360 pugs rescued since October, 2005
Basil - 11 Year Old male


Basil's Pug Pals
  • Dr. Karyn Jones
  • Marie O'Neill
Basil is Gone to the Rainbow Bridge

Sweet senior foster pug Basil, who was classified in the "Pug Abode" (palliative care), went to the Rainbow Bridge on Monday evening in the arms of his foster mom. He went quickly and peacefully, knowing love right up to his last moments. Basil was diagnosed with cancer in his nose in July and, over the last few months, it moved into his brain. Although, as expected, his symptoms increased in severity and frequency, his foster mom was able to keep him comfortable with medications and lots of loving care. Recently, the disease had progressed to a point where it was significantly interfering with his quality of life and the decision was made to let him go. When the vet saw him, she noticed his pupils were not dilating properly, which suggested that the brain tumour may have been pressing on his ocular nerve. He probably had quite a headache. The vet concurred that sending him to the Bridge was the right and kindest decision for him. The vet is going to do a post-mortem and provide us with more details. Heartfelt appreciation goes to the dedicated foster mom who looked after him so well and willingly, knowing he was un-adoptable and his time with her would not be long. Basil had the best possible life in his last few months and was sent on his way with dignity and love.

Foster Update, October 6, 2012

Following the 'crash' of August 1st, Basil is back to enjoying life thanks to his daily cocktail of 'meds'. He particularly enjoys the increased rations prescribed by the vet to keep his weight up. Here's a first, a vet recommending that a pug gain weight!

The tumour has caused things to be 'free floating' in his 'noggin' so he occasionally gets a bout of head shaking sneezes and a squinty eye. They don't seem to bother him too much and don't last long. What does bother him is when I chase him around with a tissue to clean him up.

Since Basil has been with us, we have discovered that he has narcolepsy/cataplexy. Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder caused by the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Cataplexy is a sudden loss of muscle tone. It may involve all muscles and result in collapse. Essentially, he could be up one minute and drop in his tracks the next.

There are some videos on Youtube that people have taken of dogs that have this condition that are quite interesting. These 'episodes' don't occur when Basil is eating, going for a walk or riding in the car. He does get up and down at night in a 'sleep/wander/drop/repeat' cycle so we ensure that he is gated in the room so this doesn't happen around a flight of stairs. If somebody told me I'd get used to having a dog slide off the couch into a heap on the floor and not wake up I'd have thought they were crazy. I can tell when he's really 'out' when he doesn't respond to food being offered....I once put a piece of cheese in his mouth and he didn't wake up!

Despite all of these challenges, Basil continues to by an extremely affectionate, happy-go-lucky pug with a definite 'joie de vivre'. We are very fortunate to have him in our lives.



Foster Update, August 1, 2012

In the evening of July 29th, Basil started to bleed profusely from both nostrils. The polyp in his left nostril has grown and xrays showed that the separation between the nostrils has been degraded to the point where the inflammation associated with this mass is now affecting both sides. Because of his recent problems recovering from anaesthesia, surgery to debulk or try to remove this mass would be too dangerous and life threatening.

Thankfully, he has responded to steroid and antibiotic treatments that will keep the inflammation and swelling associated with the mass under control for a time. The mass will continue to grow and we will monitor him closely to ensure that he is comfortable and able to breathe without any more difficulty. Basil will now need palliative care including lots of love (and treats).

Basil in his favourite spot, the dirty laundry pile!

Foster Update, July 9, 2012

On June 18th Basil presented for general anesthesia for dental evaluation/treatment and to address the nasal polyp affecting his ability to breathe through his left nostril.

Basil suffers from a severe form of Brachycephalic Syndrome. He has a severely elonged soft palate, stenoitc nares and a very small laryngeal opening. He expteriences apnea (when his breathing actually stops for a substantial amount of time) when sleeping and exhibits respiratory stridor (difficult/loud breathing) with awake.

He was anesthetized after preoxygen with a face mask, was intubated, and his anesthesia was very stable as he was on 100% Oxygen with an endoracheal tube that facilitated the transfer of air to his lungs.

He had severe dental disease and 11 teeth were surgically extracted. The nasal polyp was surgically dubulked with electrocautery, and his ears were examined and treated.

After the surgery, Basil's tube was maintained until he would no longer tolerate its presence and he was extubated. As he was still quite drowsy from the anesthitic, his apnea presented a severe problem. He stopped breathing, respiratory arrest, and required assisted breathing for over 1 and 1/2 hours before he was able to breathe safely again on his own.

The total cost of the veterinary procedures performed to treat and revive Basil was $1,058. The Ajax Animal Hospital donated over $700 in surgical and emergency treatment to ensure Basil's safe recovery.

Introduction, May 30, 2012

'I may have some snow on the roof but still have a lot of fire in the furnace'

Although 11 years old, Basil is definitely young at heart and extremely agile...perhaps there is some mountain goat in him as we have to push in the kitchen chairs or he'll be up checking out dinner on the table.

Basil is extremely friendly and attentive. He gets along with other dogs, cats and children of all ages. It actually took me a day to realize that he was DEAF since he is always under foot and seems to read people well. Did I mention that he likes to ride in the car and walks like a dream on lead?

Basil's former family was heartbroken to give him up but a change in their circumstances made it necessary.