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Snapple: A Special Dog — A Special Promise

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UPDATE: July 22, 2014

After living in a foster home since July 3rd, Snapple came in this weekend for a recheck appointment. We continue to manage his pain with medication, but Snapple is improving more and more every day. He is using his weaker legs more now that he has more freedom to get around. He has adjusted well to his new home and even has a new friend to show him the ropes. Snapple is living with the same Foster family as one of our Sponsor Pets, Karina. The pair have bonded quite well and Karina has been great at teaching Snapple all about the good life that comes from the generous support of our donors.

June 23, 2014: When North Shore Animal League America was contacted by our friends at New York City Animal Care & Control to see if we could help Snapple, a seven-year old disabled shih tzu, we quickly answered the call. Upon meeting him it was obvious that something was terribly wrong. Snapple could neither walk nor relieve himself on his own. His right side appeared to be paralyzed.

How did this beautiful dog — who had clearly once had a home — wind up abandoned, alone in the streets? How had he managed to survive until that shelter took him in? Why, after all he’d been through, was he even still alive?

And yet, there he was. And despite being in obvious pain, he possessed an undeniable sweetness that showed most clearly in his patience and good temperament.
 
We’ll never be able to answer those haunting questions about Snapple’s past, but we feel strongly that, with your generous support, the right treatment, and plenty of TLC, we will be able to give Snapple a future with a good quality of life.

From the start, our medical team suspected that Snapple was suffering from IVDD, or intervertebral disc disease, a degenerative and generally progressive condition. Unfortunately, an MRI confirmed the diagnosis, revealing significant spinal nerve compression in multiple intervertebral discs in both his neck and his back. After consulting with a neurologist, our team decided that surgery could not help Snapple.

Instead, our doctors pursued aggressive medical treatment, using painkillers, steroids, and muscle relaxants. The goal was to decrease the inflammation and swelling in the discs and reduce pressure on the spinal cord.

We are thrilled to report that the treatment is working and that Snapple has made significant progress. He now has almost full function in his right hind leg and is able to get up and move around. He can urinate and defecate on his own, and though he continues to experience motor dysfunction in his right forelimb, Snapple is no longer in pain.

Although he is improving, Snapple’s prognosis remains guarded. He’ll need to be managed throughout his life and may require more aggressive intervention in the future. But we hope that with proper management and the right home, he’ll live a comfortable life.

And we’ve made a special promise to Snapple: for as long as he lives, we will be there for him, offering medical expertise, fostering, adoption support, and all the care and compassion he’ll ever need.

Because of your generous donations to the Help Me Heal Program, you’ve enabled us to give this little lost dog a comfortable, secure future.

Your gifts make it possible for us to help other dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens like Snapple. We thank you for you continued support.

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