The first photo of Twizzler that Meridian Canine Rescue posted on Facebook was a little shocking — and the followup photo of him after he'd been cleaned up was equally painful to look at.
"We have really never seen anything like this," said Jennifer Ewing, executive director of the local dog rescue group.
The area around the dog's eyes is extremely infected, causing red puffy doughnut rings.
Veterinarians are trying to determine what's causing the inflammation. They're hoping the results of biopsies will help pin down a cause. They think his eyes are still functioning, though the poor pooch can't blink.
Despite all of this, his spirits are good, Ewing said.
"Oh my god, he's so happy. He runs around the yard, and then he's ready to cuddle and get his belly scratched," she said. "He doesn't seem to be letting it affect him."
Twizzler was part of a group of nine dogs brought in from a shelter in Sacramento, California, last Thursday night. He is believed to be about 10 years old, weighs about 20 pounds, and has a wiry black coat. The shelter is unsure about his breed.
Some who saw Twizzler on Facebook assumed that his condition was the result of neglect. Ewing said the family who surrendered him said they could no longer afford his veterinary costs.
Dr. Karlee Hondo-Rust at Treasure Valley Veterinary Hospital is treating the dog, and she's consulting with veterinarians at West Vet, Ewing said. Contributions for Twizzler's medical care are being accepted on Facebook (click here). So far, 31 people have donated $780.
"Every little bit helps," Ewing said.
Meridian Canine Rescue is at 501 E. Scenery Lane, Suite 100, Meridian. Hours are noon to 5 p.m., Thursday to Sunday. E-mail: email@example.com.
Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413