When it’s neurological, and not behaviour problem…

Mollee on her way to her new home.

Molliee, was a breeding dog rescued by VFA to be rehome. A sweet little girl who was put through force mating just for profit making. Fortunately for her, she didn’t give birth a lot, however she still suffered from mild liver problems which can be kept in control and maintain by proper diet and supplements. Thanks to the efforts of VFA, Mollee, together with many other dogs found a new home.

If you ever care for an ex-breeding dog, you will know that many of them despite developing a confusion of instincts due to being kept in a small area or overcrowded playpen for breeding, they tend to be very affectionate and easy going dogs to care for in terms of behaviour.

Mollee likes to cuddle with other dogs.

My lovely wife always wanted a poodle, but I always like medium to big dogs. So, this time round, we manage to chance upon VFA‘s rescue of breeding dogs who are looking for new homes. I went down to VFA‘s adoption drive and saw Mollee. Everyone was passing her around cause she was quiet and relaxed. I decided to select her out of the others, knowing that she will be playful, but at the same time, I know she knows how to be calm. VFA‘s volunteer shortlisted me, and the relationship of Mollee and us begin…

Mollee enjoying her long walk with my lovely wife and our first ex-breeding dog, Churro.

Mollee is a bundle of joy at home and in my shop. She plays with my dogs well, and she learns discipline well too. I decided to crate train her which works very well for breeding dogs somehow. Especially if you don’t want them to have any accidents overnight in your house.

She goes into her crate on her own without needing to coax, and she maintains quiet until next morning when we take her and our dogs out to pee and poop.

As active as she can be, she was also calm when half of the time. She loves her walks, especially the pack walks.

We got her checked and spayed one month after taking her home. After spaying, she was back to normal the next day. Enjoying her walks as usual. About a month later, I noticed that after a burst of play, she will start to walk slowly towards the wall, when her head tap on the wall, she’ll lean and use the wall for support while walking, until she taps on the wall again and change direction. I checked by crossing her legs while she stands and pointing her paws downwards to see how fast her brain response. And realized that she might have some neurological issues. It didn’t seem serious or medical, as she was still eating well, playing and being normal (only for that short time of taping on the wall).

I simply thought it could be due to her being in the breeders for too long that causes her to do such things. I guess I was wrong about it eventually.

Just right before rushing her to the vet.

On a faithful Monday afternoon, she suddenly drop to the floor and started spinning like a crocodile roll. First my staff thought she was trying to scratch her ears (some dogs who has earmites or ear infection will rub their head on the floor). But her roll was prolong and her head was slamming on the floor at the same time. I immediately rushed, sending her to my trusted family vet. The vet diagnosed and concluded that she is suffering from a neurological damage in a part of her brain that likely is caused by an infection in the past. This wasn’t noticed during her checkup, and it was believed that she might have suffered some kind of infection while she was a breeding dog. It was said that sometimes the toxic from the infection might take few weeks to few months to start noticing reaction.

Some options was told to me, e.g. doing checks to which can cost up to $4k-$5K, after which, a surgery on her liver shunt so that it’ll help her get back to a partial normal life, but yet, might not survive for long either, that will cost another $5k-$6k, and lastly, if she’s suffering too much, putting her down is one of the option. All of which are tough decisions.

Now, Mollee is fighting for her life, as her neurological damage (as confirmed and diagnose by our trusted family vet) suddenly became very bad. Spinning and slamming her head on the floor. She is now closely monitored by us, we had to force feed her very carefully for the first 2 days. Because her neck is tilted, force feeding too much water or food at a go can choke her.

She is now eating on her own, but she still can’t walk, or stand.

Keeping Mollee’s head up so that she doesn’t drown.

Because she was getting better, I decided to start water therapy for her. When I put her down in the warm water, she started to feel relax. Her heart beat slowed down. She didn’t start paddling her legs, but she just floated and rest in the water, while using my hand to support her neck.

While in the water, neck and back massage is administered to help loosen her muscle.

I gently move her around in the water, touching and massaging her body so that her legs will start moving, which it did. Keeping her head above the water, I administer a basic mild massage from her neck down to her butt area.

This therapy will go on for a week, and we’ll see how it goes.

She is now on neuro supplements and medications. We are also feeding her more natural food and herbs to help in her healing process. We will do what we can and however long it takes, as she’s not showing anymore signs of suffering. Because she can’t walk, we have to use water to help her loosen up.

I have never dealt with anything like this before. It’s heart breaking, at the same time, I was lost. If it was behaviour issue, it’ll be easy to correct and rehabilitate, but a neurological damage issue is something that I’ve never handle before.

My wife, me and my staff are hopeful that she’ll get better through herbs and water therapy.

This is what happens to a lot of dogs in local breeding farms. To make more profit, God’s creation are put through inhumane condition of living that pushes most of them to physiological trauma or worse, like Mollee, neurological damage due to untreated health infection that takes months or years to kill their brain cells in their cerebrum and hypothalamus.

I’m not against breeding in total. But I’m against inhumane forceful, non-instinctual, inter-breeding that causes not just major behaviour and physiological problems, but also neurological and health problems. I respect good quality breeders (nowhere to be found locally) that breed humanely and instinctually. These breeders usually don’t earn much despite their high price, as 80% of the cost goes to vet bills and quality diet and regular health check-ups.

Breeders that don’t show you the family line of the puppy are usually force breed and/or inter-breed, very seldom delivering naturally, but most of the time by C-section. Results of the parents can present behaviours that are odd, or worse, like Mollee. If you think puppies are fine – they carry the genes.

Apart from thinking again and again about buying puppies, why not make it your priority to ask for their certs and the family line, history, behaviour of the parents, and at how many months was the puppy separated from the mother (safest is 2-3 months). Or… why not adopt.

I will continue to update Mollee’s progress…

** I will like to thank VFA for rescuing these dogs. They did a great job. They are not to be blame for any dog’s health condition, as they are just doing their best to help and provide a better life for all this dogs.

Ezra Koh

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