I am not good at building up suspense, though it may seem that way because Tofu’s story now has two posts, which is actually because I could not wait to introduce you to him last week! Stay tuned for Part 3 (spoiler alert!), In Which Tofu is Adopted and Lives Happily Ever After.
Tofu is doing wonderfully. He is happy and loved in his foster home with Gentle Doctor veterinary technician Becky. He is growing stronger every day.
Is he in pain?
To watch him walk on his unsteady little front legs, it may appear that Tofu is in pain. In fact, on the very first day, we had Tofu on pretty strong pain medication and complete rest, not knowing if his front legs hurt or not. Now we know that his legs do not hurt, they just do not work quite right yet. YET! He is not painful, but he does have mobility issues that continue to improve with medicine, acupuncture, time and love.
I have NEVER (as far as I know!) seen a case of neosporosis.
I have NEVER suspected it.
Tofu has it, and he is recovering.
What is neospora?
Neospora is a parasite that causes abortion in cattle.
Warning – the next part is gross! Don’t you wish I always remembered to warn you??
If a dog eats a portion of an infected calf fetus or placenta or raw beef that is infected, he or she can become infected.
Neospora cysts lodge in the brain of the infected dog. Dogs can pass the parasite to cattle through their feces or to unborn pups in utero, but not otherwise directly to other dogs. Adult cattle do not become clinically ill from neospora and cannot pass it directly to other cattle, except to their unborn offspring.
Here is what we suspect happened to Tofu…His mother, living in a rural area of Nebraska, was exposed to neospora through contact with infected cattle. She may or may not be clinically affected. She passed the infection to Tofu, and most likely his littermates, before birth. Tofu did become sick, developing a head tremor and incoordination that made it impossible to eat or drink on his own and maybe even nurse, and also front limb weakness that progressed to complete inability to use his front legs.
We do not know how the other dogs in Tofu’s family are doing, but someone is checking on them.
The first night Tofu was in the care of Gentle Doctor Animal Hospitals, we started him on clindamycin, an antibiotic that is often effective against neospora in dogs.
My Oldest Daughter Amanda and Tofu – Love at First Sight!
Ten days later, when Tofu was well on his way to recovery, we had our answer – YES he had been exposed to neospora in his young life. Everything fell into place, including the very scary seizure he had the night before the conformation of the cause of his illness.
He was home with Becky (thank goodness!) and had a generalized seizure. Seizures are NEVER good in puppies, and while they can be caused by very manageable things (like low blood sugar between meals), they can also be caused by some pretty ominous things. In Tofu’s case, his seizure was almost certainly from his neospora infection.
With this condition, signs, including gait abnormalities and seizures, can continue life-long. Space-occupying brain lesions are never good, even those that can be treated. However, because Tofu is making such amazing progress (and to be 100% honest, mostly because I have a good feeling about him), I completely expect him to make a full recovery. Which is good. Because we love him. And also because he will be BIG! If we can end up with a healthy, completely mobile huge dog, that would be ideal!
Are You a Good Puppy with Naughty Moments or a Naughty Puppy with Good Moments?
Remember last week when I said Tofu is naughty? He is not naughty! That was a direct reference to the one part of his story I could not yet bear to tell you because his other doctor, Dr. Jones, was still so completely mortified that it had happened.
I think that Dr. Jones has recovered, and I hope that she has remembered how very incredible she is, and that these things happen with puppies who eat everything…Neither of us can believe it has not happened before in all of the years she has done acupuncture!
On the very first part of his very first acupuncture appointment, when he was being watched by two veterinary team members at all times, Tofu ATE A NEEDLE!
He snuck a tiny needle right out of his tiny furry paw and laughed while everyone panicked. How fun! There were x-rays and endoscopy and updates to Jackie and around the clock poop watch. He was getting even more attention than ever! He did not think that was possible, but he loved it!
The next morning, without so much as a tummy ache, Tofu pooped out the needle, and we all went back to non-panic mode.
He is not a naughty pup as I claimed he was…he is a good pup with one split second, seemingly-naughty-to-us super-fun-to-him normal puppy behavior of what’s-this-I-will-eat-it-that-was-fun that every puppy has. Thank goodness, it all ended well!
Everyone loves Tofu!
THIS is what made me suspect that everyone loves Tofu…The response to his story has been overwhelming! That face! That recovery! I am so in love with him, as is everyone who meets him or hears about him.
THIS is what confirmed that everyone loves Tofu…Dad asked if he had a home yet. Dad! Even Dad loves him! I mean, of course he does. I got my animal loving ways from my awesome Mom and Dad. But Dad is used to thinking about stray kittens I bring home (who live 18 years)…and tiny, tiny Poodles…well, not so much tiny Poodles, as the one and only amazing Ernie Dog. It’s been DECADES since Mom and Dad thought about a dog as big as a Basset…or bigger!
DOES Tofu have a home?
Tofu has LOTS of adoption offers! He has a foster home right now.
You all have been amazing in your outpouring of support to Taysia Blue Husky & Malamute Rescue and Tofu. Please continue to support this awesome rescue group!
Can you foster?
Can you adopt an adult Husky or Malamute?
Can you support the rescuers?
It is an emotionally and physically and financially exhausting deal to be involved in rescue. “How can I help?” is sometimes the most beautiful thing a rescuer hears.
You are an amazing group of Pet Savers. I have loved to see that shine through in this situation almost as much as I have loved holding this little puppy!
I do not know if Tofu has a forever home yet. Taysia Blue Husky & Malamute Rescue will continue to have up-to-date information on Tofu and his adoption status. And when you call or email, remember to ask, “How can I help?”
Tofu with Gentle Doctor Receptionist Amanda, One of His BFFs!
And if you adopt Tofu, have mercy on us, his veterinary team! We are 100% completely and totally in love with him, and could not bear it if we did not hear once in a while how wonderfully he is doing! I have seen him ONCE this week, and it is breaking my heart! But also, my heart is soaring, knowing he is in an incredible, loving network of capable hands and on the way to a wonderful future. <3
Love you, kiddo.