Guinness was surrendered to RMGDRI in October of 2010 at 18 months of age due to his previous family not having enough time to dedicate to him.
I picked up Guinness on October 23, 2010 from a family that had a no time for him, and kept him in a mud room. It soon became apparent that he had not been very well socialized or exercised. Guinness was extremely shy and not used to having free roam of the house. He relied heavily on his foster brother, Farley, for confidence and support.
When Guinness came into the rescue, he had been diagnosed by a previous vet with “growing pains” and that it was “something he would outgrow.” We noticed he had limited mobility in his back legs and was extremely unbalanced and will fall easily if not assisted. It was suspected that Guinness had some more serious underlying health issues and a vet appointment was scheduled.
Guinness was seen by Dr. Anderson of Cottonwood Animal hospital on Nov. 4, 2010. He was diagnosed him with Wobbler’s Disease. Wobbler’s is a gradually progressive disease that causes spinal cord compression due to instability of the vertebrae. Dr. Anderson feels that he is not a candidate for surgical repair of his cervical vertebrae, and he was placed on pain medication and prednisone, which would hopefully reduce inflammation and we will see an improvement in his back leg movement.
Guinness has gained confidence with going up and down stairs, but has issues with walking on hard surfaces. He needs a lot of room to negotiate corners and turning inside, the tendons in both front feet were not working, causing him to stand and walk on his tip toes. With his daily walks his feet are starting to stretch out, although he still gets swelling and pain in both. He is learning his basic commands such as sit, wait, and come. He has to walk with a gentle harness to avoid putting any stress on his neck, and the vet recommends only short walks of no more than 15 minutes. He is sweet and kind towards people, gets along with our other dogs and loves attention. When we originally picked him up, he was under weight but is a good eater and should be able to maintain a healthy weight.
A few weeks into treatment, the prednisone does not seem to be helping Guinness as much as they would like, so a referral is being made to a specialist for a further workup.
After seeing the specialist, Guinness was taken off the prednisone and placed on rimadyl to help control his pain. We have also started him on acupuncture with Jessica at Hillside Vet and after his first four visits we noticed a change in his attitude he seemed much happier. He still drags his back leg and he still has good days and bad days when he can do certain things but not others. For example, his back end just gave out going up the stairs the other day and he fell back down. The acupuncture seems to have helped his mobility, but not increased the duration of his activity. He is a very shy and timid boy, but if he has Farley (our failed foster) he is a little more confident. The vets have to do everything to Farley first and then Guinness will let them touch him!
Guinness now goes to acupuncture once a month. He still has good day and bad days, but is an all around happy boy. He is an amazing boy with a huge heart and we love him so much. He is huge part of our family now.
Thank you, Andrea H., for fostering this very special and beautiful boy.