Please take a moment to read the story that was puplished in the Westland Observer today about Zeus and our fundraising efforts.
Westland woman raises funds to treat dog’s rare disorder
Aug. 5, 2012 |
Written by Sue Mason Observer Staff Writer
Melissa is putting social media to the test in getting the word out about her dog Zeus. She has a blog, a Facebook page and even a Saving Zeus website, all aimed at helping her 6-year-old Rottweiler. A part of her “family” since he was seven weeks old, Zeus is in need of medical testing and treatment of a rare genetic disorder that is causing him severe pain and difficulty walking. “He is the most loving, caring, gentle giant in the world. He truly loves everyone,” the Westland resident said. “He is my utmost favorite dog of all the dogs that have been in my life over the last many years. The thought of losing him makes my heart break and causes me physical pain.”
Zeus was diagnosed with immune-mediated polyarthritis in May. According to Melissa, an allergic reaction to antibiotics has caused his immune system to attack his joints, leaving permanent damage in its wake. Zeus has allergies and Crowley estimates she and her husband have spent upward of $20,000 on allergy treatments and skin and ear infections over the years.
He had been on an antibiotic for a skin infection for 14 days. It hadn’t cleared up, so a second round was ordered. Eight days into the second round, Melissa came home to find that Zeus wouldn’t get up for anyone, including her neighbor that he “loves.” He couldn’t put weight on his front legs; he had difficulty sitting and standing. She stopped giving him the antibiotics and within 24 hours he was back to normal, but shortly after that he had several accidents in the house, something he never does. “The doctor wanted to do a urinalysis for a bladder infection and used a different antibiotic that had to be made especially for him. A 10-day supply cost $300,” Melissa said. “Within three days, Zeus couldn’t walk. The vet said he was having a reaction to the antibiotic. This time he didn’t get better.”
Zeus was put on two different types of pain medications, but those didn’t provide relief. Now doctors are using high doses of the drug prednisone to depress his immune system so that it stops attacking his joints. Each time they lower the dosage to a safer level, though, he has a relapse. The prednisone is keeping Zeus comfortable, but it isn’t a long-term solution. Prednisone can cause diabetes and Cushing’s disease. The doctor at the Michigan Veterinary Specialists in Southfield wants to do digital X-rays and joint taps to see what else is going on in Zeus’s joints. The tests alone cost $2,000, and Melissa estimates she needs $5,000 for the test and the treatment.
The Catch-22 is he needs the tests before he can get the treatment. “We don’t have the funds and the only other option is to wait until it gets worse and we have to have him put down,” Melissa said. “We’ve spent so much on this dog over those six years, but this time we don’t have $2,000. My husband calls him the million-dollar dog.”
Melissa has launched an online fund-raising site, www.giveforward.com/SavingZeus, where people can log on and make a donation, and a Saving Zeus Facebook page — www.facebook.com/#!/SavingZeus. She also is blogging about her beloved pet at www.awagofatail.wordpress.com. So far she has gathered $1,205 in donations. She’s also doing a fund-raiser — Putt for a Cause … and Save These Paws — planned for Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Putting Edge, 44225 W. 12 Mile, Novi. The event will be 1-4 p.m. and include 18 holes of miniature golf, arcade games, pizza and pop, prizes for the most holes in one and best game score and a 50/50 raffle. Advance tickets are $20 and $25 the day of the event.
Admitting that it saddens her to see her dog in so much pain and unable to do the things he loves to do, she hopes she’ll be able to raise the money needed to save him before it is too late. If Zeus’s condition worsens and he passes away before the fund-raising efforts are complete, or if they don’t raise enough money for his tests and treatment, proceeds will be donated to his veterinarian, Dr. Steven Mantay, owner of Healthy Paws Veterinary Medical Center in Westland, to help another animal in desperate need of medical attention, Melissa said. “I just can’t bear to sit back and wait until the day comes to put him down without doing everything I can to try to help and save him,” Melissa said. “I will be completely heartbroken, if we lose him.”
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