We had to say goodbye to Noah today and we are broken.
From day one, Noah made such a powerful impact on everyone in rescue, as well as followers far and wide. Most of you never met him or had the pleasure, and agony, of seeing him 2-3 times a week. Like so many, his candle burned out way too quickly. For almost five weeks, he blessed us. Though he was eating three meals of high-calorie food daily, he failed to gain any weight and his coat was getting thinner. The past two weeks grew increasingly difficult on him, and in the past week, he was just existing.
Dr. Larsen took five skin plugs and sent them off for biopsy. We received the interim report yesterday. There was an abundance of abnormal cells. They were consulting an oncologist today and doing further examination of the skin samples. But his prognosis was not good and his quality of life was even worse. The past week his skin developed a pungent odor and daily baths did not help. No matter what we found out, he did not have any strength left to continue.
After a lengthy consultation with Dr. Larsen last night, it was decided by the committee that it was time to make a difficult decision. It was most difficult for us, but it meant freedom for him. It meant he would no longer just exist. He could run free! This afternoon, Christi and I went to the vet clinic and spent 30 minutes with him ourselves. Then Dr. Larsen and her staff did what needed to be done, with us holding and rubbing on him the whole time. Dr. Larsen speculates this condition has been working on him for well over a year. But the progress of the disease has now stopped and Noah is free.
And in his honor, and so many others like him, we will continue our mission of saving as many Bulldogs as we can. It is a mission in which we will never be defeated. May God bless you, all our rescue family and may He bless Noah. Thank you all for following and supporting Noah. We were humbled by your amazing compassion and generosity. We must take comfort in knowing Noah felt nothing but love in his final weeks.
Today was anything but quiet…. Meet Noah. After being dumped in the country, Noah wandered around lost. He happened to stagger to a home… and it was the best one to pick.
Noah ended up at the home of a volunteer for Lucky Lab Rescue, and the volunteer knew he needed immediate help. Noah was taken to the emergency vet where he was stabilized. The staff said he was in “extremely poor condition, dehydrated, lethargic and needing immediate care.” When you specialize in Labs, you may not know all the ins-and-outs of Bulldogs. They contacted one of our former adopters, Liz, and the rest is history. Noah is on his way to us via a transport that was arranged in 1 hour from the Wimberly area.
Many thanks to the people who cared enough to help Noah at a moment’s notice: Amy, Claryce, Saydee, Harry, Lindsey, Marie and everyone that dropped what they were doing to help… we appreciate you so much! Please keep Noah in your thoughts and prayers. Noah is young and described to be “as sweet as can be.” He did not deserve the life he was living… he deserves to live and we’ll do all we can to make that happen. Stay strong, Noah.
8/7/18 Update: Noah arrived safely at my house last night. He ate a little supper and rested before bath time. He seems very tired. It was a long day of traveling for him. He is a bigger mess than even I expected, but he seems very loving and happy for everything people are doing to help him. He will go to the vet clinic this morning for a complete work-up.
8/8/18 Update: At the clinic the real fun started. His skin is like thick cowhide and finding a vein was an adventure. But they were able to give him some IV fluids. Dr. Larsen guesses him to be five years old. Even in his emaciated condition he weighs 47 pounds. You may have noticed a huge mass on his rear end. Some have speculated what it is. I discovered in giving him a bath that it is his tail pocket. There is a tail bone inside there! Most of that mass will have to be removed. He appears to have been neutered. His ears are very hard, thick and crusty with inflammation.
Everything about him is a mess. They will scrape him for mites. They were able to draw blood for testing. I was able to collect a stool and urine sample before I left the house. All those results should be back later today. I feel sure he is full of parasites. They gave him another good medicated bath before I left and fed him again. He will be fed three times a day. I bought a bag of puppy food before I left. They like to use it for these dogs, because of the protein and calorie level.
He endured numerous pokes while they were trying to find a good vein, and never flinched or complained. Clear serum would ooze out the hole. Doc thinks he may need a transfusion to build his blood back up. He’s had a lot of IV fluid because he was so dehydrated. He seemed to be doing great, and just before I left he had another mild seizure. Thankfully doc was standing right next to him at the time. At this time we have no idea of the cause. There will need to be further testing once he is stabilized.
Today’s good news is that he did fine overnight and seems to be more energetic this morning. He went out in the yard and walked around a bit. He is just such a sweet boy. And can we have a drum roll!!! HE IS HEARTWORM NEGATIVE!!! He does appear to be hypothyroid, but will be retested in a few weeks once all his other levels return to normal.
8/14/18 Update: I saw Noah yesterday, but he was very lethargic and did not want to get out of his kennel. Doc thinks that is because he is on a pretty powerful antihistamine to help him from scratching and it has left him feeling a little drugged. She has just been letting him rest and recover, but she did start some tests today.
His x-rays show some spondylosis in his spine. The right side of his heart looks slightly enlarged. And he does have a slight heart murmur. The murmur could be the result of everything going on with him the last week. Once his blood values and everything else returns to normal, the murmur might go away. She will reexamine everything next week. In the meantime, she will start with some needed vaccinations, continue with the three feedings a day, the multiple baths a week and encouraging him to get more exercise.
8/28/18 Update: Noah is still not gaining weight. While some of his skin looks a bit better, his head and ears are still bad and keep cracking. Our doc is changing to a different spectrum of shampoo and has done more skin scrapes, but they’re just showing bacteria. If he doesn’t improve soon, we’ll visit the dermatologist. We’re hoping it’s not an auto-immune issue. Many have asked about his bum, which is just excess and inflamed skin. It seems the swelling has diminished some. Once Noah fills out more and is healthier, the doc can remove the excess.