360 pugs rescued since October, 2005
Nikko: 2002 - 2009

"I was blessed to only have a short time with Nikko. In that time though, he taught me strength. Before coming into me, he had a difficult life with lots of downs and not a lot of ups (Foster Mom Kim was a definite up). With needles twice a day, blindness, constant hunger, and strict dietary requirements he was certainly put through a lot. He bared it all with great courage, but in the end the damage to his pancreas was done and he wasn't getting better despite treatment.

I said goodbye to this sweet little boy on July 6th, 2009, he was only 7 yrs of age. I'll miss you Nikko with all my heart, you were loved by many not just myself. I know you'll keep an eye on us from heaven and we'll fondly think of you often."

Love always, Melissa and pug siblings Chloe, Scarlett, Seamus and Teddy

"We knew Nikko had an uphill battle to climb the second time and he handled it like a real champion. He was a special gentle soul in the words of the Derrydale Animal Hospital staff. He never put up a fight despite all the poking he had to endure while in foster care.

Nikko charmed everyone who had the honour of meeting him. He was sweet and easy going, one of the sweetest fosters I have ever had the pleasure of looking after. His last few short months were spent with one of the kindest and most caring Mom's he could ever have asked for. Melissa went above and beyond anything I ever did. She would stay up and do curves on him just to make sure he was okay. Even I couldn't do that. She did everything that she possibly could have but the damage was done.

Even though Melissa adopted Nikko she knew I still felt like a piece of him was mine and how much I loved that little man. She kept in constant contact with me and let me know what was being done and for that I thank her.

Nikko will be missed by so many other people. I know he's happy now, diabetic free, clear eyed and enjoying all the treats he couldn't have before. He's got some great company with him."


Donations in memory of Nikko:

Kim Walkem
Larry St. Aubin
Cindy Victor
Simone Norman
Jane McGillivray
Blanche Axton

Nikko has found his Pug Angel (and she has found him) - April 30

After 7 long months Nikko found his own Florence Nightingale in Melissa. He is now residing in Sudbury and spending his days with former Pugalug Rescue Seamus. He is one very lucky boy and Melissa is one of a kind.

And a BIG pug slurp thank you goes out to foster mom Kim for all the love and care she took with Nikko over the years. Nikko would certainly not be around if not for the work that Kim did to bring him to a healthy happy state.


Foster Update - Jan 15

Poor Nikko has been through a lot in 4 months. He had a mast cell tumour removed that was caught early. It was a grade one with clean margins.

Unfortunately his bloodwork is still not where it should be. He went for another serum fructosamine test and it didn't come back as well as expected. We still need an excellent reading and this last test was actually worse than the previous one. He was in the high good range, almost at the excellent and now is only in the fair range again. His glucose reading was also high.

His insulin has once again been increased to 14 units, 7 units twice a day. He will go back and spend the day at the vet on Wednesday and get yet another curve done.

On a good note, he is now up to 9 kilograms from the 8 kilograms he was when he came back into rescue. He's slowly getting some meat back on his bones.

Foster Mom Kim

Foster Update - Dec 3

Glucose was at a good level at 1:30. Serum fructosamine I will know about on Saturday when Dr. Goodman phones me. He weighed in at 8.5, he was 8.6 on the day of surgery but it could be him not sitting still long enough since I had carrots in my pocket and he knew that.

Results of the lump aren't back yet but we're hoping they will be by Saturday when she calls me. With that said, she doesn't need to see him for bloodwork for a few months so he's good to just relax over the holidays. He's looking so much better and Dr. Goodman said she could tell just by looking at him he's on the right track. His body is reacting the way she hoped and the way it should.

Foster Mom Kim

Foster Update - Nov 15

Nikko went on Wednesday the 12th to have his blood glucouse checked and a serum fructosamine. He is still a bit in the high range with his glucose reading but no longer in the dangerous range so that's good news.

Serum fructosamine results show he is in the good range also so he is somewhat controlled. Good is between 400 to 500 and Nikko is at 459. He is once again having his insulin adjusted so he will be getting 6 units in the morning and 5 units at night.

The goal is to get him into the excellent range which is 300 to 400. A drop of 50 points would be perfect. He will get the 6 & 5 units starting immediately and in 3 weeks will go for another blood glucose and serum fructosamine test.

He is otherwise adjusting very well and has settled right in. He's figured out that if he goes into the kitchen with my daughter he's sure to get a carrot or piece of fruit if he sits nice.

Nikko & Wednesday share the dog bed

Nikko Returns - October 9, 2008

Due too unforeseen circumstances and through no fault of his own, Nikko has returned to rescue. He is currently seeing the vet on a weekly basis to get his diabetes under control. He continues to be a really sweet boy and co-operates willingly with the vet.

Foster Update - October 1, 2007

Nikko was scheduled for a home visit/adoption. However due to unforseen family circumstances the adoption could not be completed. Here is an update on Nikko from his foster mom:

"Nikko went to the vet Wednesday for a glucose reading and another serum fructosamine test. He is doing very, very well. Glucose reading at 5:00 was 5.8 which the vet said was around where it should be. Serum fructosamine test again came back as 413, the second excellent result. He continues to maintain his weight also and very much under control at this time. He will remain on his 6 units of insulin twice a day.

He has really come out of his shell in the last few weeks. When he arrived I was pretty certain Nikko had been an only in his previous home. He was a bit of a loner and if someone (by that I mean Percy) got into his bed he would find a spot on the floor by himself. Despite the numerous dog beds, Nikko just wasn't comfortable sharing. He now gladly climbs into whatever bed is closest.

Even Hans the cat has taken to Nikko. Hans is pretty aloof and doesn't bother with the dogs other than to give them a little tap on the butt every once in a while. He has found a friend in Nikko and rubs up against him. Nikko still isn't sure if it's okay to befriend a cat or not.

Adopter Requirements for Nikko

Nikko will need a home that has a good vet that is willing to keep him regulated. He will need to be kept on a very strict feeding schedule. Nikko NEEDS to be fed at 7:00 in the morning and 7:00 at night. Each meal has to immediately be followed with 6 units of insulin. To make sure he keeps regulated he will need to remain on the same food he's currently eating. He gets 1/2 a cup of Solid Gold Barking at the Moon twice a day. Diabetic dogs need a high protein, low carb diet.

If he is switched from this food he will be right back at square one so it is VERY important he remain on this food.

Nikko can NOT have regular treats like Milk Bone type cookies regardless of quality. Treats he can have are Benny Bully Liver Treats and raw fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables contain natural sugars where processed treats don't.

He is very good about getting his shots and will come looking for you after he's eaten. Depending on the vet he will require serum fructosamine tests at least twice a year. The approximate cost of diabetic supplies (insulin and syringes) is anywhere from $50.00 to $55.00 a month.

He is a very sweet boy and once he's comfortable loves to sit real close. He is a BIG licker and can and will find any exposed skin. Despite being blind he walks very well on leash and will go to the door and scratch to let you know when he needs to go out.

He is not overly playful but does enjoy chewing on plastic NylaBones. Nikko would be fine as an only or with any less active dog that doesn't expect him to play. He is also very good with the cats here that think they're dogs. He shows no interest at all in them. He is quite happy sleeping in the "big" bed or curling up in his dog bed.

Because the ongoing cost of the insulin, we have put Nikko's adoption fee in the special needs category

His foster mom, Kim, will supply a box of syringes (100) and a month's supply of insulin

Glucose update - August 31

Nikko had another glucose curve test and the vets are quite happy with the results. His glucose curve is weird but nothing they are overly concerned about. He ideally should start high in the morning drop and go back up. His are starting low, going up and dropping down and back up. They said this is quite possibly due to his body adjusting to the the new dose of insulin. Serum fructosamine results came back as excellent. They should be in the 180 to 350 range with 350 being ideal and Nikko's is at 335. Last time when he got the fair his reading was over 500.

He is on 6 units 2 times a day and will be having another serum fructosamine test in 2 weeks. If they still aren't a bit closer to the 350 range we may switch him to 6 units in the morning and 5 units at night.

Vet update - August 27

Nikko went in on Monday for another glucose curve test. It is better than last time, dropped down to 9.6 around 1:30 which is a lot better than last time where it was around 14. They want to do one more blood draw. They are also doing another serum fructosamine, results should be back tomorrow or Wednesday.

Vet update - August 14

Nikko spent a day at the vet in order to have his glucose curve measured. Kim, his foster mom, sent us the following explanation and the details:

"A glucose curve is a plot of the blood glucose level over the course of an entire day. By taking blood samples and measuring blood glucose at 2 hour intervals for 4 to 8 (or even 12) samples during the day it is possible to get an idea of the effect of the administered insulin. Often it is possible to identify a problem such as overadministration of insulin, which results in very low glucose levels part of the day and very high "rebound" levels another part of the day. The more "level" the curve is during the day, the better. This is the best way to fine-tune the insulin levels.

Nikko only needed 4 blood draws done. They monitored his levels until they started to rise again. First thing in the morning he was good (9 a.m.), blood glucose was at 18.6, went down to 15.4 at 11:10, down to 14.3 at 1:30 and started to go back up at 3:55. Last reading was 16.1.

His low of 14.3 should be around the 8-9 mark. They have increased his insulin to 6 units 2x a day and want to do another glucose curve in 2 weeks. His eating and drinking are good, urination normal and activity level is normal."

Foster report - July 28

Took him in for his blood draw for the serum fructosamine test. He's gained a bit of weight, he's now 9.0 kgs, up from 8.8 in the almost 3 weeks he's been here. Not a huge gain but he hasn't lost so it's a sign we're on the right track. Results will be back on Monday. Right now they're keeping him on his 5 units of insulin 2x a day until the results come back and he's now also allowed some treats.

Dr. Goodman said fruits and vegetables won't hurt him, they contain natural sugars. He's now able get the same as everyone else. He can also have Benny Bully liver treats and the occasional marrow bone as well as bully sticks but no treats like milk bone type cookies.

Foster report - July 20

He's doing really, really well. Goes to the door and scratches when he wants out, goes up and down the deck stairs much better now and even jumps up and sits on my knee. He's finally settling in. He enjoys just lounging on the deck, he's not much for playing yet.

He's picked up a bad habit from a couple of mine and will let me know in no uncertain terms that I'm not serving up the food quick enough. Once everyone is done eating he comes right to me to get his insulin shot. He' knows that he gets a bit more food right after and is really good about his shots.

He's also shown an interest in one of Jed's nylabones and will lie down and chew on it. I'm going to call the vet next week and book him in most likely Saturday to get another serum fructosamine test done and also get a weight on him. I can't tell if he's gained or not just by looking at him. I'll know then if he's on the right track.

Foster report - July 10

His first night:

Oh my goodness what a sweetheart this one is!!!

I don't think he was allowed on the furniture, we'd pick him up and he'd jump right back down. He was in and out of his bed (after I had to remove Percy from it, any bed that comes in is fair game to him). He'd settle and when someone moved he was right back up again. I did crate him last night so he would settle, I don't think he slept in the "big" bed. He curled right up and slept until this morning. Once he's a bit more settled we'll give the big bed a try.

He has no interest in the cats and he knows his name and comes when you call him. Went out and did all his business this morning. So far no accidents in the house. He's got no problem with his appetite, ate breakfast in true pug fashion (like he'd NEVER been fed). Sat real good for his insulin shot and treat and is roaming around. He's great going up the deck stairs, real quick but not quite sure yet of going down. He does go down but with caution. Once he's figured them out he'll be fine.

The Vet Visit:

He has PK in both eyes which is not a problem since he is blind from the cataracts brought on by the diabetes. No reason to put him on Optimmune, it wouldn't make a difference. He's lost weight since his last vet visit in March, he was 10.3 and is now 8.8 kgs. Dr. Goodman said that indicates he wasn't as regulated as he should have been. If he was he'd be around the same weight. We are keeping a real close eye on him for signs of increased thirst, frequent urination and lethargy. Should he show signs of becoming lethargic in the middle of the day, I'm to give him something to eat.

Did a heartworm (came back negative) and wellness test and a serum fructosamine as well as a fecal. Results of the tests should be back tomorrow. She'll call me when she gets them. I got her because she's the one that specializes in diabetic animals.

Since we don't know what he was being fed (the old vet records say Beneful) he may need to have his insulin regulated again. The better the diet the better the chance it may be decreased. She's fine with the Barking at the Moon and advised me not to switch him to anything but that. In 3 weeks we need to have the serum fructosamine test done again to see where he's at. If we need to regulate him and get him at the levels he needs to be at he will have to stay on the same food f orever. Any change in diet changes the insulin.

We talked about the glucouse curve test and she doesn't feel he needs it done at this time. Dr. Goodman feels the serum fructosamine test should suffice. Picked up a months supply of insulin and needles. She explained that it is a lifetime commitment that needs to be very closely monitored. The life expectancy of Nikko is not as long a normal pug's would be given the fact he is diabetic at such an early age. Not saying he only has a year or two but he won't have as long a life. Cost of insulin and needles for a month is approxitmately $55.00. It's cheaper to buy it in larger quantities. I didn't get a 3 month supply, but should he be staying for a while I will.

Foster report - July 9

Called my vet and ran over with his records. As far as we can see he was being fed Beneful so no special diet. I guess there are many forms of diabetes, some need special food and insulin and some just insulin. I fed him Barking at the Moon with pumpkin. He will need a complete blood screen done. He's getting 5 units of insulin 2x a day. He eats first then I need to give it to him. It really wasn't as difficult as I thought. Charlene at the shelter showed me how.

His teeth are in great shape from what I can see but I think he's due for all shots and hasn't had his heartworm test done. Apparenty the previous owner is moving out of the country.

He did come with a bed and his bowls, harness and leash. I've gotten kisses and he's sniffed out the roast beef on the counter. Nothing wrong with the boys nose!!!! He's totally blind, his eyes are vacant but not in bad shape.

Nikko - Introduction, July 9

Nikko was surrendered to the Brampton Humane Society by his owner. Nikko has diabetes, which the shelter were not prepared to handle. He would have been euthanized but they asked us if we would take him into rescue. Kim volunteered to pick him up, get the paperwork in order and to foster him (Bless you Kim). He gets an insulin shot twice a day. He is reportedly losing his eyesight.

Sharlene of the the Brampton Humane Society says he adjusted well in the short time he was there.

We will have more on Nikko and pictures, once Kim confers with her vet and gets Nikko settled.