Twister arrived to NEBTR on 4/18/16; He is a 9 yo male that was found stray and ended up at the Kanawha Humane Society in Charleston West VA. He was said to be sweet and loving to all, mellow, neutered, UTD and very thin with some skin/fur issues. But he actually is much sicker with neurological issues that will make him a permanent foster as he is not adoptable.
When he arrived to his foster home, he was skinny, had fleas, worms in his stool, and some hair loss on his back end. We also noticed his very sedate personality and bad teeth. He was very mellow and non reactive but would pace around.
Although the shelter estimated him to be 9 yrs old, we think he is much older, or just in very poor shape. He was very picky about what he would eat so it took some trial and error. The fleas were quickly cleared up with meds and hair started growing back. Next, we wanted to get his teeth taken care of. He had blood work which was ok but they noticed a very slow heart rate so anesthesia was a concern. He had an chest xray, ECG and test done which concluded a slow heart rate due to vagal tone.
He continued his pacing and distant behavior. One day he was not well, very out of it, would not eat and losing balance. His ear was draining fluid and seemed to bother him. We made a trip to the ER which is also a specialty center in Pittsburgh. By that time he perked up but they noted his odd behavior as he paced around the room. They suspected something intra cranial and referred us to neurology.
He had a consult with the neurologist who observed him and did some physical tests. He concluded that he has dull mentation and most likely has a brain tumor or had brain damage at some point in his life. It’s so hard with no history. For diagnosis he would need an MRI which we decided against.
We tried another round of antibiotics and steroids to see if he would respond. We did see some changes which is not really a good sign because tumors can respond to steroids. He had a follow up with the neurologist where he observed the same behaviors. We collectively decided that Twister should remain as a permanent foster.
He will only eat certain things like slow cooked chicken and burgers and continues to lose weight. He recently stopped drinking from a water bowl. He will go stand over it then walk away so we have been giving him water with a syringe which he willingly licks. He has his good and bad days. He is an adorable sweet old man. I hope to make him comfortable for as long as possible.
In the meantime – he has and will incur medical expenses – but we will continue to support him because he needs a chance at living the rest of his life in peace, comfort and love.