Dog ID: 21-049

 July 5, 2022:

We said goodbye to Sweet Sam on April 25th and released his beautiful soul from his failing body. He was loved by so many – his surrendering owner, his foster home, numerous GRRoW volunteers who had the wonderful opportunity to meet him (and even some that only followed him from afar), and those in the veterinary field who worked with him. Sweet Sam had the most soulful eyes and such a beautiful frosty face. When he was moving outside, he had this amazing floaty trot that was just so mesmerizing to watch. We miss his hippity hops up the couple of stairs coming in from outside. We are very honored GRRoW allowed us to be Sam’s forever foster home. There is a poem, A Child of Mine by Edgar Guest, that resonates with me so much when I think of our journey with Sam. His stay with us was far too brief, but we do have so many memories. We loved him while we could and if love could have saved him, he’d be with us still. Run free sweet boy, run free. We will see you again.

January 18, 2022:

Sweet Sam is really doing great! He is eating well, ‘drinking’ his knoxies well, and getting around much better. We hope that his current plan continues to support him at this level. Sam is hand fed four times daily (food and knoxies and often the fleshy part of a slice of white bread (no crusts)). Mixed in with his food is a K-9 Supplement (vitamin, mineral, probiotic) (Fido-Vite from WI’s very own Doctor’s Choice Supplements). In the morning he is given a joint supplement, medication for his thyroid, medication for acid reflux and medication for pain (given with a slice of bread). This is repeated in the evenings except for the joint supplement. He still gets his Satin Balls (high protein / high fat). We follow a group on Facebook for his laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy conditions which gives us helpful hints – for example, feeding him the fleshy part of the white bread helps with acid reflux. We had to move to bread with his meds as the peanut butter the others get seemed to cause more drooling. We’ve made a number of adjustments beginning in late November through late December (to include an unplanned feisty little foster sister) and we’re not sure which has been the golden ticket so we’ll keep going with all of them. He is just as sweet as ever and has been very patient sharing his Momma with the new little sister. 

Sam continues to be a pleasant guest in our home and makes us smile often with his ‘butt dances’ (a little jig if you scratch his rump/tail head just right). We are so blessed with the opportunity to help this little gentleman on his journey.

September 30, 2021:

Sweet Sam has been with GRRoW for just over a month now. He had a rather rocky start, but he is doing so much better now. We are careful to balance his newly (re)found energy with keeping him from too much exertion. He likes to trot along to help out with horse chores and has even started initiating some play with his foster brother …thankfully his much taller, much heavier, & much younger foster brother is very reluctant to play back yet.

On September 15th, Sam went back to the vet’s office for a couple of more tests and we just learned those results. His test for Myasthenia Gravis antibodies was negative however he did test positive for hypothyroidism. Yes, you read that correctly…hypothyroidism is typically associated with unexplained weight gain and this is definitely not a symptom for Sam. They are still learning if there is a correlation between hypothyroidism and Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis Polyneuropathy (GOLPP) but the good news is that we can better support Sam’s thyroid by adding a low risk medication (thyroxine) to his daily schedule. Thankfully his daily schedule has not included any subcutaneous injections recently as he’s doing really great consuming ‘Knox Blocks’. This water replacement therapy is working out better than the water thickening for Sam.

Sam continues to be just the sweetest dog one could ask for. He’s gentle and extremely quiet (he has not barked or whined the entire time he’s been here). Watching him improve is so rewarding and we’re excited to continue to share good news!

September 6, 2021:

Sweet Sam has been with GRRoW for two weeks and what a busy two weeks it has been. Unfortunately he has spent some time at the UW Vet Care in Madison, but fortunately he is back to his foster home and doing well. Sam’s primary diagnosis is laryngeal paralysis but they have also discovered his tongue is not working like a normal dog’s tongue (he does not extend it or curl it) which accounts for his drinking water without really consuming it; whether these two issues are related is not completely known. He is also being treated with antibiotics for aspiration pneumonia which is a common issue with dogs with Lar Par or LP.

Sam weighed 57.4 lbs at his initial vet appointment on August 25th but dipped down to almost 50 lbs due to not wanting to eat and trouble drinking. In early July of last year, he was almost 75 lbs which is a good weight for his frame. Our challenge is to determine how we can help Sam gain a bit more weight and muscling. We won’t be targeting getting him back up to 75 lbs but more in the area of 65 lbs so that we’re not adding too much stress on his older body. He really moves pretty well now so we want to be sure to keep that going. He does have some hind end weakness that is also common with LP dogs but he successfully navigates the two steps to go into the house with the cutest little hops.

In order to accomplish the weight gain, Sam is being hand fed multiple meals per day of puppy food (canned mixed with crushed up dry kibble). The weight gain will be very slow so that his body adjusts well to the extra calories. He is also getting bananas (a treat we were told he loves) and adding a couple Satin Balls each day which is a mixture fed specifically for weight gain. Sam was prescribed an appetite stimulant we can give him but he has been eagerly looking forward to his meals and treats so we have not used that. In order to keep Sam hydrated, he is receiving subcutaneous injections of IV fluid two to three times per day. He is such a wonderful patient. The fluid pools under the skin and then is slowly absorbed by the body. We are experimenting with Knox Blocks to see if we can get away from the injections or at least reduce them. We will also be exploring using water thickener.

Dogs with laryngeal paralysis should not be exposed to heat or stress…so there is lots of down time in the foster home. This down time is being used to learn as much as possible to help Sam thrive. His foster brothers are very good about all the extra attention Sam is getting but we do need to be sure to love on them extra too.

While we were working to find answers to Sam’s medical situation & researching previous vet records, we did learn that Sweet Sam is only 12 years & 3 months old. Definitely still a senior golden but just a few years younger.

On Sam’s first Friday in GRRoW, he received a blanket from Sammy’s Giving Tree which he’s very excited about…he’s showing it off in his picture.

Sam is such a sweetheart. We really do feel blessed to be his foster family.

August 27, 2021:

Sweet Sam of 14 years young has arrived in Foster Care. He’s a very relaxed boy with still a spring in his step and a twinkle in his eye. His frosty face is melting hearts already. More to follow as we learn about Sweet Sam.

August 24, 2021:

Sam has just come in to foster care. More Information to follow.