I am happy to report that adorable Forrest is showing slow but steady improvement since his surgical procedure to put a shunt in to drain fluid from his brain. The first four weeks did not show much improvement at all. He was still walking in circles and did not seem to be aware of his surroundings like a puppy should be. It is only in the last couple of weeks that he has begun to show us the shunt is working and the amount of fluid draining is allowing his body to adapt.
Forrest could not walk in a straight line before the procedure. He could only walk in circles. He can now walk in a straight line for almost six feet which is amazing. It has taken almost two years for Lamb Chop to get to where she could go two feet without falling over. Each puppy is different in their response to the fluid being drained. We thought Lamb Chop was going to be walking within a month of her procedure and in reality, she could not even stand up comfortably for another year.
Hydrocephalus pups are not a one size fits all diagnosis. Some of the puppies we help do not even require surgery. Their bodies absorb the excess fluid, and they continue developing normally. Most of the ones we have are the very severe cases that do require a shunt to be surgically put in. Each case requires an MRI so the Neurologists can see exactly where the fluid is. Only then can a thorough diagnosis be made.
Forrest is also showing other signs of developing normally. He is now showing signs of humping which is something he never did before. Normally this would be very irritating, but we are each delighted by his progress. Humping is about as normal behavior as you can get for a puppy and we are glad to see it. The other thing he is doing is to whine in the morning when he wants someone to come and get him. Each of these behavior issues are things he never did before. The fluid that has drained off his brain is allowing his body to develop more normally which is what we had hoped for.
As cute as Forrest is, he has been a challenge. Dr. Rachel Rice from Carolina Veterinary Specialists has been fostering this sweet boy to give him more of a home life out of the hospital. Whenever he needs to be treated, he is brought back into the Hospital. Dr. Rice and her Family adopted Milton from us. Milton is the perfect puppy to allow Forrest all the time he needs to develop and grow during this transition time. Fingers crossed, she and her Family decide to make this his permanent home.
I think a lot of people gave up on Lamb Chop because his progress was so slow in coming. I think this is the reason, so few donations have come in for sweet Forrest. Any pup with Hydrocephalus has large medical bills right off the bat before surgery even begins because of the MRI scans the neurologists have to have in addition to a battery of tests. On top of that, the cost of the shunt is very expensive. These are the reasons why so few Rescues take on the task of saving the Hydrocephalus pups.
We NEVER turn our backs on them and do everything possible to give them the best possible outcome. Something people don't realize is that a lot of these special pups live long happy lives because of this surgery. They are given the Gift of Life. We have far more successes than we do failures. Failures come in many forms, but the biggest one is infection. This is a life-long problem because the shunt will remain in the puppy during their Lifetime. That is the main reason why we are so particular about anyone that adopts one of these Gentle Souls. We have to make sure an infection anywhere in the body is addressed immediately.
Please, Help Us pay off Forrest's Medical Bills so we can help more puppies like Forrest. Hydrocephalus does not have to be a Death Sentence. Thanks for caring and making his Journey to Heal and find Love, possible.