Will and I walked outside one day to see cop cars at the end of our street, we live in a safe, quiet neighborhood so this was upsetting. Especially considering they were in front of an empty model home. The owners alerted us that a group of teenagers had broken in and vandalized the home so much it needed to be remodeled quite a bit on the inside. Will and I were new home owners, married for a little over a year and battling fertility challenges, we decided it was time to get a dog. Soon, we found the perfect puppy on Craigslist, a St. Bernard Border Collie named Moose. He was just over four months old when Will brought him to see me during my shift at the Palenica Food Lion. He was the happiest puppy and he brought us nothing but the joy and the frustrations most puppies bring.
He graduated puppy obedience school and we felt whole with our 2 cats and him. In a few short years, he would grow up and that would change as our normally happy, healthy, goofy grinning dog would become very ill. He became thin FAST. Moose went from nearly 70lbs to less than 50lbs in just under a month. He stopped eating, began having accidents in the house. vomiting and refused to play. The symptoms were slow, but the progression of his worsening condition seemed to arrive fast and nearly too late.
We brought Moose on Halloween 2011 to Dr. Veling at Palencia Pet Clinic. Tests were ran, since he had so many different symptoms it was really hard to pin point exactly what was wrong. Blood work came back and Dr. Veling called me and told me the possibility of Addison’s Disease.
Addison’s Disease is a rare endocrine disorder that affects the adrenal glads in less than 2% of dogs, even less in male dogs.also present in humans, is a disorder of the endocrine system that occurs when the adrenal glands fail to produce enough hormones for normal function within the body. When the proper levels of these hormones are not produced, the metabolic and electrolyte balance is upset. The disease, which is also known as hypoadrenocorticism, adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism, is fatal if left untreated.
Sure enough, the tests came back and that was what Moose had. Will came home to find me laying in the floor next to my beautiful boy sobbing, I just knew due to the expense of the disease that we would have to make the decision to let him go with dignity and love. Will looked at me and said “As long as the medicine works, we will fight this with every last penny we have.” I began clipping coupons, we both found odd extra jobs to make extra money and never looked back. It has been 4 years of monthly injections and daily doses of prednisone, but our boy is a success story that I share on the Addison’s Facebook page that was handed down to me after a dog named Tink lost her battle with the disease.
After putting Moose on a specific medicine regime, he is back to being a happy, healthy boy with a goofy smile on his face always!
Dr. Veling will often credit me with saving Moose’s life, but I know it is the other way around. Without him and his team (which I am now proud and blessed to be apart of) I shudder to think what might have been. He was patient and kind with not only my Moose, but with me as most of our conversations included me bursting into tears at some point.
The Addison’s Disease in Dogs Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BlessedTink was my saving grace. Tink’s mom became and continues to be a friend of mine that I have never met, but hold dear to my heart. When she gave the news on Tink, I didn’t think I was going to stop crying for her loss. Once she honored me by putting me on as an admin on that page I grew the page from a mere 13 likes to 238 we have today. It is a page that celebrates living with the disease and mourns those we lose to this disease. I spend a lot of time discussing this disease with other dog owners and animal lovers a like. Having Moose, has given me a driven purpose to educate as many people as I can on this disease. My end game is to one day have a charity called The Tinker Moose Foundation that will help people affected by this disease be able to afford the medicine for the life of their dog. Stay tuned for that….once I get an idea in my head, somehow , I make it happen.