Help Save Oliver

Oliver was adopted into our family in early December as a seemingly healthy young beagle through the Northeast Coonhound Rescue.  This video ( taken on Dec 15 shows Oliver's first day of freedom in his forever home.  With the safety of a fenced yard to run, three other beagles to comfort him, and a loving human family, his anxiety disappeared almost overnight, as though he knew he was finally in his forever home. 

On Dec 28, less than two weeks with us, Oliver suddenly showed dramatic signs of serious illness: high fever, shaking, vocalizing pain, whole body stiffness, lethargy and inability to move his jaw properly to eat or drink.  He was immediately taken to the Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Deerfield MA, and then transferred to Tufts Veterinary Hospital in Grafton, MA where he remains to date, fighting for his life.  

WHAT WE KNOW TO DATE:  Oliver has been diagnosed with a form of meningitis.  We await results from both a spinal and lymph node taps to determine if he has an infectious agent (bacterial, viral, fungal, protozoan) or if this is a non-infectious, auto-immune mediated meningitis.   Both are treatable, and prognosis with treatment is very good, but to date he has undergone significant diagnostic testing, and with hospitalization fees and medications required to stabilize him, has already incurred over $9000 in diagnostic and hospitalization costs.  He is currently on a high dose of IV steroids for inflammation, 3 pain medications, and 3 anti-biotics, and we do not as yet know what additional expenditures will be required for his longer term care. 

THERE IS GOOD NEWS -- in the past 36 hours, Oliver has started to significantly improve.  From a listless dog writhing in pain, unable to eat, drink, walk or be touched, he is now eating again, walking, and allowing the staff to examine him without crying out.  We even got a tail wag this morning :).  By all accounts, he is responding to this life-saving intervention and the veterinarians have assured us he would not have survived without it.  

We are SO grateful to Tufts neurology and emergency teams and to our own personal veterinarian for all that they have done and will continue to do for Oliver. We expect him to come home in the next few days and are hopeful he will go on to lead a long, happy and healthy life in his forever home with us. It will take time, medication and a lot of love and support we are fully prepared to give him to ensure a full recovery. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  You can help save Oliver by donating to this campaign to defray the extraordinary diagnostic costs and life saving intervention that is required to save Oliver.  No donation is too small.

To learn more about Oliver’s full history and the obstacles he has overcome before this illness, read on…

Oliver is a very sweet, playful and loving 2-year old beagle who was rescued by the Northeast Coonhound Rescue from rural Virginia in July 2020.  He was found as a stray with an injured leg, having been caught in a hunting trap, and was diagnosed with heartworm disease and Ehrlicia (a serious tick-borne disease).  He was treated and has since recovered from both diseases, although was so stressed and fearful, he was moved from a kennel in the south to a quiet, safe foster home in Connecticut in September, where he remained for three months. 

In early December he was finally cleared of heartworm for travel to Massachusetts, and was adopted by our family.  Oliver now has a wonderful home with three other beagles, 16-year old human brother, and a mom who has considerable veterinary experience and has just entered the dog rescue business.

Please help Oliver continue his journey by supporting his care at the Tufts Veterinary Hospital.  He has come too far and is too young for his story to end here.  We will be updating this site daily on his progress and are so grateful for your generosity in helping us save him.

Oliver (second from left in orange vest) with his new beagle siblings, just two days into his new home.
First visit to Oliver while in foster care, November 2020.

Oliver's first taste of freedom in his forever home, Dec 15 2020.  Watch him run at:


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Susan Howe 
Belchertown, MA
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