August 15, 2016 - A LOVING FAREWELL
We have some sad news this month. Our sweet Molly went into liver failure and lost 12 pounds this month. She had no appetite and was growing weaker by the day. When Molly's foster mom fixed a special pot roast to spark her appetite, Molly needed help to stand at her raised feeder long enough to eat. She wouldn't eat at all while resting in her bed. Her liver values were several times the normal range so Molly's vet recommended that we let her go with dignity. This was a difficult decision for all of Molly's caregivers but there was no hope for recovery. We don't know how Molly ended up in the condition she was in when she arrived in rescue but we did everything possible to give our goofy girl a normal life. Thank you for helping us to provide Molly the best possible care. We take comfort in the fact that Molly has been loved by so many for the past several years.
February 2016: After thorough testing, Molly appears to have had a disease in the past that damaged her nervous system and left her with her current debilitations. The good news is that there is no active and ongoing disease or degeneration. The problem with Molly not being able to get up by herself appears to be more strength-related than nerve damage, possibly caused by muscle atrophy. Molly hasn’t wanted to move around because of her dizziness, which is now being controlled with medication. Molly starts physical therapy next month, so we’re hopeful that she will become more mobile soon.
Molly is already becoming more active because she’s curious about what’s going on around her. She’s starting to ask to go outside to see what the other dogs are doing. Molly takes medication three times a day, and she loves taking her pills in cream cheese or peanut butter. Molly will lick your hands when it’s time for her meds, just in case you forget.
Since Molly came to ACES, we’ve never seen her sit like most dogs. So imagine our surprise when Molly started pushing herself up into a sitting position. She may "sit" for up to a minute before sliding back down. Molly’s great joy in life is mealtime and taking her medication with cream cheese or peanut butter. She gets so excited that she bounces up and down with great enthusiasm. Her bouncing may cause her back legs to slide out from under her, but she bounces nonetheless.
Molly is taking baby steps toward a more normal doggy life. We’re hopeful that medication and physical therapy will help her continue to make progress.
Thank you for following Molly's story and supporting her veterinary care.
9/29/15: In the past year, Molly's well-being seemed to decline; she spent most of her time in her bed. We decided to change Molly's circumstances, literally moving her to a new foster home and a new specialist. All of Molly's foster families have taken excellent care of her and she has loved them in return, but this home is smaller and all on one floor. Molly can more easily be where the action is during the day and sleep beside her foster family at night. Molly is happier being with everyone all the time.
Molly's new neurologist believes her issues are related to balance and not pain in her back. While testing for a cause, he also suggested a new medication for dogs with vestibular symptoms. Molly has responded well to the medication. Her foster family notices a definite difference around home-Molly is moving around more! Molly roams around the house occassionally instead of staying in bed. She has learned to use the dog door and uses it mostly to come in rather than go out. The best part is that Molly can sometimes get up all by herself, something that she hasn't been able to do for months. We are so excited for Molly to be feeling better!
9/24/14: Molly was treated for two urinary tract infections in the past couple of months. During a follow-up exam, the vet noticed a mass on Molly’s bladder. This mass was not present on the ultrasound in June so the vet recommended we look at a third ultrasound in several weeks to see if the mass was a result of her infection or if it was a tumor. Unfortunately, the mass was not only there, it was bigger. Molly was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer. At the vet’s recommendation, we will be keeping her comfortable until it’s her time to go. While the ACES Board is saddened by this latest development, we don’t regret helping Molly for the past year. We are thankful that our donors have allowed us to provide Molly with the medical care she has needed. Her foster family will continue to love her and make sure she is not in pain. And, of course, we will provide the continual veterinary care that Molly will need. Molly will be an ACES Safe Haven Setter and you can follow the rest of her story here.
6/28/14: Some of you may have noticed that Molly is no longer on our list of adoptable dogs. About a month ago, Molly had a big setback. She was having trouble getting up on her own, sometimes she would fall out of the blue, and she was obviously in a lot of pain.
We contacted a second neurologist, one that came highly recommended in the area, and scheduled another neurological exam for Molly. It was really difficult for the doctor to examine Molly since she was in such pain, but after 90 minutes of prodding and watching Molly's response, the doctor was thinking that the pain had to be coming from somewhere else other than her back, possibly her muscles or joints. She was also questioning Molly's mental activity. Just watching Molly interact, you can tell she "thinks" differently, but the doctor was wondering if there is something physically going on with Molly's brain.
Since Molly is now symptomatic, we wanted to try and determine the source of her pain. So Molly had another MRI, this time of her full body from head to tail. She also had a chest X-ray and an abdominal ultrasound. The good news is that the doctor found a bulging disc on her tail, which is causing her pain. This pain can be treated with a maintenance dose of Gabapentin, the pain medication that Molly is currently taking. So Molly is back on pain medication three times a day. At this dose, her pain is being managed. Because Molly responds well to the cold laser, we will continue with that therapy for her also.
The doctor also found two other possible issues. The ultrasound showed an enlarged lymph node in her colon so the doctor sent a sample for cytology. The MRI also showed that Molly's cerebrum is smaller than normal. The neurologist will be consulting a specialist in this specific area to determine possible causes for the cerebral atrophy.
As you may guess, all of these procedures have been costly. Molly's neurologist kindly gave us a rescue discount but the latest round of procedures still totaled almost $4,000. We're also waiting for test results to see if anything else is needed. Molly is only four years old, and we really hope to be able to give her every chance to live a normal life. We are thankful that so many supporters are following Molly and rooting for her.
3/23/14: Molly's response to cold laser therapy has been phenomenal! She has had such good results that she has gone from therapy once a week to once a month. In between therapy sessions, Molly holds the positive results so there is no evidence of pain or any clinical signs of neurological issues. Molly is no longer on pain medication. More importantly, Molly is acting like a normal pup! She's out and about with the rest of the family, playing with her foster sister, and exploring the backyard. Molly will probably always need Class IV Laser Therapy for her cervical and lumbar regions, and we may never know the source of her pain and abnormal gait. But, Molly is doing so well that she should be ready to find her forever home soon. Molly's Rescue Angels have helped Molly on her second chance at life. Thank you!
1/26/14: We know some of you are wondering how ACES Molly is faring. Her pain medication is working and she acts like she is feeling better. Her foster parents report that she has even been spotted playing with stuffies and lounging in the dog bed. We are continuing to investigate the source of Molly's pain. She is under the care of her primary care veterinarian, her neurologist and her chiropractic/alternative care veterinarian. Our Molly has a lot of professionals in her court! Molly continues to undergo cold laser therapy. Not only does Molly enjoy the therapy, but it is so good for her. When she is finished, she moves around much more easily and seems to be feeling really good. Molly has cold laser therapy at least once a week at a cost of $55 per treatment. Her therapy is possible due to Molly's Rescue Angels. Thank you for your support and your well wishes!
12/26/13: Molly was a very good patient for her MRI last Thursday. The neurologist spent much more time than normal on Molly's MRI because she wanted to make certain that she explored every possible cause of Molly's pain. The good news is that Molly does not have degenerative lumbosacral stenosis, as preliminarily diagnosed. She doesn't seem to have any disc disease or spinal nerve issues. Molly is also not suffering from a tumor, a bacterial infection or an auto-immune disease. To further rule out any auto-immune response, while Molly was under anesthesia, the neurologist also performed a spinal tap. Molly's cerebrospinal fluid was normal. So, Molly's X-rays, her MRI results and her spinal tap results are all unremarkable. We are grateful to know that Molly does not suffer from any of the issues that most commonly cause pain in the spinal area (disc problems, tumors, bacterial infection or auto-immune response), but we are frustrated that we don't have a definitive answer for the source of Molly's pain or how to fix it. Molly is under the supervised care of a veterinarian as we regulate her pain medication and watch for further symptoms. The ACES Board is very thankful for Molly's Rescue Angels. Your donations allowed us to provide Molly with the specialized testing and veterinary care needed to search for a diagnosis.
12/11/13: Molly's latest trip to the vet resulted in a referral to an orthopedic specialist. Once the specialist looked at her X-rays, Molly was scooted down the hall to the neurologist. On the positive side, the neurologist, the intern and the tech were all there to help Molly. On the negative side, everyone needed to touch her, which is very painful for Molly. Luckily, the neurologist had a bucket of dried liver on hand. Molly forgot all about her pain as she lapped up the liver treats from the intern's hands. The neurologist agrees that Molly most likely has degenerative lumbosacral stenosis and her pinched nerves are the source of her pain and her lameness. In order to definitively diagnose Molly, the neurologist recommended an MRI. The MRI should show if there is disc disease, an auto-immune response, a bacterial infection, or a tumor. Molly's MRI is scheduled for next Thursday, December 19. In the meantime, Molly is now taking two pain medications and her joint supplements. Please keep Molly in your thoughts next Thursday!
11/5/13: Molly's in a Pickle! One of ACES' latest foster girls, Molly, has found herself in a pickle. We wish we could say her problems are as simple and amusing as her finding herself in a trash bucket, but Molly has much, much more going on. Molly is suffering from lumbrosacral stenosis, where her spinal column is narrowed, putting pressure on her spinal cord. As a result, Molly is in severe pain and has trouble walking, getting up, and going to the bathroom. In addition, it seems that she experienced a tear in the ligament of her right knee. Molly is not quite four years old, but her X-rays look like those of a very old dog. Molly is on a slew of medication, including a steroid, muscle relaxer, pain reliever and joint supplement, while the vet determines the next course of action. She is also receiving weekly cold laser therapy and a monthly anti-inflammatory injection. Surgery and physical therapy may also be future possibilities. Molly's foster home is restricting her activity: no stairs, no running or jumping, and no counter-surfing (one of Molly's favorite activities). The best case scenario would be for Molly's spine to heal and for her to live with a program of medication, therapy and/or restricted activity. The worst case would be if Molly's condition doesn't improve and her pain continues or worsens, affecting her mobility and her quality of life. We don't know where Molly's journey will take her, but we are committed to staying with her the entire way. We'll update this web page periodically so you can follow Molly's treatment and progress.
MOLLY'S RESCUE ANGELS
Molly thanks the following individuals for their ongoing monthly support to help meet her medical bills:
Steve, Teri & Miss Sophia Sauer
Chrsten Mancini - "lots of hugs and love from Christen and my Luna, who taught me the great joy that comes from giving a good life to a dog in need"
Linda Watkins in recognition of her rescue setter Spudley
Wayne & Marion Simonsen
Ryan Ural & Tom Mull, from our rescue boy Cooper (ACES Regal)
Suzanne & Dennis Coyle, from Bo (Bailey), an ACES rescue dog
John & Loretta Gordon with Tia (ACES Farrah)
Joni & Carlos Hernandez with ACES Jake and Ruairi
Greg & Michelle White and Winnie (ACES Chi-Chi), in memory of our setter Bailey who passed away in 11/12.
Cindy Brassfield, in memory of Champ
Donna & Ernie Weatherholtz with Eli (ACES Spot)
Louis & Lelia Ford with ACES Linus, Clara and Webster
Bruce & Karen Babbitt, in loving memory of Skye, Gucci, Sophie and Dash. They brought us joy, frustration, and true affection.
Good luck, Molly! Love, the Griffith Family, including Grace (ACES KS Princess, July 2006), Lula & Ruby XO
Carol & Bill Bruml with ACES Willson and Topper
Chris & Donna Rossetti - Please accept this donation in memory of our English Setter Gina. We love and miss you! Hope this helps Setters in need.
Jefferson Strider, in loving memory of Ursula Strider
Amy Tankoos - This is in memory of Emma (adopted in 2005), who died in 2008 from bladder cancer. She was a wonderful companion and I miss her every day.
Aimee James with ACES Biggles, Sara and foster Dudley
Karen & Don Clayton with ACES Dot
Jennifer Wissink, in memory of dogs my family has loved over the years, and is also in honor of my sister, Aimee James, for her passion and dedication to the cause of English Setter rescue.
Ashley and Glenn Mon with Bentley - for Molly, Love Bentley and his parents
Joni DeYoung & Carlos Hernandez
Aimee James, in memory of Rugby Harlow
Lisa & Bob Fulton - sending hugs from Sport, Lily and Kaito