Mel is home for good!! He has an awesome forever family which includes a mom, dad, and uncle as well as 3 doggie siblings. Mel’s mom works with animals professionally and has taken in rescue pups before, so she has quite a lot of experience. Mel is already very spoiled in his new home with a nice, fenced yard and has taken over the home along with the other dogs. His humans are just getting to live there with him. Haha! Best wishes, Mel, on all your future endeavors with your family.
Our sweet 1-year-old Mel is ready to find his forever home! Mel was surrendered to FBV in May 2022 because he was having focal seizures. After diagnostic tests, including a spinal tap and MRI, Mel was diagnosed with MUE (Meningoencephalitis of Unknown Origin). Meningoencephalitis is a term referring to inflammation of the brain and the surrounding fluid and tissues which is why he was having seizures. The cause of MUE is often unknown and most likely secondary to an immune mediated (autoimmune) condition. Infectious and neoplastic causes are possible, but rare. Unfortunately, prognosis for an individual dog can be difficult to predict and ultimately depends on their response to treatment.
Mel has been receiving aggressive treatment for his condition with a neurologist and has been responding well. He has been weaned from all home medications for his MUE except Keppra which he takes every 12 hours. He has also completed half (16 so far) of his Cytostar (which is a chemotherapy for treating nervous system disorders) treatments with neurology. Mel’s new family will need to establish him with a new neurologist for the remainder of his care. For his remaining Cytostar treatments, he will need to be dropped off at the neurology office where he will stay until the afternoon for his treatment to be administered. The remaining treatments will be at 5-week intervals for 4 treatments and then 6-week intervals for the last 4 treatments. Each treatment will cost around $200 or more. These treatments are necessary for Mel to continue to recover and maintain remission. There is the possibility that once treatments are done Mel could relapse which is why is it is very important for his adopter to closely monitor him and have established care with a neurologist.
Mel’s current neurologist has advised that vaccines be minimized or completely eliminated as they may trigger a relapse. It will be important to avoid doggie daycare and attending dog parks given his inability to be fully vaccinated. Also, if he were to ever need to be boarded it would need to be where he can be medically boarded and isolated from other animals. Mel can ONLY have TOPICAL flea and tick medications due to his history of seizures. Currently, he is using a Soresto flea and tick collar and takes oral Heartgard for heartworm prevention.
Mel is not neutered and cannot be neutered while undergoing treatment. It is possible that he may be able to be neutered after treatment has been completed and if he can remain stable and seizure free. His new family will need to be responsible and avoid his interactions with unaltered dogs as Mel’s condition should never have a chance to be passed to puppies.
Mel also had a bout of pancreatitis while with FBV. He must remain on a low-fat diet (he is currently on SquarePet VFS Low Fat Formula dog food) to help prevent reoccurrences. He takes digestive enzymes and probiotic with his meals to help as well. He takes 10 mg of Omeprazole before breakfast which must be continued as without it, he will regurgitate small, clear amounts of liquids when playing.
Now for a breakdown on all the important things to know about Mel.
Requires a fenced yard? It would be best to allow for frequent potty breaks. He also loves to sunbathe when it is cool enough outside.
Good with other dogs? Yes, he likes to play (in short spurts) and would love another dog in his forever home that will tolerate his lack of personal space. He wants to lick the foster family’s dog and cuddle or lay on her constantly. He has now started to hump her (though will listen to correction) as well. He definitely needs a fur sibling that will patiently share his/her space and be tolerant of Mel always being up close and personal.
Good with cats? His foster home does not have a cat, but when someone else kept Mel that had a cat, he was trying to play with it. Therefore, if you don’t have a dog savvy cat that wants to play then Mel may not be the best companion for your cat.
Good with kids? Mel would do best with older (ages 10+), dog savvy children. He is so used to getting medication via a pill wrap for the past 8 plus months that he jumps up to grab anything he thinks is food out of people’s hands. Therefore, Mel would find small kids with food an easy target to steal it from them. Also, given he is on a restrictive diet due to a bout of pancreatitis having older kids who will not feed Mel inappropriate foods would be best.
Behavior while riding in a vehicle? He does very well, but if he gets impatient, he will kick his back feet to express how his feels. He does eventually settle down, though.
Manners? He gets a little excited and will jump up when meeting people, snorting happily. He does know how to sit, but when very excited, he has to be told a few times before he sits.
Leash walking? On leash, Mel is excited and zig zags to explore everything.
House-trained? Partially. Mel does not signal to go out. His current foster home has a dog door which he uses when the family is home and uses it during the day up until bedtime. He does have accidents when crated including bowel movements. He also sometimes wakes up between 3-4 am to go potty or needs the pad in his belly band changed.
Crate trained? He is crated when his foster family is not home because Mel still chews like a puppy at times.
Feelings about space restrictions (ex: Crate aggressive? Knocks down baby gates? Whines or barks?)? He is an expert at getting around barriers if he is trying to get to his people. He also has been known to move a lightweight plastic pen around, so he is crated in a plastic crate that is easily taken apart to clean if he has an accident.
Likes to be on the furniture? Yes. He loves a couch and likes to lay with another dog or on his people’s laps. Don’t leave anything of interest on an end table…Mel has been caught a few times on top of the table.
Resource-guarding issues with people, food, toys, space/areas, and beds? None.
Separation anxiety? He will go into his crate for a treat and may bark if he hears you, but if leaving the house, he will eventually go to sleep.
Tolerance of having facial folds and ears being cleaned as well as nails clipped? Overall tolerant but sometimes a little squirmy.
Bathing? Mel does well with baths and is wiped with fragrance free baby wipes if he has soiled his belly band.
Favorite type of toys? He loves playing with chew toys.
Favorite activities? Chewing on his toys and being with his people or cuddling with another dog.
Good with stairs? Yes, a few stairs are okay, but he is small enough at 20 lbs to carry him if necessary.
Knows commands or tricks? He will sit when he's focused, but when excited he only sits briefly.
Snores? Of course, depends on how he lays.
Level of affection? HIGH! Mel will sleep next to you on the couch, rest his head on you, and give kisses! He loves being in your lap and would love another tolerant dog to cuddle with as well. Mel definitely needs a person who doesn’t mind cuddle time! He loves to stand between his person’s feet and follow his person around everywhere. He is constantly under foot and could potentially be a tripping hazard for anyone especially with mobility or balance issues.
Energy level? Low to moderate. He has bouts of play, but mostly naps or cuddles.
Dominant or submissive? Very neutral. He is mostly a cuddler.
Apartment or condo living? Mel does bark if he hears any noises which may be disturbing to close neighbors. He also needs to go outside frequently to potty so a fenced yard would be best and due to his autoimmune disease, he should not share space with other dogs that are not vaccinated like at dog parks.
Reaction to strangers in and outside the home and to new situations (fearful, laidback, anxious, happy)? He’s excited and wants to meet everyone.
Any long-term physical limitations or conditions? Mel has MUE, an autoimmune disease. He is currently responding well to treatment and has come a long way. This condition does require long-term treatment, which can be lifelong in some dogs and usually involves a combination of steroids and a second immunosuppressive medication (Cytosar, cyclosporine). In many dogs, therapy can be weaned slowly over time allowing discontinuation or low doses long term. Relapse is possible, especially during tapering, requiring continuation of therapy and potentially high doses or additional immunosuppressive therapy.
Takes long-term medications? Yes, Keppra every 12 hours and may require more medication once his Cytostar treatments have been completed and if he relapses at any time. He also takes 10 mg of Omeprazole before breakfast and is on digestive enzymes and probiotics with his meals.
Feeding? Mel is currently fed a low-fat diet (that can be bought without a prescription) and treats. He is fed separately from the resident dog because he does not know personal space at feeding time and if given the chance, he will eat another dog’s food.
Mel is the happiest little guy despite having had it rough with his medical issues. He is always excited to see people and snorts with excitement. He is a great lap dog and an amazing companion. He also has made great strides with his medical conditions and deserves a loving home who will continue to keep him healthy with his ongoing treatments and who will be patient with him when it comes to his potty accidents. He also deserves a forever family who will provide him with a loving home and lots of lap and cuddle time!
If you feel you can provide the medical care that Mel needs, as well as the level of affection he needs, then please apply!!!