MoMo ( Lab / Pittie)

OKATIE, SC......Adorable MoMo was rescued from Greenville, SC. She was dropped off at Animal Control by her Owner that claimed she was a  stray.  MoMo was called Elmo at the time, but the name did not fit her adorable personality.   She is a Pitbull / Lab Mix that is approximately two years old.    When MoMo arrived at the Shelter, she could barely walk and looked like something terrible was wrong. Animal Control could not come up with a reason for her lameness since nothing showed on her x-rays.  


 A plea went out for Rescue Only, but no one wanted to save this special girl.  We were contacted by the Adoption Coordinator, saying she was everyone's favorite dog.   If no one stepped up, she was going to be euthanized, and that was killing everyone involved.  We have been packed with critical care dogs for a while now, and this day was no different.   I could not say NO to this sweet pup that looked more like Casper than MoMo.  


Transport was arranged for her to go to Charleston Veterinary Referral Center.   Our Criticalist, Dr. Kristin Welch, was prepared to take on this unfortunate case.    When MoMo arrived, everyone was sure she had some leg injuries that had gone undetected.   Lots of x-rays were done, and blood work was taken.   X-rays did not show any apparent fractures, but clearly, something was wrong.  Sweet MoMo's bloodwork was all over the place.  Tick panels were sent off and test after test was done.


Poor MoMo's joints were so swollen and painful; she did not want to move.  When she would get up to walk, she would only move about an inch at a time and would take very choppy steps.  It was as if she did not know where her legs were when she moved.   Dr. Welch decided she needed to consult with the Orthopedic Team.   When they dismissed her as a Surgical Patient, she went on to Neurology.    Her ataxia had to be Neurologic if it was not from an injury.  Neurology handed her back over to Dr. Welch.


On top of everything else, MoMo was Heartworm positive and needed to be treated by our Cardiologist, Dr. Sophy Jesty.  More x-rays were taken and sent off for further radiologist interpretations.  During all of this, MoMo was up one day and down the next.  It was decided she needed to have her joints tapped to see if she had an infection or something more serious.   The x-ray report came back that this two-year-old pup had bone dysplasia seen bilaterally with some sclerosis of the ulna on the
right front leg.  


We are now on four weeks of dear MoMo being in the hospital, and we know a lot of things she does not have but are still working on what she does have.   Finally, we got some news that was pointing us in the right direction.  The results came back that MoMo has Immune-mediated Polyarthritis (IMPA). It is the equivalent of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Humans.


IMPA is a disease in which the immune system mounts an inflammatory response within the joints, causing pain, swelling, and difficulty walking. In IMPA, the immune system is inappropriately activated to send white blood cells to the joints. The white blood cells release chemicals and enzymes into the fluid that bathes the joints, disrupting the protective function of this fluid.  MoMo had been on antibiotics and also on Prednisone to help with the inflammation. Leflunomide, which is an immunosuppressant drug, was added to her protocol.


Within a week, MoMo started to respond to the protocol and was able to walk.  For the last two months, she has been in and out of the hospital.   We have finally gotten her to a place where we feel confident she can live a long life as long as she continues on her medication.  The Prednisone is on its final month of reduction, and then can be stopped.  She is given joint supplementation and her Immuno-suppressant drug, which she will have to be on for the rest of her Life.  We have several dogs that are on that particular drug, and it has been a Life-Saver for them.  


We feel so good about where we are with MoMo that I finally feel comfortable posting for her.  Her Medical bills got out of control the first two weeks she was in ICU. Add four more weeks of medical treatment to that, and it is clear why we are broke.  We are the only Rescue I know of that would have kept on going until we had an answer to her Medical Condition.  MoMo would have been put down a long time ago. The best news of all is this sweet dog can now run and play and is ready to be Adopted.   MoMo loves everyone she meets.


There are a lot of dogs that have Auto-Immune Disorders that are discarded.   If you look at the pictures of this special pup and how she has recovered, you will start to believe that just about anything is possible.  We are forever grateful to Dr. Kristin Welch for never giving up on Momo and staying on her case until a solution was found.  Her dedication to our Abused Animals and determination to get them well is the reason we are so successful with saving the worst of the worst.


Please, Donate whatever you can so we can pay MoMo's hospital bills and keep saving dogs like her that no one wants to help.

July 26, 2019 by Jennifer Smith