One day Claudia and Paul Tsachouridis drove us to a plot of land in Thessaloniki (Greece) where we happened to stop to take off our jackets due to the heat despite being still February. Suddenly I noticed a dog in a miserable state, skinny, exhausted and just about able to stand up. It was some mix of German shepherd. His kennel was broken and the dog tied to a one-meter chain. He tried to bark, but only one yelp came out of his mouth, he didn’t even have the strength to bark. I was shocked to see this troubled creature. Apparently he hadn’t eaten in a while or his owners intended to let him starve to death or the owner had died himself. We immediately ran to buy him food and a container for water. Access to the plot, however, was very difficult because the fence was more than 1.60 meters high. After several attempts and after opening a hole in the fence, we finally managed to get access and offered him food and water. From that day on, we would go every morning and night and feed the dog. I also asked some neighbours if anyone knew anything about the owner of the plot, but no one knew anything. We talked to them about getting the animal out of there right away. That same night, we freed him and brought him to our house.
We fed him and prepared a warm corner for him. But two days later we had to return to Germany and we could not take him with us. On the one hand the transfer would be dangerous in his condition and on the other hand he would have to be examined and vaccinated and that was not recommended in his condition. Besides, it would have to be another 21 days after vaccination to cross the border. But a good neighbour was found to keep him at his company, where he hosted about 15 other dogs. Our dog settled in very well there and slowly recovered; was examined by a veterinarian and received the required vaccinations. A short while later we returned to Greece and immediately visited our dog, he was then 6 years old. We finally adopted him and gave him the name Leo. From day one he become a handsome and extremely friendly house dog.
We registered him in Greece at our address there. The Vet examined him and carried out a blood test for Mediterranean diseases. After the tests it was unfortunately revealed that he suffers from Leishmaniosis and Dirofilariasis. For Dirofilariasis the immediate treatment began and for twenty-four hours we were very anxious if our dog would live because in the case of Dirofilariasis there are two types,
Macrofilaria and Microfilaria. If he had an excessive number of the Microfilaria these would create thrombosis in the vessels or he could die.
He was finally cured of Dirofilariasis. But Leishmaniosis is not curable and was on medication such as Allopurinol in Germany and Zylapour in Greece as well as a treatment with Milteforan / Miltefosin (permitted in Southern Europe) and of course a special diet. In this way he had almost no health problems.
At the age of 12 he died, not from Leishmaniosis, but from a stroke. He got up to come to me, but he collapsed and fell into a coma. After a veterinary examination, we
euthanized him. He was always friendly and grateful to us, I think he felt our kindness and that we saved him.