Brighter diagnosis for 'miracle dog' Meg

Miracle dog Meg's remarkable survival story is looking better and better, with vets saying she likely does not have a heart infection and determining a leg they feared was broken was actually a dislocated joint.

Meg, who was missing, is back home and on the road to recovery. Photo: Craig Baxter
Meg, who was missing, is back home and on the road to recovery. Photo: Craig Baxter

With those pieces of news arriving yesterday, relieved owner Andy Cunningham could begin to hope his dog - who was found on Monday after being missing for five weeks - might make a full recovery.

''She does have a chest infection, though she is on a very severe course of antibiotics, and she is likely to be on that for some time,'' Mr Cunningham, co-chairman of Dunedin Wildlife Hospital, said.

''We need to feed her up, get rid of the infections, and after that the next step is orthopaedic surgery on her legs.''

Meg, a 6-year-old Labrador-huntaway cross, vanished in late January after being involved in a car crash.

Despite extensive searches by armies of volunteers there had been no sightings of Meg - until she was spotted on farmland near Purakaunui on Monday afternoon.

Meg has since been treated at the wildlife hospital on a daily basis, before being taken home at night.

The past two days had been spent feeding Meg intravenous antibiotics and fluids as she was badly emaciated and dehydrated when she was found, having lost half her body weight.

''It will be a tricky piece of surgery on her legs, and we're looking for someone now,'' Mr Cunningham said.

''We think the leg is salvageable . . . she is off morphine now, although she is still on strong painkillers.

''Each day it is beginning to look better.''

Meg was now eating and drinking voluntarily, and most of her bodily functions were normal.

Mr Cunningham had been inundated with offers from well-wishers wanting to help with Meg's veterinary bills.

At least 30 people have offered to make payments.

''To see the way the world is responding to Meg is just incredible,'' Mr Cunningham said.

''I didn't expect this to happen, but it seems to be a story which is touching a lot of hearts.''

Rather than putting the money towards Meg's vet fees, Mr Cunningham has instead asked people to donate to the wildlife hospital, which is treating Meg free of charge.



I think it is really great that Meg has been found and her prognosis is good.

BUT, why is she being treated by the wildlife hospital? More specifically why is she being treated for free. The wildlife hospital is an excellent initiative, however on their web site their reason for being is: "The Wildlife Hospital, Dunedin, is a veterinary facility specialising exclusively in the treatment of New Zealand’s native species."
Treatment of anybodies dog by the hospital seems to be at odds with the hospitals purpose. Recent news has shown the hospital to be very busy and they has been seeking extra volunteers and donations. Neither of these things are likely to occur if the hospital gains a reputation for free veterinary care for select individuals or mates.
A call for others to make donations is one thing, paying your own way at a regular vet is another. Megs recovery is great, the rest has a bad smell about it.

Her owners are part of the founding members of the Wildlife Hospital. Without them we might not even have it. They were also going to donate the reward for Meg to the hospital as the person who found her declined this. I feel so angry with you but am editing what I would like to say out of respect for Meg's incredible owners. In the future please try and inform yourself better before making such inaccurate accusations.

Andy on Facebook has explained the situation with Meg and the wildlife hospital:

" I have written to the Editor of the ODT to clarify as follows:

I do just want to clarify the most recent coverage of Meg’s treatment at The Wildlife Hospital.

Dr Lisa Argilla is a personal friend, and her treatment of Meg is in her own time, and is her way of showing her love for Meg. Alison and I will be paying all costs associated with Meg’s treatment - given that I spend almost all my time trying to raise money for the Hospital to survive I would hardly be doing otherwise.

Meg isn’t an in-patient, when she visits the hospital she stays in a cage in the separate office area rather than the wards where the wildlife are housed.

If we have made any ambiguous comment, it is probably because Alison and I have not had much sleep for the last six weeks!

All the wonderful donations under the reference ‘Meg’ that are being made to the Hospital at the moment are for the benefit of the Hospital and not for Meg’s treatment.

Yours sincerely
Andy Cunningham

So KeithMcC, I hope this clarifies the position. I'm not an online subscriber to the ODT so I can't respond to your comment online"