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Kourtney H
Participant

While attending Veterinary Assisting school I had the opportunity of externing at a local clinic. About three weeks in, on the saturday after unfortunately having to say good bye to my husbands cat of 23 years, a lady came in with a gorgeous Blue Fawn Pitbull. She had said that he was wandering the highway with nothing but a bare red collar, he was friendly enough to get in her car and we were the closest animal care center she could find. We immediatly checked for a chip and upon doing so found two phone numbers attached to his. The first call we got an answer but just as soon as they picked up and we identified who we were the call was disconnected. With no information about this dog besides two phone numbers that no one was answering and the Saturday coming to a close, with noone to be coming in on Sunday because we were always closed that day…. Someone had to take this dog home and since everyone else had cats or a no pets allowed policy where they were living it was either me or animal control. I couldnt bare to see this beautiful boy whose demeanor was so relaxed and happy just waiting for what ever was coming next be sent to where they possibly were just going to euthanize him because of his breed. So when we were all cleaned up and ready to go, I grabbed a couple of blankets a bag of food and a leash and the newly nick named ” Doo Doo” and I were off. For two weeks we attempted to call the numbers associated with his chip to no avail. And the more time that passed the closer Doo Doo and Jacob got. We ended up discussing a more permanent name for him and decided that Uthred was a good fit. So as a dog named after a Northumbrian Elderman with a similar past as his, Uthred became JAcobs emotional support dog and best friend who helped combat his anxiety. As soon as He felt Jake begin to feel overwhlemed and worked up he would quite literally force himself into Jake’s lap and would just stare into his soul and like the flip of a switch Jake was calm, and anxiety free. It was a beautiful thing to see this relationship grow and see both of them benefit in such giant ways from one another. Now that you know the back story to our unique situation I would like to bring you up to speed on our unfortunate happenings as of the last four or five months.

Things have been pretty much the complete opposite of our first 4 months with him. One day after bathing Uthred I was drying him off with a towel and he was VERY anxious and obviously uncomfortable. Later that day he was laying down in his bed and I was cleaning the room when I came across his favorite blanket, as I went to hand it to him he quickly growled and lunged at me. Completely shocked and taken a back I stood there as his growl continued until my mind gathered everything that just occurred and took a step back. I was so confused and when Jake got home from from work he was in disbelief. We were thinking he possibly was abused in his last living situation and maybe my simple actions caused him an episode of PTSD. Well once this happened it only got worse. Soon enough I was no longer able to touch him, walk by him, or even look at him without him fiercely growling at me. This drastic turn in events not only took a toll on me but my marriage as well. As Jacob was still able to continue his relationship with Uthred. Soon I wasn’t even able to touch Jacob without this very powerful dog snapping at me. Which led me to believe maybe he is displaying possessive or territorial aggression. That was until he started displaying this behavior toward Jacob as well! To this date I have been bitten/ nipped at twice and while sitting on the ground he has out of nowhere lunged at my face, luckily Jacob’s quick actions caught him just before he would have got me. As for Jake, on three separate occasions he has been bitten three times with two out of the three drawing blood. Confused and distraught, we were unsure what to do next. We tried everything we could think of until we finally decided to take him to the Vet on May 27th 2021 for the aggression he was continuously displaying. They prescribed him with gabapentin and gave him his vaccinations and sent us on our way. While it seemed to ease his anxiety the side effects started to worry us as he just became more and more lethargic. Then we started noticing that he was losing weight. A lot of weight. His appetite was there but very little. The place we started noticing it most was in his head more specifically his chewing muscles. We looked up the symptoms of what we had been noticing like how he was no longer wanting to go for walks, play ball, or chew on any toys along with when he would try he would cry and spit what ever it was that he had out of his mouth.. that and many other things are what brought us to the conclusion that it was masticatory muscle myositis. I took him to the vet and they were shocked to see the rate at which his condition was declining. It was only two weeks from the vet visit where we got the Gaba and his vaccinations to the next appointment where he was just a completely different dog. The vet agreed with us as to what the diagnosis was and she prescribed prednisone. Day one he was great almost like he was going back to normal same with day two then day three he started declining again at a quicker rate… now we are to tonight June 16th he looks horrible is beginning to have a difficult time drinking water. I am at a loss and have no idea what to do. I am so overwhelmed by my own emotions not to mention the flood wall that I am absorbing from Jacob. I read a few things in a forum where people had the same thing occur a week after the rabies shot was administered. Im wondering if that has anything to do with this . also anyone know what kind of diet might help?