Max arrived to Chesed Rescue in December, a 1.5 year old yorkie poo with intermittent back pain that his regular vet and the neurologist suspected was Intervertebral Disc Disease. They could only confirm the diagnosis with a $5000 MRI, but only while he was having a flare up, which he wasn’t at the time. And so we waited, got to know him and fell in love with him, while seeking opinions from additional vets and veterinary surgeons.
During this time, one of our vets noticed that he had several features that would indicate that he was actually older than 1.5 years. He also suffered from bouts of diarrhea. Everyone noticed that he was underweight and had horrible muscle tone.
Then in April, Max seemed to be in pain again. After exams by our veterinarian and our regular surgeon, Max was diagnosed with two very bad knees and surgery was scheduled. Before putting him through a double knee surgery, we sought a second opinion from an orthopedic specialist. She agreed that his knees were awful, but also noticed that a good part of his spine was fused. She also suspected a discrepancy in his age and was also concerned about the diarrhea and lax muscle tone and felt that there was a larger picture that we were all missing. And so now the surgery is on hold and Max is scheduled to see a veterinary internist, while we also start physical therapy.
We are pretty sure he is actually now 2 years old, so why is he aging so quickly? Is there a metabolic problem, a connective tissue disorder, a degenerative disease, something autoimmune?
We are so appreciative of everyone that has followed Max’s story and especially to everyone that has donated to his medical care, as well as those who have suggested possible diagnoses and specialists. We do believe that we will eventually find the answers and be able to help him stay pain free. For now, the saga continues and Max continues to charm everyone he meets!
Max has had his appointment with the internist who believes that he is indeed 2 years old. After extensive blood work, there doesn't seem to be any metabolic problems. The doctor does believe that Max's condition is either congenital or caused by some trauma shortly after birth. Without a clinical diagnosis, he suggested that we focus on Max's quality of life. We started by increasing the dosage of his pain medication, but that quickly led to severe diarrhea. And so we found that taking him off the pain medication all together significantly helped his stomach and didn't really seem to increase his pain level. The next stop will be physical therapy to strengthen his knees and legs, which may also take some of the pressure off of his back.
Physical therapy was going great and Max was doing beautifully. But things have been derailed the past few weeks with bouts of bloody diarrhea. Medication did nothing and so we had an ultrasound done. Currently waiting on results.
For everyone who questions why we haven't put this dog down, the answer is simple. He still has a high quality of life. He dotes on his foster parents (and they on him), does not seem to be in pain other than some occasional twinges from the back and knees, and we believe his gastro troubles will be manageable once we know what is going on. Is he sometimes uncomfortable? Yes, but in real pain? We don't think so. When we think he is suffering, if it can't be fixed, we will do what we have to do, but right now, he is generally a happy (if goofy) little boy.
Max has had his ups and downs with the occasional tummy troubles and occasional back and knee problems. The physical therapy is more than he can handle, so we have stopped, and are instead trying a new monthly injection (just approved in the US a few months ago- our vets are the best!), which seems to be helping his discomfort. And he has also started a new food. He isn't a huge fan, but we are giving it some time to see if it helps his stomach. Right now, his biggest concern seems to be what he will be for Halloween- there might be several costume changes throughout the day!
Please donate towards Max's care. We are a 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible. You can donate through
Paypal with the link below
check: to Chesed Foundation Rescue
and mailed to
9858 Clint Moore Road C-111 #235
Boca Raton, Florida 33496
or dropped off in our adoption center at Petco on Glades Road in Boca Raton
Facebook fundraiser and GoFundMe links coming shortly.
Please help us spread the word! Use your social media to post about Max and direct people to his fundraisers. You can link to this page at www.chesed-rescue.org/max
Host your own fundraiser for Max.
Good wishes, healing thoughts and prayers are appreciated too!
Please help Max by clicking the donate button below
Max weighs less than 10 pounds!
Max loves to get dressed!