First of all WOW! Jaelyn looks fab-u-lous! All of her lesions have dried up, most of her scabs have dropped off, the red welts have packed up and left and (drum roll please ......) her fur is growing back! This is a big first step in her still long road to being a healthy girl. Jaelyn is still on some pretty strong, expensive medications, but they are slowly being decreased. Her weekly exams by Dr. Paterson are still ongoing as well as the medicated baths, however her blood tests to monitor her medication levels have been decreased to once per month. If Jaelyn continues on this slow, but steady path of healing without any hiccups along the way, her medication should be at maintenance levels by early 2017.
Jaelyn has been feeling good so her sassy side is blooming. To get your attention she will grab your pant leg and shake you until she gets what she wants. She loves soft, plushy toys to shake and chase and has even convinced her foster brother to play tug with her. Jaelyn still tires easily though so a soft bed or a warm lap are a must. She has her own hot pink, fluffy bed where she sleeps during the day. She is a huge fan of the big bed at night and actually runs to the bedroom and puts her hands up to be lifted into bed.
Because Jaelyn is such a hit at her vet's office, an account has been set up at McCleary Animal Hospital just for Jaelyn. Some of the amazing clients have been asking how to help out and they want to donate to her ongoing medical costs. Shout out to the McCleary Team - staff and clients! Jaelyn is so grateful for their amazing care and wonderful hearts!
Jaelyn has settled nicely into her new foster home. She is one of the happiest wee pugs in the world. Along with being very affectionate and smart, Jaelyn is perfectly house trained, loves to play with stuffed toys, enjoys the company of other dogs and is always willing to cuddle close.
It's no surprise to anyone that Jaelyn's medical conditions are still a work in progress and she has a long road ahead of her. Currently, she sees the vet weekly for blood work and a check up. We also have a follow up appointment with the dermatologist in December. In terms of medication, we are slowly changing things up with the hope that Jaelyn will be off of the prednisone soon. An antibiotic did need to be added recently for an infection, but that is clearing up nicely.
Even with all the poking, prodding and pills, Jaelyn is full of life, happiness and sass. She is a real fighter and never complains. She is slowly building up her wardrobe as she gets chilled quickly and we have a little fashionista on our hands now. We will keep you posted on her progress and appreciate everyone's support - it is going to be a long recovery for her indeed.
Jaelyn has been making such good progress that she is able to be moved to a new foster home by mid-October. Unfortunately as soon as the decision was made to move her, she started to develop some red lesions behind her elbow which were biopsied and identified as calcinosis cutis, a condition sometimes caused by the taking of prednisone. We are now weaning her off this medication before moving her to her new foster home. Her late August bloodwork showed elevated white blood cells so she was retested in late September and the results showed improvement. The great news is that the specialist has confirmed there is no evidence of MRSA.
While Jaelyn won't be ready to be adopted for some time, people who are interested should be aware that her condition is chronic but manageable through treatment and she has a normal life expectancy. However, that treatment will be expensive and her new family can expect an estimated $1500 -- $3000 yearly in medical costs, including medication costs of approximately $100-$150/month, bloodwork, biopsies and rechecks with dermatology specialists. This may change over the years and be a lower cost longer term, but she needs owners who are financially able and willing)to commit to her care.
Despite Jaelyn's considerable health challenges, she is a happy, friendly dog who loves people and loves to cuddle. Her main health concern, which will be an ongoing condition, is pemphigus foliaceus - an autoimmune skin disorder. She is currently in remission thanks to high doses of immunosuppressant medication which needs to be tapered off over a period of months. Her skin is now comfortable and she is under the care of a dermatology specialist. The heavy doses of medication suppress her body's ability to fight off infection so she is especially susceptible in places such as dog parks, doggy day-care, and pet-stores. Care must also be taken to keep her from being scratched or bitten by cats, energetic or large dogs and children. She needs to avoid immune-compromising events such as vaccinations and surgery. On August 29th, after the antibiotics are out of her system, she is scheduled to have a test to determine if she is a carrier of MRS (various types). The results will dictate whether or not she can be moved to a foster and ultimately an adoptive home with other pets or susceptible humans.
Jaelyn's recent blood work results show some improvement in anemia and white blood cells. However, her liver values are increasing, probably because of all the medication; hopefully they will improve as her dosages are reduced. Her skin looks good (no more lesions) and her hair is very slowly growing back. The medications have reduced her muscle mass so she appears very bony, hopefully a temporary condition as her meds decrease.
Jaelyn has a luxating lens in her left eye. She is not currently experiencing discomfort, but her vision is markedly reduced. Since she is at risk of glaucoma or a severe corneal ulcer, she may need to have the eye removed. The poor girl also has Grade 4 luxating patella in her right hind leg. She is comfortable walking slowly and doesn't limp, but has trouble going upstairs. Luxating patella increases the risk of a cranial cruciate ligament tear in the knee. She also needs to be spayed at some point in the future. We are hoping to delay surgery for all these conditions until the risk for post-operative infection and delayed healing are reduced.
Jaelyn has no behavioural issues. She is comfortable around other dogs, but does not initiate play. She is not destructive so can be left alone without crating, although she does occasionally have a bowel movement accident if left uncrated. She knows how to sit, but requires basic obedience training. She's good on leash. Overall, she's a very sweet girl.
Jaelyn has been on quite a journey! When we first met her, she was a stray dog dropped off at the local shelter. Suffering from an auto-immune skin disorder (pemphigus foliaceus), she was covered in scabs and sores. Over the past few weeks as her medical condition stabilized, her wonderful personality has emerged. Every morning she greets us at the bottom of the stairs with her entire body wiggling, eager to go outside and for her breakfast. Her favorite pastime is cuddling on the couch with her people or the other dogs in the home -- she gets along very well with other dogs. Sometimes we joke that she is better behaved than our own dogs -- she barely barks, walks well on a leash and never pulls, and she can be left alone without destroying anything or making a mess. She also came to us knowing how to sit and give paw. She is truly a gentle and affectionate well-behaved dog.
Although she is now in remission, it will still be an uphill battle as her autoimmune condition will need life-long management and bumps along the road are inevitable. She is lucky to have the help of a dermatologist overseeing her care and a dedicated group of pug supporters to give her the financial support she needs to recover and have a good quality of life.
Here's Jaelyn who is an approximately 5 year old intact female pug found as a stray. Isn't she adorable? She was processed through the shelter system and has been and will continue to be fostered by a Barrie vet, on behalf of Pugalug effective today. She has a long journey ahead of her healthwise as she has an auto-immune disease which affects her skin, has a corneal ulcer which will require the removal of her left eye and requires spay surgery. She also has mild luxating patellae. Despite all these maladies, she has a very sweet temperament.