Poorly pooch covered in ‘barnacles’ had ‘one of worst skin infections ever seen’

A horribly abused dog whose skin looked as though it was covered in "bloody barnacles" has made a remarkable recovery and is looking for a new home.

Eight-year-old German Shepherd Saskia was suffering from "one of the worst skin infections the RSPCA has ever seen" when she was rescued nine months ago.

Arriving at Longview Animal Centre in Poulton in April 2020, Saskia weighed just 23kg, had infections in both ears and extremely long, overgrown claws, Lancashire Live reports.

Hannah Kirrane, animal centre manager at RSPCA Blackpool & North Lancs Branch which runs the centre, said: "Saskia had one of the most horrendous skin conditions and infections that we've ever seen.

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"She was missing almost all of her fur down her legs and over her rear end, and her skin was covered in weeping sores and scabs.

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

"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," Hannah added.

"She is 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 is 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 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.

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"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," Hannah added.

"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 is 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."

You can find out more about Saskia on her online profile or contact the branch on [email protected]

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