See Update from 6/30/21 below
Little Joe has always been a sprightly member of the Speedwell Family. He may be small in stature, but he has a big personality and a ton of spirit and pep. Recently, though, we noticed that he had started to lose that characteristic spring in his step. He walked a little more carefully and slowly and he didn't seem his usual bright and energetic self.
We monitored his symptoms and during a recent veterinary visit this June, he was determined to have a curvature in his spine that was impacting his mobility and likely causing him pain. We started him on medication and scheduled an MRI for the following week for further investigation.
However, on Friday morning June 25, just a few days after his veterinary visit, he appeared to be struggling with his back legs and was immediately rushed to emergency. He was confirmed to have a compressed spinal column and there are several prognoses: he may have an aberrant bone growth which can be removed and though it may grow back, it will provide him with a relatively normal lifespan; or he could also potentially have a tumor in which case they will remove it and take a biopsy to determine if it is cancerous. He is scheduled for surgery this Monday June 28. A radiologist will be viewing his MRI images on Sunday to provide the surgeon with some additional insight before the surgery.
Little Joe's veterinary bills have already begun to build and surgery and recovery will not be cheap.
He is home and is currently in a comfortable quarantine area where we can care for him and keep a close eye on him while he awaits surgery. We have ensured that it is a quiet space where he can feel as comfortable as possible.
We ask for any help that you might be willing to give to aid in the costs of his veterinary care, surgery, and recovery. We want to give Little Joe a fighting chance. He is only 5 and we hope that he still has lots of life to live with his beloved companion Nova.
All we have right now is hope and the nature of the unknown. But that is all about what we do isn't it? We give them all that we can with the faithful help and commitment of our donors, volunteers, and staff. Please send lots of positive hope, prayers, and support for Little Joe!
UPDATE 6/30/21: Little Joe is back home recovering from surgery.
Thank you so much for all your support! As of 6/30/21, we have raised $3495! This is no small feat, you are all amazing for your generous help. But we need to keep pushing forward. Little Joe is now safely home from surgery and will be recovering from his procedure for the next few weeks in quarantine. The day of his surgery he spent close to 7 hours in the care of the veterinary team, from prep, to surgery, to recovery. The doctors were able to successfully remove all of the mass that was visible from his spinal column and determined that it was a tumor. After removing the mass, they reported that his spinal cord realigned and immediately relieved some of the pain and pressure he had been experiencing. They took a biopsy of the mass to determine if it is cancerous. Once we have the results, we will be able to determine his prognosis and potential treatment. We will provide another update once we are able.
Little Joe was very brave even though he maintains his usual trademark worried look. He was a trooper for the transport and recovery and we hope that he continues to keep his spirits up. He is feeling a bit better now that the mass has been removed. He is alert, but he is not yet able to have full mobility with his hind legs. The doctor said to allow for the swelling to go down and wait. This is not an easy road. We still do not know what the future holds. We ask that you continue to send thoughts, prayers, as much positive energy as you can spare and support.
Thus far, the MRI cost was $2,747.20 and the surgery cost was $3,889.21.
The hope of Little Joe walking again and back with his lady - priceless.
Though we do not yet know his prognosis, his follow-up treatments will likely be costly.
We thank you for your continued help in giving him a fighting chance.