat – another of Keith and Margaret’s RSPCA South Australia adoptees.

After all she’s been through, the loving Cocker Spaniel-cross still maintains a friendly attitude – which is no surprise given how good-natured she’s been from the very beginning, says RSPCA vet Gayle.

“When Eydie was in our care, we actually used her to test how well new dogs could get along with other animals – she just had such a beautiful nature and was so easy to get along with!”

We’re so glad this beautiful pup found a forever home with one of our volunteers. If you’re considering opening your heart and home to a rescued animal, head over here to see all our animals currently available for adoption.

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One thought on “Elderly Eydie: from wounded stray with heatstroke to long-term love with foster parents”

  1. Robyn Pine

    Keith, Margaret and Eydie – you trio of absolute superstars!! Eydie couldn’t have found a better home – and doesn’t she know it – just look at that happy face!

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