A poor pooch was found covered in “weeping sores and scabs” with raw, hard as stone skin “like barnacles” on her backside.
Appalled RSPCA inspectors said German shepherd Saskia had “one of the most horrendous skin conditions and infections that we’ve ever seen” after concerned members of the public raised the alarm about her welfare.
The emaciated canine weighed just 23kg and had extremely overgrown claws – and painful infections in both ears.
She has been left with emotional scars to go with the physical ones following her ordeal which has made her nervous around new people.
Hannah Kirrane, from RSPCA Blackpool & North Lancs Branch, said: “Saskia had one of the most horrendous skin conditions and infections that we’ve ever seen.
“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.”
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The eight-year-old arrived at Longview Animal Centre in Poulton in April 2020 after being rescued by the RSPCA inspectors.
She underwent an intensive programme of treatment, being fed drugs to relieve her pain and antibiotics to fight infections.
Medicated baths helped treat her wounds and soother her agony.
“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, described as an “absolute joy”, has amazed her rescuers by making an amazing recovery after nine months in care.
She looks like a completely different dog to the skinny, frightened animal which caused such alarm to people who saw her suffering.
But due to her emotional trauma, staff are looking for an adult-only home for her with confident owners who have experience owning German Shepherds.
“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.”