Diego

Diego has been entered in our 2021 Calendar contest…who new? Support SCGRR and click here to vote for Diego!

Update August 12, 2020:

Great news! After being on his meds for only 2 weeks, Diego’s blood work looks fantastic! His liver enzymes are within normal limits, a bit of elevation in bilirubin but no concern as of now. Next step is to decrease the dosage of the steroid he is taking to a minimal dose.  His body is reacting too! he has gained a smidge of weight (1/10th of a pound – but hey, he is not longer losing), and we have started an elimination diet and he is responding well.

Diego goes back to the vet for another blood test in 4-6 weeks, which will be standard until we determine this minimal dosage. He is such a sweet, happy pup who will hopefully find his forever home soon!

 

Update July 27, 2020:

Diego had his staples removed on 7/17 and his incision looks fabulous! He still needed to sport the cone for an additional week just so he would leave the area alone. Now he is back to the same old Diego, happy camper. 

We received the results of the biopsies of his liver and GI tract.  The good news is that there is no cancer!

Diego’s biopsies of his liver indicate hepatitis with the most common cause being immune mediated disease.  Immune mediated hepatitis means that there is overwhelming inflammation in the liver without an underlying cause (i.e. no infection, etc).  Steroids are the treatment of choice to stop the inflammation from occurring in the liver and essentially stop the attack of Diego’s immune system on his liver.

Biopsies of his stomach and small intestine all point to moderate inflammatory bowel disease. Diego has been suffering from diarrhea since he arrived and even with a 50% increase in food intake has been slowly losing weight. This poor pup is a bag of bones.

We are hopeful that with this course of treatment we will be able to manage the inflammation and examine his diet.  A food allergy may be exacerbating his problem.

The plan for Diego is to start the steroids and continue the liver support supplement.  He has another appointment on August 5th for retest of liver enzymes and exam.

The goal is to find the minimum dosage of steroids that will keep his IBD in check, eliminate his diarrhea, and allow him to put some meat on his bones.  This will take time as there is a standard percentage that medication is decreased.

In the meantime, Diego is enjoying every day with his foster pop and the rest of the family.

If you would like to donate to Diego’s care, select the yellow DONATE NOW button on this page.

 

Diego’s Journey:

Sweet Diego is a Wonder-pup. Well a miracle pup may be more like it as it is a miracle he is walking and running.

Diego hitched a ride from Mexico back in March. We had no idea this little miniature golden had experienced such a traumatic event. Recently, Diego suffered an injury that would have paralyzed most dogs. Our veterinarians and specialists have confirmed that his spine had been severed at the L7 vertebrae and had been left to heal on its own, crushing or severing nerves in his spinal column. According to specialists, this is the type of injury you would see when a dog is run over by a car.  In looking at his x-rays you would not believe a dog with this injury could walk let alone run.

This is what makes Diego a special case. The severing of his spine also irreparably damaged the nerves, specifically the ones that regulate elimination.  Diego is incontinent, both urinary and bowels. The upside is, this is a little guy so the mess is not that big.

We have consulted with neurologists and an orthopedic surgeon and ALL agree ANY surgical intervention to try to remediate his condition would most likely make thing worse, and not worth the risk.

Diego is one happy go lucky pup who has no idea that there is anything different about him.  Sure, he has some mobility issues but he LOVES his walks, and gets in a few each day. 

Diego loves people, is great with other dogs…playful even, and enjoys being around the family.  He is so lucky to be here in the states!

So here we have the cutest, sweetest, 3 year old pup that needs a forever home with a condition that would prevent most families from adopting him. We do not want Diego to be a 100% outside dog.  He needs to be integrated into a family.

We are currently using large pee pads in his crate at night. That has been helpful as Diego ‘leaks’ continually. His bladder does not completely fill and he does not have the muscle tone, more the nerve connection to make himself go…although he still loves to life his leg on a bush to say “Hello!”

His sphincter muscles have also atrophied. When his tummy and brain says, “Time to go pal!” He squats and thinks he is going…but nothing. Then he may bark or sneeze and oops…Surprise! Again, good thing he is a little dog.

We are looking into a higher quality diet for him. We are sure this will help some on the mess side.

Diego does need a bit of a freshen-up each morning ~ a little sponge bath to start each day.  We are currently experimenting with diapers so he can be indoors with the family but this needs to be monitored carefully because dogs that wear diapers long term can be very susceptible to urinary tract infections. Our vet recommended it is best to keep him at his current body weight, a whopping 20 lbs; no jumping off sofa’s beds, out of cars, etc.  We need to keep his spine protected.

Acupuncture and laser therapy have not been ruled out to see if this can help in any way. Right now we are still working through a few medical things. His white blood cell count and liver enzymes are elevated. We will retest at the beginning of May and that will give us our next steps. He still needs to be neutered. All of this can be managed with any of our wonderful rescue vets throughout southern California so there is no reason for him to remain in his temporary foster home any longer. 

What Diego needs right now is a permanent home. While we would love if someone were to step up and adopt him, at this time we are considering him a permanent foster.  A permanent foster home gives Diego’s family the security that SCGRR will pay all medical expenses, supplies, and if dietary restrictions become expensive, we will make sure he receives that as well.  We are looking for that special family that will look beyond his limitations and integrate him into their pack

If you are interested in learning more about Diego and how you can help; wish to become his forever family or learn more about our permanent foster program; wish to donate to Diego’s ongoing care and expenses, please contact rescue.ranger525@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for opening your heart to sweet Diego.

Update July 4, 2020:  Diego is home from the hospital! In true Diego fashion, he charmed the scrubs of the entire vet staff and was the perfect patient.  

Since he was able to eat, tolerate removal of his IV pain medication, and lastly the results of his post surgical labs indicated all was well, everyone thought it was best to take him home and continue his recovery and care.  The hospital has been swamped so by the time he was actually discharged it was late in the evening, and he came out tail-a wagging when he saw his foster pop.

His first night at home went smoothly.  He was a bit upset when he realized his foster dad and Gidget were taking a walk without him, whining like a baby.  Does he realize he has a 5 inch incision? It may not sound that big but Diego is a pint-sized pup so it runs the length of his tummy.

His foster family has started his aftercare. The first three days icing the area for 15 minutes 3 – 4 times a day, then they will switch to warm compresses for another 3 days. In the meantime he is taking his current liver supplement, a couple of antibiotics and pain meds as his Fentanyl patch has worn off.  He is to stay on the antibiotics for 2 weeks, pain meds for as long as needed, and will go in to have his staples removed in 2 weeks.

We should have the results of the histopathology in a week (given the holiday) and will keep you all posted. They took biopsies from his liver and GI tract, and while they were in there, neutered him as well  (shhh – he doesn’t know that part).

Thank you for sending your good vibes for Diego’s recovery and for all of your support!

Update July 2, 2020:  What a trooper! Sweet little Diego underwent surgery today and is now resting in recovery.  So far Diego has seen two neurologists, an internist, had an ultrasound of his liver and been subjected to a lot of tests.  We have exhausted all non invasive diagnostics to determine the cause of his liver and digestive insufficiency, just one more strike against this poor pup. He just pulled through major surgery to obtain liver and GI biopsies to determine further treatment. Due to the sensitive nature of his surgery, aftercare is critical and he will remain hospitalized for a few days.

Update June 29, 2020 :  A lot has gone on in Diego’s world since his initial posting in April. We have added to his entourage of Veterinary specialists a fabulous internist.  Blood work to check some levels that were a little high and to keep tabs on his liver enzymes, which have been all over the place. More tests to check for trace elements (being from Mexico, we had to be sure he didn’t get into anything toxic).  Things appeared to be stabilizing. Diego’s liver enzymes were dropping slowly and almost came into range when they skyrocketed again. An ultrasound of his liver shows nothing of concern. There is a dilation of the urethra at the prostate but not concerning.

Needing to put on a few pounds, his food intake was increased by 50% yet the following recheck weeks later had him losing ½ lb. He has had a few bouts of diarrhea which leads to more questions and possibilities. The next step was more tests.  

The result of his GI panel indicates there could be insufficiency in his small intestine which could be Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or a cancerous process like lymphoma or a fungal infection. 

We have exhausted all non-invasive testing at our disposal to diagnose this poor pup.  A liver biopsy is the next step to try to determine why his liver enzymes are so out of whack and the internist recommends performing biopsies of his GI tract since we are already in there, which we will do.

It will be tricky for Diego. Liver biopsies are usually pretty smooth and we expect no complications there.   Working with the GI tract is a delicate operation as the healing of the intestine must be synchronous with the deterioration of the sutures keeping it closed, otherwise sepsis can occur.  This is why Diego will remain hospitalized for a few days.

We have already had one postponement because of another bout of diarrhea, and now he is slated for surgery on July 2. At that time we will move his bio to the Recovery Room.  Please keep this sweet pup in your thoughts. He is the poster-pup for resilience.

Update July 11, 2020:  Diego is a trooper! He has been the perfect patient, tolerating three days of ice packs for 15 minutes 4x/day; then warm compresses at the same intervals for the following three days. He does not protest when he has to hang out in his crate and because he is so well behaved, he spends time chillin’ on the patio with his foster family.

We should have pathology results sometime next week. Fingers crossed is it something definitive we can treat.

 

Diego’s Bio from April 22, 2020:

Sweet Diego is a Wonder-pup. Well a miracle pup may be more like it as it is a miracle he is walking and running.

Diego hitched a ride from Mexico on 3/30. We had no idea this little miniature golden had experienced such a traumatic event recently. Diego suffered an injury that would have paralyzed most dogs. Our veterinarians and specialists have confirmed that his spine had been severed at the L7 vertebrae and had been left to heal on its own, crushing or severing nerves in his spinal column. According to specialists, this is the type of injury you would see when a dog is run over by a car.  In looking at his x-rays you would not believe a dog with this injury could walk let alone run.

This is what makes Diego a special case. The severing of his spine also irreparably damaged the nerves, specifically the ones that regulate elimination.  Diego is incontinent, both urinary and bowels. The upside is, this is a little guy so the mess is not that big.

We have consulted with neurologists and an orthopedic surgeon and ALL agree ANY surgical intervention to try to remediate his condition would most likely make thing worse, and not worth the risk.

Diego is one happy go lucky pup who has no idea that there is anything different about him.  Sure, he has some mobility issues but he LOVES his walks, and gets in a few each day.

Diego loves people, is great with other dogs…playful even, and enjoys being around the family.  He is so lucky to be here in the states!

So here we have the cutest, sweetest, 3 year old pup that needs a forever home with a condition that would prevent most families from adopting him. We do not want Diego to be a 100% outside dog.  He needs to be integrated into a family.

We are currently using large pee pads in his crate at night. That has been helpful as Diego ‘leaks’ continually. His bladder does not completely fill and he does not have the muscle tone, more the nerve connection to make himself go…although he still loves to life his leg on a bush to say “Hello!”

His sphincter muscles have also atrophied. When his tummy and brain says, “Time to go pal!” He squats and thinks he is going…but nothing. Then he may bark or sneeze and oops…Surprise! Again, good thing he is a little dog.

We are looking into a higher quality diet for him. We are sure this will help some on the mess side. 

Diego does need a bit of a freshen-up each morning ~ a little sponge bath to start each day.  We are currently experimenting with diapers so he can be indoors with the family but this needs to be monitored carefully because dogs that wear diapers long term can be very susceptible to urinary tract infections. Our vet recommended it is best to keep him at his current body weight, a whopping 20 lbs; no jumping off sofa’s beds, out of cars, etc.  We need to keep his spine protected.

Acupuncture and laser therapy have not been ruled out to see if this can help in any way. Right now we are still working through a few medical things. His white blood cell count and liver enzymes are elevated. We will retest at the beginning of May and that will give us our next steps. He still needs to be neutered. All of this can be managed with any of our wonderful rescue vets throughout southern California so there is no reason for him to remain in his temporary foster home any longer. 

What Diego needs right now is a permanent home. While we would love if someone were to step up and adopt him, at this time we are considering him a permanent foster.  A permanent foster home gives Diego’s family the security that SCGRR will pay all medical expenses, supplies, and if dietary restrictions become expensive, we will make sure he receives that as well.  We are looking for that special family that will look beyond his limitations and integrate him into their pack

If you are interested in learning more about Diego and how you can help; wish to become his forever family or learn more about our permanent foster program; wish to donate to Diego’s ongoing care and expenses, please contact rescue.ranger525@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for opening your heart to sweet Diego.

If you are interested in providing a loving home for this sweet pup but have not yet completed a foster application, click here to begin the process. Please make sure you indicate you are interested in Diego!