Today was a beautiful day! We tried to take the dogs for a walk, but Haans didn't do very well. He hates the feeling of being a leash and whenever we try to lead him to walk he just yanks on the leash and refuses to move. When we did coax him to walk a little, he just turned in circles. So we had to take him back to the yard, and we took Luna for a walk down to the boat docks at the lake. She went into the lake for the first time, and I think she liked it! She was a little scared at first, but she literally RAN straight in. She didn't know that it got deeper, and she ended up going out far enough that she had to swim. I don't think she liked that, because she turned right around and came back.
On another note, we're trying to help Haans with his nystagmus. We think that his nystagmus has a lot to do with his circling. Note only do his eyes shift constantly, he has a lazy eye. So, while one may be looking straight, the other is off to the side, which makes him very dizzy because both eyes are also constantly moving from side to side. We think that maybe he is circling because he just can't see straight. We believe that if we can help him to correct it a bit, maybe he wouldn't be so disoriented all the time.
Kyle came up with the idea to make a patch for him, so that we can cover one eye and see if he maneuvers better. His left eye is the lazy eye, so Kyle made an eye patch and covered it up, and he seemed to be doing so much better! I'm not sure if he seemed to be doing so well because we wanted him to, or if he could just see straight for a change. We're going to continue doing this to see if anything changes. We're going to switch eyes so we can observe how he acts with both eyes, but once we find out which eye is the better one, we'll cover the better one so he is forced to use the bad one. The more he uses the bad eye, the stronger it will get, and hopefully we can (at least a little bit) correct his problem. We'll probably do both eyes eventually, but we'll start with the bad eye first.
Anyway, Kyle got very creative with the eye patch, and we got some great pictures, so I thought I'd share them. :) He really hated it and constantly tried to get it off. We have to find a better way to make sure it stays on. It only took him about two hours to get the eye patch off.
He really hated it
Haans the pirate
He almost got it off.
More pictures from a visit with Ayla
Kyle's dad loves when Haans stops by
watching the neighborhood
Exciting news! We have been tirelessly working with Haans, trying to get him potty trained. We were told it's not possible but he's done so much better than his doctors ever thought he would to begin with, so we still think it's worth a shot. Two days ago, we noticed Haans scratching and biting at the door, and we started to watch what he did before and after he scratched the door. Sometimes he would scratch at the door after he peed, and sometimes he would scratch immediately before he peed. So, as soon as he looked like he was even thinking about going near the door, we would run over and open it. Luna would run out the door, and he would follow after her. After doing this about half a dozen times, he peed as soon as he got outside. We wanted to make sure it wasn't just a coincidence so we waited to see if it would happen again, and it did! Since two days ago, he's probably scratched to go out (and peed) 7 or 8 times. This really is a huge deal for us, because this is the ONLY thing that we couldn't handle with Haans. It's the only thing we wanted to change. He still has accidents in the house, but we're on our way!! I'm so proud of him :)
Laid right next to me in the grass
Sorry that I haven't posted anything in a while. My grandma has been in the hospital and she's very sick. I haven't even logged onto this website in over two weeks.
If everything works out we want to get Haans the second opinion at Cornell. As of right now, I'm kind of in a transition between jobs. Once I get this other job I'll be able to spend more time with my family, so I'll be able to do a lot more. We'll probably be taking him around the time I settle in. He's not growing too much more, but his appetite is just as big. He's been playing with his sister a lot more, and spending a lot more time outside since the weather is finally getting nicer. He loves the outside! I wish we could take him on walks with us, but I'm not sure that he would like it anyway.
Anyways, I will try to update again soon, and I'll post some more pictures and videos soon.
Haans went to the vet today for his last round of puppy shots. He also got his X-rays to see what was up with his abdomen, and it turns out he's very gassy. The vet believes he has a pancreatic insufficiency, which is the inability of the pancreas to produce enough enzymes to properly digest fats and things in his food, which also leads to a build up of gas that can be uncomfortable for him. So, we're going to change food and get him some food that should be easier on his stomach. I'm also going to boil some chicken and rice and add that to his food and see how things go from there.
I'm really impressed with how well Haans did today at the vet. Usually, when we put him up on the table he freaks out, and when his temperature gets taken he SCREAMS. Today, it was just me and Haans (Luna got her shots last week, and Kyle stayed home to finish cutting down a tree) and I was very nervous that I wouldn't be able to keep him under control. But, I carried him in, let him walk around a bit and then he went right to the weighing pad and stayed there! (17.4lbs) He ran into the manager's office to say hello, and then I took him into the exam room. I picked him up and he laid in my lap til the vet came in, and he actually fell asleep. I put him up on the table, and he didn't even fuss! He just pushed his head into my chest and stayed, and when the vet took his temp, he didn't even whimper! His temp was still a little high (about 103), but they think he just gets really worked up when he comes to the vet. So they took him to get his X-rays, and came back for his shots. I put him up on the table one more time, he got his shots (again, without a fuss!) and then sat in my lap while I talked to the vet. He did so, SO well today.
After the vet, I stopped by Kyle's parents house so Haans could play with Ayla. He really loves her, every time he sees her his tail wags like crazy, he runs up to her, paws at her, and lays right down on the ground. He flips over on his back and waves his tummy and paws around in her face. I took some pictures and a video, so I'll have to get them up later when our internet isn't so spotty. He had a great time!
On another note, the benefit went really well! A lot of people showed up, and we had so much support. A good friend of mine, Ben offered to sing for us that night, and everyone had a great time. I'm still waiting on an exact total from the bar owner, but we have about $4,000 total (including the donations from you guys!) so we're about $1,000 away!! I called the vet to see when we could see him to start arranging things for Haans, and now he's telling me that he thinks I should get a second opinion before we move further? He said that he didn't think the shunt would "show the results that we're hoping for" and I told him that we weren't expecting a new puppy or anything, and we don't care if he's just the way he is now for the rest of his life, the only thing we need to do is be able to potty train him. That's it. But he suggested to go to Cornell for the opinion because they're the most experienced in this stuff, but they're also very expensive. At this point, though, we've gotten so close, we're going to do whatever we have to. I'll update soon when we decide what we're going to do.
Haans and Luna were supposed to get their last puppy shots today. Haans was going to go first since it's usually just better for him to get it over with, but when they put him on the table and got a temperature, it was 105.7. She said we would just put him down and do Luna first, and come back to Haans and check him in a little bit. So Luna got her shots, and got her ears cleaned, and she did great!
We talked to the vet about some concerns about Haans' abdomen. We've noticed that he doesn't like his abdomen/private area being touched at all. Even when he gets a bath, I can't get anywhere near his privates or he'll snap at me. So she said she couldn't feel well enough to give us a good answer, but we could get X-rays to make sure everything was ok. So, we got him X-rays today, and they said he was actually pretty good for them! Well, they came back to show us the X-rays on the computer, but it turns out they couldn't see much of anything because his stomach was completely full of food (he ate about half an hour prior to the visit) and his intestines were full. So the X-rays didn't do us any good. And they took his temp again after the X-rays to see if it went down, and it was 106. So the vet said she didn't want to give him his shots today just in case he was sick, so we're going back next week for the shots. We're also going back to get him more X-rays, and this time we'll have him fast so we know they'll have a clear shot.
Other than that, Haans' benefit is on Saturday!! It's so close, and I've been doing so much work for it. I picked up the majority of the raffle baskets today, and they look great. So excited to see how this event goes, thanks you everyone!
So, after how much Luna has been growing, I've been sympathizing with Haans because he hasn't been growing much. He's still so small, and HALF the size of his sister. But, we took a picture of Haans getting a bath last night, and I compared it to the picture of him getting a bath when we first brought him home, and holy crap!! He may still be tiny in comparison to his sister, but he has still grown so much! After seeing the pictures, I can't believe he was ever THAT tiny. Ahh, our little boy
Look at how much he's grown!
And here's another one of Haans mid-stride. I thought this one was really cute.
Haans got a bath today, and he did so well! He groaned a grunted a couple times, but eventually gave up and took it. After he was all done he just laid in the sink, so I wrapped him in a towel and snapped a picture. Once I got him out of the sink, he cuddled for quite a while!! We used to cuddle every single night for the first month and a half that we had him, but he doesn't seem to like to cuddle much anymore. But, I take what I can get, and tonight was wonderful :) There's a little more than a week til the benefit, and I'm so excited. I wish I could take him so everyone could meet him, they would fall in love with him, but I'm just going to have to make a poster instead. Anyway, here's the pictures I took of Haans, enjoy!
All soaped up
laying down after a very stressful bath
Today is beautiful! Besides the fact that there's mud EVERYWHERE. We gave the pups a bath last night, and Luna is already filthy. Haans has been going out much more now that it's not frigid cold, and I think he really likes it! We've been working and working with him on potty training, and we're still not there but it's slowly progressing. Luna is now helping him get in and outside. When it's time to go out she'll run over to him, paw at him and make him chase her... right out the door! Same thing when it comes time to come back inside! She's herding him outside and inside, so cute!
Haans is growing more, too! More so in the tummy area. He's getting round! I'm sure his super-fluffy puppy fur adds to his rotund appearance, but it's DEFINITELY not just his fur. It's great that he's growing, but he's not getting much longer... just fatter. Luna is very long and lean, so it's not their diet. I'm sure it also has to do with the fact that Luna goes outside and runs around alot. Haans will go outside, but he kinda just circles. Unless he's chasing Luna, he mostly just stays in one spot. Not for long, hopefully; we're working on getting him to focus on things more. The other night, we were rolling a ball in front of him and he pounced on it! I'm really hoping this benefit helps us reach our goal so we can get him his surgery as soon as possible. I want to get him on the road to recovery asap. I'd love to be able to take him to the lake with Luna and go swimming in the summer! He's so amazing, he's such a special boy.
Sorry I haven't updated anything in a while, I've been really sick for over a week. I haven't even bothered to get on the computer. I'm starting to feel better today, though, and have managed to finish the fliers for Haans' benefit. Luna and Haans are both doing well, Haans is going outside a lot more now that it isn't so darn cold. They got their third round of puppy shots last Thursday, and are going for their final shots in two weeks.
Here's the flier for the benefit. Also, I don't believe those videos worked last time, I'll try to post them again now.
I finally got the videos to finish uploading! Now I'm trying to figure out how to post them to here. Let me know if this works!
Post by Amber Kidd.
Post by Amber Kidd.
I can only post three pictures per update message, so here's another three pictures!
We took the pups to get their rabies vaccine today. Luna is now 27.8 pounds and Haans is 13.4 pounds! He's still half her size but they are BOTH growing :) I love how every time we go out we get compliments from everyone on how beautiful they are, particularly Haans. They are going back next Thursday to get their third round of puppy shots. I was a little disappointed to hear that we will have to wait until their fourth round of shots to go for walks. We have woods behind our house and we really wanted to take them to look around, but there's still four more weeks left to wait!
I took some more pictures of them last night. I have some video to, but our internet here is so bad that it could take days to upload. So I will have that up once it finishes uploading. Here's some pictures for now...
So many people have shown support for Haans that we've decided to make him his own facebook page! If you have a facebook, please add him and share his page for your friends! Still trying to get the word out as much as possible. Thank you friends
Haans is doing great! He's playing and running around. He's still circling a lot, but we think he may be regaining some of his sight. He's still on prednisone every other day, and omeprazole every day. He got his second puppy shots a week ago, and are going to get his rabies shot this coming Thursday. I really think that if we can manage to get the surgery, he's going to make a remarkable recovery. He's our little miracle :)
More good news! While I was at work Wednesday night, two customers came in to sit at the bar. I had no idea who he was, but we started having a nice conversation about beer. Eventually he introduced himself as the owner to another bar about a half hour away. I asked him about how business was, and he started telling me about how things were going, and mentioned that he did a lot of benefits and stuff. I asked him what kind of stuff goes into a benefit, and he asked why I was interested. I explained to him about Haans and he said he would like to do a benefit for us!! On April 5th, we will be having a benefit at his bar, and I will be making raffle baskets and stuff for everyone. He's also going to see if there is a band or DJ that would be willing to donate their time and play for that night. We still have so much to plan and figure out, but it's so exciting!!
Ironically, they were also talking about how they weren't supposed to even be there, and they ended up just stopping by on a whim. And I told them how glad I was that they did stop in and that I got to meet them. So many people are fighting for this little guy, thank you so much!
Here is the video we've been working on. My husband edited it and put everything together. We brought our 7 yo. shepherd over the other day, and for the first time we saw Haans REALLY play. He ran around, pounced on Ayla, pawed at her and barked like crazy. It was incredible. We've never seen him play like that! Anyway, here it is! And please, excuse the mess on the floor. At this point, Haans is impossible to potty train, and when Ayla came over he got really excited and peed everywhere. That's why there is paper towels on the floor. Enjoy!!
I am completely overwhelmed by the support that everyone has shown us. Just to know that there's other people out there who want Haans to get better, it makes me so grateful. I just wanted to say thank you for everything, so that every single one of you know how appreciated you really are. Thank you, again
We were supposed to be taking Haans to the vet again today for another check up, but the snow storm that we got closed down the vet's office, so our visit is postponed. We're hoping to find out why he's been so lethargic. He's also been crying when he eats, but we think it's because he's still teething. He doesn't have the natural instinct to chew on toys and other things to teethe, so the only time he really chews is on his food. We've been getting him some more chew toys and trying to encourage him to chew on them, but he just doesn't want to. So, hopefully that's why he's crying when he eats. Otherwise, he needs his second round of vaccines and just a general check up.
After he sees the normal vet, we have to make an appointment with his neurologist again to sit down and talk about his options. We have to talk about the risks involved in the surgery, possible outcomes, recovery, etc. He said something briefly about his concern for aggression, but I don't know what he meant by that? He said he'd rather talk about it in person, so we'll discuss it when we see him. I can't imagine him being aggressive though. For how much he's been through, procedures and tests, let alone his condition, he's been such a sweet and gentle soul.
We'll keep you updated when we know more! Thanks so much everyone for giving him the chance to get his treatment!!
Here's some more pictures of Haans and Luna. The video is on it's way!
Ive been taking pictures and videos of Haans. Im trying to get a video of him up, but hes been pretty lethargic the last few days, so were waiting for him to feel a little better. Were taking him and his sister to the vet again tomorrow for another check up so hopefully all goes well, and ill keep everyone updated. Thank you so much for your help, everyone!
Not good news. Kyle and I decided to get Haans his MRI while we were at the vet on Thursday. We actually had to take out another credit card for him, but we wanted him to get his tests done asap.
Anyway, before he was taken for the MRI, we were talking to the vet about his prognosis. He said Haans' prognosis was "guarded to good" but added that "it could go from good to grave very quickly" though he didn't see that happening. He had to be anesthetized and they told us we should go home, and they would give us a call when he was ready. We went to Kyle's parents house so that Luna could play with our other shepherd Ayla.
While they were playing outside, Kyle got a phone call from the vet. I didn't hear what he was saying, but I could tell by the look on Kyle's face that it wasn't good. It felt like he was on the phone for an hour, and my heart was racing the entire time. But, when he finally got off the phone, he explained that it was the worst case scenario.
The MRI showed that Haans only has about 10% brain function, and that his brain is compressed so badly that it is beginning to hemorrhage out of the back of his skull. The plan was to drain some more fluid from his skull after the MRI to give him more relief, but he said there was no point, because it would just replace itself in a couple days.
It is definitely hydrocephalus, and he said it's the worst case he's ever seen. I completely lost it, I cried for an hour, I couldn't breath. When the vet said that his prognosis could go from "good to grave very quickly," I really never thought it could actually happen. He was doing so well. And now, we're being told he only has two options; treatment or euthanasia. The only thing that could help him right now is a shunt, but that would cost another $5,000. Since we've had him, we've spent $3,000 on vet bills, procedures, medications and tests. But, we can't let him go. We want to be able to say that we tried literally everything we could, that we gave him EVERY chance he could possibly have.
After that phone call, we started to think that we were going to have to put him down. After what the vet told us, it sounded like he was in so much pain. We called him back to ask him what he thought we should do. We asked him if Haans was in pain, and he said that since his thalamus is compressed, Haans thinks he's in pain, so his body is telling him that he's in pain, but the vet doesn't think he's really in pain. We told him that we want to give him every chance that we can, and he said that if we couldn't do the surgery, we should at least try steroids. And if they don't work, then we can honestly say that we've done everything we could. So, we've decided to try one more thing and start him on steroids and see if they help him. We've also started him on an antacid called omeprazole which also slows down the production of cerebral spinal fluid. This way, it will give us a couple weeks to see if we can pull together and find a way to get him the surgery.
Sorry this update took so long, but after everything happened I just couldn't bring myself to sit down and bring this all up again. I needed time, so that I could sit down for a couple hours and just write everything out and say what I needed to say. And it may sound silly, but it is exhausting. We love him so much, and we've only had him for three weeks, but I can't imagine losing him. We can't imagine not having him in our lives, he's our little miracle.
To everyone that has helped us so far, thank you so very much. From the bottom of our hearts, we are so grateful that other people want to see him get better as much as we do. Hopefully, we're going to be able to get him his shunt, and he's going to get better and be a happy, healthy dog.
So when Kyle, Haans, Luna and I were at the Clarks Summit VREC last Thursday, we had an ultrasound and aspirate done. They removed 2ml in order to test the fluid. Just removing that small amount of fluid must have given him so much relief! He ran in a straight line, and for the first time, we saw him turn to the right (he's only ever turned to the left). He also chased Kyle around the fireplace 4-5 times, and Haans was right on his tail! Today, the vet called back with the results. The fluid in Haans' skull is an aseptic inflammation. There was no evidence of bacteria or cancerous cells (which is GREAT!). The fluid is the product of an inflammatory lesion. We asked him where we should go from here, and he insisted that we need to get the MRI done as soon as possible, but we told him we can't quite do that yet. (We're actually waiting for our tax return, which will help us a little more). However, since we can't do the MRI now, he suggested that we go back weekly so that he can continue to drain the fluid 4ml at a time. Hopefully this will continue to give him relief. Unfortunately, it's possible that the fluid can refill shortly after it's drained, which we're worried is happening. Haans felt great 3-4 days after the procedure, but for the past 2 days he's circling again, and he hasn't been making any right turns. We won't know about whether the fluid is replacing itself until our second or third visit, but if it is we will have to have surgery to remove the source of the fluid. Anyway, we've made an appointment with our vet tomorrow morning so we can start draining more fluid, which should give him some instant relief, until we can get him the MRI. I'll keep everyone updated as to how the visit goes tomorrow, and what the vet says! Thank you everyone for your support, Haans says hello :)
My husband and I recently brought home two German shepherd puppies. Originally, the idea was to get just one puppy, a little girl. However, when we went to pick one out, we fell in love with the little boy. There was something not quite right with him, but no one knew what it was. Kyle and I became very worried about him, and decided that we should bring him home with us. We were worried that if we didn’t take him, no one else would. And if he went to a shelter, he would immediately be put down. So, he came home with us, and we named him Haans.
We thought he was just slow; developmentally stunted. But, once we got him home, we really got the chance to watch him, and we realized that there was a lot more wrong with him than we had previously thought. He walks in circles (always counter-clockwise), and has nystagmus in both eyes (also hard-wired to the left). He seems to be blind, constantly walks like he is drunk, has very poor balance, and is very vocal. Haans couldn’t even find his food and water bowl, and is impossible to potty train. He is also half the size of his sister, Luna, who was about 7.5 pounds (he was 3.3). In fact, he doesn’t even look like a shepherd; his head is very rounded and dome-like, and he has a short stubby snout, unlike the long and narrow face of German shepherds. One of his vets told us that if we said he was a Pomeranian, she wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
We became more and more worried about Haans. The very next morning we called around and tried to get him into a vet’s office. Only one was available, so we packed them up and took them in. The prognosis wasn’t good. The vet told us that he honestly had no idea what was wrong, but usually when something like this happens, the puppies get put down. Needless to say, Kyle and I were not happy with the way the appointment went, so on our next day off, we scheduled another appointment with a different vet in order to get another opinion.
The vets at the second hospital spent plenty of time with us, talking about symptoms, implications, tests and options for Haans. But ultimately, they gave us two options; we could either put Haans down, or we could treat him. Unfortunately, they believed that he had hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) and the treatment for this disorder is a shunt, which drains the excess fluid and stops his brain from swelling more. But, the treatment could cost up to $5,000. Being fresh out of college, Kyle and I are both buried in school loans, and we knew we couldn’t afford a special needs puppy. But, we fell in love with him and we weren’t going to give up on him. They told us they could schedule a consultation with a neurologist and possibly get him an MRI which could cost up to $2,000 (and that's without the surgery!).
So, we have quite the decision to make. We want to give him a chance. He tries so hard to be a normal puppy; he tries to play and run with Luna, and he wags his tail and barks when he gets excited. And if we don’t give him a chance, no one else will. We don’t think it’s fair for him to lose his life just because we don’t have the money. But we also don’t want to put him through all of these procedures and pain just because we are being selfish and can’t handle losing him. Either way, we have decided that (even if he has to be put down) we need to know what his condition is. We wouldn’t be able to live with ourselves if we didn’t know. What if we decided to put him down, and it turned out to be something simple, that could have easily been fixed? I wouldn’t be able to live with myself; we needed to know. So, we made an appointment with the neurologist.
We talked to the neurologist about his symptoms and possible outcomes. He took little Haans with him to do an exam, and when he came back he had some interesting news. He doesn’t think it is hydrocephalus. In fact, what we had previously thought to be a fontanel, he believes to be a puncture wound. He did a very quick ultrasound to see if he could examine the brain underneath the puncture. From what he could see, Haans’ brain was compressed to about 1/3 of the entire capacity of his skull. The rest of the volume was taken up by some kind of fluid. Haans’ brain was being severely compressed and was actually flattened by the pressure of all the fluid in his skull. He believes that the fluid is an abscess, possibly caused by bacteria that could have been introduced when he received the puncture wound. Or, it could just be a large mass on the left side of the brain (which would explain why he always circles to the left). However, he won’t know for sure without an ultrasound, aspirate, and MRI.
If this is an abscess and not hydrocephalus, the treatment could be easier than previously thought. He wouldn’t need a shunt. However, the tests that he needs in order to confirm his diagnosis are going to cost upwards of $5,000, and that’s before he receives any treatment. But, there’s more good news. The vet knows how financially tied we are right now, and really wants to see Haans get better. Apparently, what he’s seen with Haans is very rare and they’d like to study him. They want to put a case study together about him which could benefit both of us. Not only would it help teach people about this condition and possibly help other dogs in the future, but since they’d like to study him they might be willing to discount some of his procedures in order to make it possible for him to receive treatment.
Even though the discounted procedures certainly help to make the financial burden easier to bear, we still can’t afford it. And that’s why we’re submitting this. We need help in order to give Haans the chance that he deserves. If we needed the money for ourselves, we would never ask for it. But, Haans is like our baby. We love him so much, and we want him to get the care that he needs. It wouldn’t be fair if he didn’t. I truly believe that he could be a normal puppy, he just needs help.
We’ve decided to give Haans the ultrasound and aspirate. This way, we could get an estimation as to how big the mass is, and what it consists of (puss, bacteria, fluid, etc.). They’re also going to give him a strong antibiotic to see if maybe it could alleviate some of his symptoms. The doctor said that in order to know 100% what is going on, Haans needs the MRI, but we simply don’t have the funds to do that right now. We’re hoping that if we can get other people to fall in love with him the way that we did, maybe we can all come together and raise enough money to get him the MRI and treatment that he needs. We are believing that Haans is going to get better. He has to. We love him so much, and we’d do anything to help him. If we can get help financially, we have the time and patience and care he needs to get through this. It’s hard to give an estimate as to how much everything is going to cost for Haans, but the estimate of the ultrasound, aspirate, antibiotic, and testing is about $600, and that’s after the vets waived their consultation fees. The doctor gave us another estimate, which includes the MRI and associated tests, which is about $4,000. And he's going to need treatment which could be another $4-5,000. Please, if you have it to spare, help us save our little boy, he means so much to us. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I’m sure Haans would also like to thank you, too.
Amber, Kyle, Luna and Haans