Rescuing Tess – Mayhew saves German Shepherd on brink of death

When six-year-old Tess arrived at Mayhew earlier this year, she was in a shocking state.

  • The black and tan German Shepherd was shaking, scared and starving, and she could barely stand.
  • Her body was covered in painful sores and several large patches of fur were missing – including her tail, which was almost stripped bare.
  • Weighing just 19kg, Tess was emaciated and well below the recommended weight of 25-30kg for her age, breed and gender.

Tess was clearly in a critical state, and as soon as Mayhew saw her, their veterinary and kennels teams sprang into action. They took immediate steps to relieve her suffering, and performed swab tests to establish if there were any sinister underlying causes for the inflamed skin and fur loss.

Tess was also given a medicated rinse to help soothe her sores, and was moved into a warm kennel with a sofa and soft blankets to minimise her discomfort.

As she was so desperately thin and malnourished, Mayhew started Tess off on a special diet – feeding her six small meals a day to prevent her stomach being overwhelmed, and so build up her strength gradually.

Tess’s treatment began by having two medicated baths per week to try and alleviate her scratching and soothe her sores, although it soon became clear that these were causing her additional stress. She would tremble with fear, and Mayhew decided for her sake to reduce these baths down to once per week.

After a few weeks, her skin started to improve, and her fur is now beginning to grow back. Tests revealed that nothing alarming was going on medically behind the scenes, and it was therefore concluded that malnutrition was the most likely cause of Tess’s physical ailments.

Happily, Tess’s specially designed diet seems to be doing the trick, and her weight is gradually increasing to a more normal range – after almost seven weeks of eating ‘little and often’, she now weighs a much healthier 26kg.

There is still a while to go before Tess is fully recovered, but Mayhew’s teams are hopeful that she will continue to improve, carefully monitoring her progress, and celebrating every small victory.

Every gram she gains and every patch of fur that grows back is a sign that she will survive the trauma she has been through.

Despite having a shaky start, Tess has started to respond to Mayhew’s dedication, care and attention, and now engages in gentle play and daily walks. They have worked hard to gain Tess’s trust and build up her confidence, and we will continue to stay right by her side during the weeks and months ahead.

Mayhew anticipate that Tess will need them for some time to come, desperately hoping she will eventually be ready to find herself a new loving home, where her trauma can be forgotten.

Until then, Mayhew are reliant on the generosity of their supporters and donors to ensure they can provide the best care for animals just like Tess. Mayhew see cats and dogs that need help every single day, and know they can offer them the love, safety and treatment they need and deserve.

To help Mayhew provide these essential nutrients, surgical equipment, medical and rehabilitation treatments, please visit their website here to donate. You can also find out more about Tess’s progress here and on Mayhew’s social media channels, where you can watch regular video updates and help spread the word about the life changing work they do.

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