Symone Update

Hello blog-o-sphere.

I have some sad news.

Lady Symone has declined.  Again. More. Too much.

She is having cluster seizures on a regular basis. She has no spunk left. The vet has tried different medication concoctions, and nothing has worked. In fact, her seizures and behaviors have only gotten worse. It is believed that there is something much worse underlying the seizures, but due to her age and lack of funding, the insanely expensive testing can not be done.

To look at her, is to know that she is miserable. She is definitely not herself. She has many bad days, with half of a good day thrown in every now and then.

This is the part of being a pet parent that sucks. A lot. You have to determine when they’ve had enough. You have to determine when trying more meds, and how many meds, is too much. Symone is now taking 8 1/2 pills, twice a day. And she still has the symptoms. So, enough is enough…right?

I don’t have a specific date yet of when we will say goodbye, though it will be within the next few days. I wanted to bring her back home for a couple days, love on her, and spoil her, while she is still able to get relief from the pain meds. She got to eat a cheesburger, fries, and a donut today…hey, a dog on hospice can do what they want…and trust me, this bulldog will love food until…well, you know.

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Goodnight, Friends. 

xoxo

Lady Symone

*Sigh*

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This bulldog. She is not doing so well. As I mentioned before, she has been having head tremors. They happen about every 10 days, and the episode lasts 15 minutes. Then she goes back to her normal spunky self, and all is well. Something has changed though. She had an episode within 4 days of a previous one, and her “personality” has definitely changed. The only way I can describe it…it’s like she has dementia and depression. photo 1 (37)

She sleeps more, and plays less. She doesn’t have patience for the other dogs when they are playing. She randomly gets up and wanders around the house. When I go see what she is doing, she has a very confused glazed look. So, she went to the vet on Thursday, and the techs and vet noticed that she was different too. Dr. M made a potential diagnosis of GME.

Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that leads to the formation of granuloma(s) —  a ball-like collection of immune cells formed when the immune system tries to wall off foreign substances — which can be localized, diffused, or involving multiple locations, such as the brain, spinal cord and surrounding membranes (meninges).

Symptoms:

  • Blindness
  • Drowsiness -check!
  • Circling -wandering? check!
  • Seizures -check!
  • Behavioral changes -check!
  • Weakness of hind limbs (parapresis) -check!
  • Weakness of all four limbs (tetraparesis)
  • Constant head pressing against objects

Dr. M wasn’t positive though, and testing would include a MRI which is thousands of dollars…something the rescue can’t afford. The partner vet at the practice has had a dog die from GME, so Dr. M asked that I bring Symone back again on Friday, for a second opinion.

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So, Symone spent a second day at the vet today. The other vet, Dr. D actually thought Symone was drugged when she first saw her; that’s how sleepy and glazed she looked. She checked Symone out, and thinks that while GME is possible, it could also just be seizures. Now, what is causing those seizures? Brain tumor? Genetics? GME? We really don’t know right now. So their plan is to start her on a very low dose of seizure meds, and wait two weeks (that’s how long it takes the medication to be at a therapeutic level). If I notice a change, and she is getting more like her old self, then it is likely that it is not GME, and she can be managed with the medication. If there is no change, then the changes are not from the seizures. They will then begin to treat her for GME, which includes lots of steroids. There is no cure for GME, and with her age, it’s not a good diagnosis, that’s for sure. So hopefully it is just the seizures, as dogs can live with them for a long time, and medication can manage them, at least for a little while.

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We’ll wait to see how the next two weeks ago, and what the treatment plan is, to decide whether we will continue with looking for a forever home. If it’s seizures that can be managed, then we’ll keep searching for that perfect retirement home! If not, well we’ll deal with that when the time comes. She has a place in my home for as long as she needs it!

So, that’s that. Please keep Lady Symone in your thoughts over the next couple of weeks, and pray for improvements!

Have a great weekend, friends!

xoxo

Fosters, Adoptables, oh my!

Hey yooooo!

I’ve been sort of MIA lately from the blogosphere. Work has been soooo crazy busy, and by the time the work day is done, I have no urge to get back on the computer to blog. I’m even seriously lacking on reading all of my friends’ blogs, which I hate because I really do love reading all of your posts! Soon, some day, hopefully I will get back to reading on a regular basis. Until then fellow bloggers, know that I do follow you on FB (if I know where you are), and I think of you and your fab pups, often!

Anywho, lots of stuff has been going on here. First of all, Tooley has been adopted!! If you remember, last time I posted about her (here), she was being moved to a new foster home. She did great at his house, and was only there about a week when she went to her potential adopter. She hung out with them for a week so they could really get to know each other. All went well, everyone fell in love with each other, and the rest is history!

Happy Tails, Tooley!
Happy Tails, Tooley!

Lady Symone is still hanging out here in her temporary retirement home. She is honestly the easiest foster dog I’ve ever had. I’ve even been leaving her out of her crate when I leave and at night, and she’s perfectly well behaved! She’s had a few people interested, but they haven’t met our requirements. She did have a meet & greet this week. I was really excited about it because the lady had another senior bulldog, so she has bulldog experience and senior experience. Unfortunately though, she works 12 hour shifts a few times a week, and I just don’t think Symone would adjust to that. Her previous owner worked from home, and I work from home. So going from having a person around constantly, and getting to go out whenever she wants, to a setting where some days she would not go out for over 12 hours, would be a huge change. The lady and her dog were very lovely, but just not the right fit for this bulldog. So, Lady Symone is still in search of that perfect retirement home!

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There is also a new foster in the house! Meet Roxy! If you follow me on FB (www.Facebook.com/TailsofaFosterMom) then you already know about her. Roxy was in the Wakulla shelter, and as usual they were over crowded so her time was up. Last Hope Rescue was able to pull her, and I picked her up. She was instant friends with everyone in the house. Even Symone doesn’t mind her, although she doesn’t like when Roxy jumps on her back! Roxy is a large breed puppy, around 5-6 months old. I think she is maybe Rhodesian and Shepherd, maybe Whippet too?! I really have no clue. I DO know that she is FULL of energy, and she’s very sweet! She definitely needs to go to someone who is active, and who will be committed to spending time on obedience training. She’s a smart pup, but very…bouncy! She is great with the kid, but I think she’d be too much for small children, until she gets a little more mature and not so jumpy! Roxy is  a great pup though, and will be a fun addition to any family!

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Life with Roxy=constant movement!
Life with Roxy=constant movement!

Lastly, I got to do my favorite part of rescuing today…participate in a freedom ride! It is so rewarding to really feel like you are a part of a dog’s trip to freedom. This guy was coming from Chipley, a rural very high kill shelter, with little to no exposure to the public. His 7 days were up (yes…7 days, and then they’re shipped out to rescues or put down), and luckily we pulled him just in time. We had a new foster join our team, and this all ended up being perfect timing! Sammy was terrified when I pulled him out of the transport van, but he warmed up to us immediately. He crawled across the back seat, and right into Jayden’s lap, resting his head on his shoulder. It was seriously one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen! His little tail started wagging, he gave Jayden some kisses, and then he fell fast asleep! You could almost see the anxiety and tension being released from his tiny little body. He opened up even more as we were introducing him to his new foster family, and within a few minutes, he was sleeping in a shady spot on their deck. This sweet pup is only 10 weeks old, so he’s going to be a big boy for sure. He is in a great foster home, with a Lab to show him the rules of being a cherished pet! Seriously, do you not just LOVE this sweet little face??

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If you know of anyone looking for a pup who is filled with love and loyalty, large breed, and friggin adorable, send them our way!! LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com or www.Facebook.com/LastHopeRescueFL

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Well that’s about it for things going on around this crazy dog town! I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

xoxo

 

Hound Dogs and Bulldogs

Hello friends!

So, I have some news. Nothing as exciting as adoptions, but news nonetheless!

First things first, Tooley has gone to a new foster home. It is very very rare that I would ever agree to one of my fosters going to a new foster home, but I truly think this will be a great setting for Tooley. I am going out of town for a week for work, so she would have had to go somewhere while I was gone. There is a guy from the doggie daycare that she goes to, who loves her but can’t adopt, and he asked about fostering her. So, the timing couldn’t have been better. Tooley knows him well, so I knew she’d be ok. He also has a gorgeous male bloodhound, who also goes to daycare, so Tooley knows and loves him too! Tooley has blossomed in my home, and come a long way. However, she is still a bit shy around men. Lord knows there’s no men comin’ around here.  This guy is also very knowledgeable about dogs, so he can continue helping Tooley in a safe, patient manner. It will help her become more comfortable around men, she’ll continue learning how to share and be in new settings. Also, he lives in an apartment, so we can officially find out how she does without a yard! I think she will be fine, because she can’t be trusted in a yard without supervision anyway (darn hound nose!). So, I took her over to his house last night, and everything went well. The bloodhound, Iggy, is so stinking cute, and was very happy to have Tooley there! And, if it fails, she will come back to me, but I really don’t think it will. Also, we have had THREE inquiries on her this week! Hopefully one of these will work out, and she’ll have a forever home soon! And the rescue will have a new foster home to use!

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Now on to my other foster pup, Symone. She had another “episode” yesterday. I have done some research, contacted her previous owner, and asked some various experts. It seems that she is having head tremors. Her owner said that she has had them before, only 3-4 times in the couple of years that they had her. I also asked Adopt-a-Bull Rescue, who shared a great article with me, and said that tremors are very common in English Bulldogs. I also asked a vet, who’s opinion I trust whole-heartedly, and he said it sounds like petit mal seizures. Soooo…..I don’t know! I obviously am not a vet. It seems like she is having head tremors, not seizures, because during the episodes she can walk, has no distress, breathes normal, and they last almost 15 minutes exactly. In fact, yesterday she literally fell asleep while having the tremors. Unfortunately, there is not all that much info out there regarding tremors, and the way to diagnose it is by ruling out everything else. Symone is considered a senior, so putting her through all kinds of testing is not recommended. So basically, as I said before, the treatment is to monitor her closely, track when they happen & how often. It is concerning that she’s had two w/in a few weeks, unlike when she was with her adopter. Especially since she has adjusted and settled in so well here. Hopefully she still has a happy future, with no pain, being her silly lovable bulldog self!

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Well, that’s all of the news from this corner of the world! I have to get Symone over to one of our foster’s house, also a wonderful friend of mine, where she will hang for the week that I am gone.

Have a great weekend, friends! 

xoxo

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PS: Don’t forget! Lucy & Oscar are in the Garden & Gun Magazine 2014 Good Dog Photo contest. Please take a moment to click on the links below, and vote for each of them! You can vote every day, if you feel inclined! Thank you!

Lucy: http://bit.ly/1r1iSxX

Oscar: http://bit.ly/1qrnHNc

Sweet Ol’ Gal

So if you follow my Facebook page, you probably know that I had to rush my sweet ol gal, Symone, to the vet this morning. Here’s the story…

I woke up in the morning, and let all four dogs outside, while I prepared their food. They came back in, and had their breakfast while I logged on to work. This is our normal morning routine. Once everyone is done eating, they are allowed out of their kennels. Typically they all want to go back outside again!

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Oscar and Lucy were chasing each other around the yard. Tooley was howling from the deck, pissed because she has to be on a leash (darn hound nose!). Symone mostly stands on the deck, but every so often runs down into the yard…I think it’s to make sure her boyfriend, Oscar, isn’t being harmed! Haha!

After about 15 mins, they’ve usually had enough and we head back inside. They all settle down on the cold kitchen floor for the next couple of hours until they get bursts of energy again.

That is when our normal routine differed this morning. I was on the phone, and I glanced back to see where Symone was. She was laying where I could only see her head, and it was shaking. I couldn’t tell at first if she was scratching herself, or what, so I went to check on her. That’s when I noticed that only her head was shaking, uncontrollably. Symone was able to get up and walk. She didn’t seem disoriented or confused, though understandably a bit scared. Thankfully the rescue president, and my good friend, is the person I was on the phone with, and she told me to hang up and film Symone. Best idea ever!

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Because it lasted several minutes, and she was clearly getting stressed, I rushed her to the vet. (She had an appointment for Thursday, so it was just a debate of taking her now vs later.) Of course, once in the car, Symone came back to normal, and stopped shaking. So glad I video taped the episode! I was sad to drop her off, knowing her age, and what the result could be.

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After hours and hours of waiting to hear some news, we finally heard from the vet’s office. They did a full xray, and lab work. Everything was normal! Her bones actually look pretty good, minus some arthritis. Her lab work was great. So, basically this ruled out cancer and/or tumors, for now. The vet feels the episode was a focal seizure, which is why it only affected her head. What is really difficult, is not knowing if this has happened before & we just weren’t told, or if it is new to Symone. The vet has to rule things out, and so she made the educated assumption that this is epilepsy. We can only work with what we know, so that is what we are going with for now. I have to monitor her, keep track of any additional seizures to see how often they do/don’t happen, and we’ll go from there. My sweet ol’ foster girl is home now, resting at my feet.

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Now on to more info that I found out about Symone’s background, and I’d love to hear your opinions on this…apparently there is a local vet who has been breeding English Bulldogs for years. MULTIPLE dogs of this genetic line have had severe health issues over the years. These health issues include too short of a nose making breathing difficult; too short of a palate, making loud breathing and panting more pronounced; and epilepsy. Dogs have died because of being unable to breathe properly. Dogs have died because of these issues that are hereditary and linked directly back to this “family”, and this vet continues to breed them anyway. This makes me sad…angry…disappointed…disgusted.

I do not hate breeders. While it is extremely unfortunate that there are SO many homeless pets in shelters, dying every day due to lack of kennel space, this is generally not the breeder’s fault. It is the fault of the humans who committed to these animals, and them dumped them in shelters. That being said, I do believe there should be restrictions and guidelines for breeders, and there should be some kind of follow up with their dogs that they sell. I could go on and on, and I do know that there ARE some truly caring and responsible breeders out there. The thing that I want to say the most, is that this vet is well aware of the health issues that these dogs are having, so why does he keep doing it? How is this ethical? When you realize that you are directly responsible for a dog’s health issues, because of the genes that you are causing to be reproduced, shouldn’t you stop?? There is NO shortage of English Bulldogs, I assure you. Here are just a few of the rescues specifically for this breed:

Florida English Bulldog Rescue

http://www.adoptabullrescue.com/

http://buddiesthrubullies.tripod.com/

www.floridaenglishbulldogrescue.com

Those are just a few that I saw at a glance, after googling for local bulldog rescues.

So tell me, do you think it is wrong that this “family” continues to be bred? Am I crazy to think that this is unethical? Help me understand!

Thanks for all of the good vibes, prayers, and well wishes that you sent via the FB. I told Symone all about your kind words! 😉

Goodnight, friends!

xoxo

Full of Bull(dog)!

Meet Symone! My newest foster!

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So, she came to Last Hope Rescue a few years ago, after being being used for breeding. Then she was adopted out about two years ago, by a husband & wife couple. Unfortunately the husband very unexpectedly passed away, and Symone was his best buddy. The wife felt that it was too much for her to handle, so she decided to return Symone.

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Well, if you remember my bucket list, having an English Bulldog has always been a dream of mine! Knowing that I will not be tempted to adopt her (because two is the limit for perma-dogs in this home), I begged to foster her, since I knew this might be my only chance of having one! Anywho, she arrived on Sunday, and is settling in just fine. The first two days, she seemed confused, maybe a little sad, and stressed. I mean, who wouldn’t be, given her situation? Her dad died; her mom gave her up; and now she’s in a stranger’s house, with a motley crew of dogs, and a little human. She has handled it very well so far though, and today she seems to be getting more comfortable.

All of the ladies
All of the ladies

Symone is great with Jayden, not phased by him at all. She pretty much just follows either of us around, wherever we are going. She is great with the dogs too! She apparently really loves the male dogs, and since Oscar is the only boy dog around here, she tends to follow him around. With her loud breathing, and bulldog way of playing, she scares him a bit though. So today, I sent Lucy & Tooley off to doggie daycare, and let Symone and Oscar spend the day together. They laid around, relaxed outside, and did a little bit of playing too!

Bulldogs!
Bulldogs!

Symone loves to play with balls (maybe that’s why she likes males…hahahahaaaa!), and you’re lucky if you can get the ball back out of her mouth. She is highly treat motivated, and knows “sit” & “shake”. She also really responds to the name Sysy (sounds like Cici), so perhaps her dad called her that. She really loves to get booty rubs too, so an adopter should be prepared to have a brindle bully butt in their face on a regular basis!

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Symone is about 8-9 years old, so we are going to be extra particular about who she goes to. Of course, we always want to pick the right home for our dogs…but when you have a senior dog, who has already been through so much, it just really motivates you to do all that you can to find THE one, ya know? And until the perfect person comes around, I am giving her lots of hugs, and telling her what a good girl she is!

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As you can see by these pictures, Tooley is still here as well. I thought I might be losing my mind by bringing in a 4th dog, but to be honest, Symone is SO easy. It really has not been that much more work, except for feeding times…and when you’re already feeding three, what’s one more bowl?!

So, if you know anyone with English bulldog experience, and who has another dog looking for a buddy (perhaps a younger male), well tell them to look our way because Symone is single & ready to mingle!

For more pictures and stories of our adventures, follow us at Tails of a Foster Mom!