Tabi (Jack / Chihuahua Mix)

Okatie, SC.......Adorable Tabi is a one-year-old Jack Russel / Chihuahua Mix that was purchased off Craig's List.  The new Owner thought she was not right the minute she had gotten her home.   She appeared to be very rigid at times and was not sure if she was having a seizure or what was wrong.  Another Rescue stepped up to help dear Tabi, but she proved to be too much for them also.


We stepped up when we realized this poor pup was not going to get the help she needed if we did not.  Poor Tabi was just being moved around, but nothing was happening to determine what was wrong with her.  Adorable Tabi is a fabulous ten-pound pup that is pure Joy to be around.  Without having a clue what was wrong with her, she stole our hearts.  


There is no such thing as a perfect dog.  There is only one person's perception of what perfect would look like to them.  I can wholeheartedly say, each dog we have in our Rescue is as close to perfect as you could get.  We love their quirkiness and their personalities.  It is what makes them unique and one of a kind.  Their uniqueness teaches us about Love and Compassion.   They are the heartbeat of Noah's Arks Rescue.


Tabi was taken to CVRC in Charleston, SC over the Christmas Holidays.  She was ataxic which means her movements were without order.  She was wobbly, and each leg was going in a different direction.  Their Neurologist, Dr. Jeremy Shomper saw her immediately.   A battery of tests were ordered, and over the next two weeks, we started getting in results to help identify her medical issues.  


An MRI was the first test that was done which came back normal.   Next was a Spinal Tap to determine if Tabi had an infection or inflammation.  The tests did not show anything significant other than she did have some inflammation.   Dr. Shomper went through a long list of other tests he would recommend so we could get a diagnosis.   The bills for Tabi were already out of control, and we still did not have a diagnosis.  Tabi had been in the hospital during all of this in and out of ICU so she could be observed.


I was still not ready to post for Tabi, so I brought out my trusty Amex Card which by now the numbers were almost worn off and paid her bill and brought Tabi back to the Rehab Center.  Tabi had been with us for only a couple of days when out of the blue, she spiked a fever of 105 that was rising.  In the course of cooling her down so we could transport her back to ICU in Charleston, we observed her becoming rigid in her rear legs.  It was similar to a seizure but wasn't one.  We got her stable and rushed her to Charleston.  


I immediately had Dr. Shomper order any test he thought would give us more information to identify what was wrong with our little girl.  Tick panels were done which were all negative.  Test after test came back negative.  In December Dr. Shomper had sent off a specific DNA test to the University of Missouri.  He had ordered an SCA Test with their Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory.  


We just got the results back.  Tabi has tested positive for Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA).  Cerebellar in Latin means the Little Brain.  The cerebellum is the part of the brain responsible for coordinating movements.   Dogs with SCA can move but in an uncontrolled manner.  They also develop Myokymia which is uncontrolled muscle twitching.  What we thought was a seizure was actually Tabi having a severe incapacitating attack of Myokymia that was so severe it caused her to develop a high core body temperature.  


What Dr. Shomper has prescribed is for us to lightly sedate Tabi when she has one of the episodes coming on.  That will relax her muscles, so she does not risk the high fever and causing more damage. SCA is relatively new, and a lot has yet to be discovered about the condition.  A lot of people would call this a Death Sentence, but for us, it is an opportunity to learn and grow so we can help more dogs like Tabi.  


Tabi is loving and sweet and is a delight to be around.  All the effort it takes for her to walk across the yards makes you love her that much more.   Every leg is going in the opposite direction, and she still manages to run up to us and jump in our arms.  I don't know what tomorrow will bring for this adorable little Angel, but I think she is perfect in every way.


Please, Donate toward all of the Medical bills that we have for sweet Tabi.  What we have learned in the four weeks we have had her is going to give us the ability to help so many more pups like Tabi that are discarded daily for unexplained ataxia.  Those spastic movements always mean something.  The trick is not to give up or give in so you can find out a Solution.  Thanks for helping us with Tabi and all the other special pups we have. 

January 23, 2019 by Jennifer Smith