What initially seemed like a hind leg injury rapidly progressed to four-limb paralysis and high fever. Overnight he went from being a crazy playful puppy to not being able to move his body, only his eyes.
It was scary and sad to watch as we had no idea what to do. We quickly rushed him to a vet on the island where he got fluids, antibiotics, pain meds, and lots of prayers. He stayed there two nights but he was in so much pain that he would shriek when you touched him. He wouldn't eat or drink while he was there but his fever went down. It was recommended to us to euthanize him because his prognosis didn't look good.
When we went to visit Baxter to basically say goodbye, we brought chicken (thinking of course he's not going to eat) but much to our surprise he ate the whole bag. We knew right then and there that we hadn't lost him yet, that he wanted to fight, that he wanted to live. I'm glad we made that choice because now Baxter is thriving but has a long way to go.
The most Amazing veterinarian from Guelph, ON, (who we are so lucky to call our friend and is not only amazing at what she does, but has the biggest heart and never stops giving) was visiting St. Lucia and assisted with his care. We decided it was best if he return to Canada to have some diagnostic tests performed to get a diagnosis for his condition. He flew from the sunny south to the cold north in November. He has had a million tests - full bloodwork, tick testing, and advanced testing for diseases such as Toxoplasmosis, Neospora, Babesia, & Brucellosis (to name a few).
It turns out he had a Neospora infection, which is a protozoan infection that he most likely contracted through his mom. Thankfully, he has recovered from the initial infection, but the damage that was caused has affected his gait (movement) and he requires daily physiotherapy.
The amazing team at Guelph Animal Hospital has graciously taken on his daily physiotherapy care, but he will need to go to the Ontario Veterinary College twice a week for more intense sessions which will include water-treadmill therapy.
His rehabilitation expenses will be thousands of dollars, and it is uncertain how long he will continue to need therapy.
Guelph Animal Hospital has already greatly discounted his medical treatment and is only charging the laboratory fees at cost (thank you thank you thank you!!!). Unfortunately, we aren't able to secure much of a discount on his rehabilitation fees, and on top of that we have to purchase expensive physio equipment so we are still looking at well over $2300 in fees!
We have watched Baxter go from being on the brink of death, fighting for his life, to starting to walk and move again. He has never given up despite having been through so much already.
Please help us get this brave soul the medical attention he needs so he can walk, run, play, and finally have a chance to be a happy puppy again. Any help at all is so appreciated. You can follow his story on our Facebook page or at www.helpaws.com
With love, from Charlene, Laura, and Baxter!
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