Sick Samoyed Gets Doggy Dialysis At CSU

By Kathy Walsh

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A very sick Samoyed is slowly getting better thanks to cutting edge treatments at Colorado State University.

His owners call Grizzly a fighter. He’s been getting costly care for about three weeks now, medicine you don’t hear about for dogs.

Grizzly has become a regular at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at CSU. He looks well, but this dog has been a very sick pup.

Grizzly (credit: CBS)

Grizzly (credit: CBS)

Grizzly (credit: CBS)

Grizzly (credit: CBS)

“Took him out to go to the bathroom and I noticed he was peeing basically black,” said Evan Wollman, Grizzly’s owner.

That was about three weeks ago. Wollman and his fiancé, Erica Lucente Fierstein, rushed to CSU where they learned their dog was dying.

“His body was attacking his own red blood cells,” said Wollman.

Grizzly (credit: CBS)

Grizzly (credit: CBS)

Grizzly (credit: CBS)

Grizzly (credit: CBS)

At the veterinary hospital, the team was able to filter Grizzly’s blood through a process called plasmapheresis. But the dog’s kidneys had shut down and he needed dialysis.

“I was happy to hear that dialysis existed and there was something we can do,” said Lucente Fierstein.

The big dog knows the drill. He easily gets into a crib and waits patiently for a machine to fix his problem. Doggy dialysis seems to be working.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Grizzly (credit: CBS)

Grizzly (credit: CBS)

“We do think that his kidneys are starting to recover,” said veterinarian Dr. Geoff Heffner, Assistant Professor of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine at CSU.

His owners say they’re starting to see the old Grizzly, but getting their pet back has broken the bank. They need $22,000 for medical bills.

“We maxed out our credit cards. We blew through every savings that we had,” said Lucente Fierstein.

Then, they asked for help. Now, dog lovers from across the world have donated through a GoFundMe page, all rooting for Grizzly to make a full recovery.


Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.


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