Breed: French Bulldog
Weight: 23 pounds
Kids: Not Tested
Cats: Not Tested
Location: Anna, Texas
This little cutie was only lucky because the breeder needed new bloodlines, so therefore she was sold. She appears is a cream girl who is terrified. She was born on 2/14/19, so she is a Valentines Day girl.
Formerly # 115.
We will be naming her JJ Jones after a nurse who went to work from Dallas To New York.
Welcome to Dog Ranch Rescue JJ
On June 13th JJ was rescued from a puppy mill auction she was born on Valentines Day in 2019 so she is just a little over a year old. JJ is a happy girl, playful and a bit of a fluffy girl. Nothing was out of the ordinary with her. She had her initial exam on June 19th she went to see Dr. Reno for her initial exam, she looked great, had her blood work performed and nothing was out of the ordinary.
She stayed with us at the Ranch and bunked up with a couple other young girls and we never saw any kind of issue with her medically. She was scheduled for her spay on June 30th and when she arrived Dr. Reno always runs a quick in house blood panel on our rescues even though she had blood work done 12 days earlier. That’s when we found her ALT which is a liver enzyme was very high even though it was normal 12 days before. Sometimes this happens from stress but we don’t do surgery on a dog with an elevated ALT so we put her on Denamarin and knew we would retest her again in a month and see if it had come back down.
During this month her new family opted to adopt her with a spay contract of course and bring her in for her spay after a month rechecking her blood. Her adoption date was July 2nd and off she went with her family. On July 8th the family emailed asking if we had seen anything neurologically with her when we had her which of course we hadn’t. On July 17th they email again and said they wanted to return her. We of course took her back and we sent her to Karla and Neal’s house to look for any issues they might see.. Karla sent us several videos that I’m sharing here with JJ appearing to have a twitch and or a tremor. I sent all of those to Dr. Reno and she asked to see her on Monday. She had her for the whole day yesterday and could clearly see the tremors and opted to run a full blood panel on her again which this time came back with all of her blood work normal now.
Dr. Reno spoke with our neurologists and we sent her over to Center for Veterinary Specialities last night to try and get to the bottom of what we were seeing. I spoke with the neurologist this morning and we discussed lots of possibilities, the first one we need to rule out is did she have Distemper at some point in her life living in a mill? Dogs that have survived Distemper many times will develop twitches and spasms even seizures as time goes by. We feel like this is a long shot but we will send off a urine PCR test to take a look.
The other possibility is cerebellum inflammation and that could be caused by lots of things, including meningitis which can only be figured out by doing an MRI and a spinal tap.
She spoke about intention tremors, she spoke about congenital defects that change as a young dog grows, she also explained there are different types of meningitis including some that are auto immune.
The brain is an extremely complicated thing as I’m sure we can all understand. I told them to get her an MRI and a spinal tap which they have completed this afternoon and now we wait for results, if everything comes back normal then we learn what we can from that and look to figure things out from there, does she have idiopathic head tremors? Maybe, why didn’t she have them when she first came in? She was at the Ranch for two weeks and never was this seen.
We will now begin to try and pull the puzzle together on what is going on with this young girl. Hopefully we can solve the issue or at least have a handle on it and she can lead a quality life. If you would like to help with her medical bills we have her hospitalization and medical care at the hospital estimate of 1200 to 2500 and her estimate for an MRI and spinal tap 1900 to 2400 so we could use a little help if you can.
Thoughts and prayers for JJ for answers, and quality of life with a family who will love her regardless of if she has disabilities or not. Brains are scary and I hate neuro issues more than any other kind of medical problem.
So let me fill you in on all we have learned thus far about JJ. As I told you we hospitalized her at Center for Veterinary Specialties with our neurology team working on her.
We decided that an MRI and a spinal tap were in order so that was performed on Tuesday afternoon and yesterday they called me with the results.
It’s important to understand that diagnosing things with the brain is never clear cut, I truly hate the field of neurology because its just so complicated and typically leads to nothing but bad news.
They are still waiting on the PCR test on distemper to come back which takes a few days, the probability of this being distemper is not likely but nonetheless has to be ruled out.
The MRI and the spinal fluid showed inflammation in her brain, the most likely cause of this inflammation is meningitis. What I didn’t know is the majority of the time a dog has meningitis it is auto immune and not bacterial. The problem arises with trying to decipher that and there are apparently a very large array of independent tests on lots and lots of different bacteria that it could be, and with the likelihood that it is auto immune rather than bacterial they opt to hold off on all of the multiples of tests for bacterial meningitis and instead begin treating her for auto immune meningitis.
So that is what we are doing, she will begin on a lower dose of steroids and they will add in cyclosporine. The way she described it is typically the steroids will begin to stop the twitching and even her out, but after about of month of steroids they begin to cause the damage that all of us know steroids to do so then the key is to manage her medication and minimize the steroids and keep going with other medications deemed necessary to try and hopefully send her into remission.
Lots, and lots of unknowns, will JJ respond? will she go into remission? The neurologist said about 2/3rds of them do very well, the other 1/3rd of them don’t.
It was interesting one of the things we discussed is that JJ is never to be vaccinated again in her lifetime, many times dogs with this condition are triggered by a foreign body in their bloodstream and I told her it was very interesting that she didn’t display any of this for the first few weeks of her time with us and I asked did she think maybe this began when she was vaccinated? and she said that could very much be the case.
JJ is a very young girl, just over a year old, she’s a happy girl but she has an unknown future ahead of her, she will stay with foster mom Karla for the next several weeks while we try and see how she handles her medication, see if the twitching stops, and hopefully can see a plan for her. She will require a special adoptive family, someone moving forward knowing exactly what they are getting into, what her future holds or may not hold, she will need to be followed up with a neurologist for the most likely the rest of her days and we will do everything we can for her knowing there is a family out there who is willing to welcome her into their lives. Their is no guarantee in life for any of us for continued good health, and JJ is no exception so we will continue to move forward with her one day at a time.