Meet Guinness

RMGDRI Permanent Foster

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Guinness was surrendered to RMGDRI in October of 2010 at 18 months of age due to his previous family not having enough time to dedicate to him.  It soon became apparent that he had not been very well socialized or exercised. Guinness was extremely shy and not used to having free roam of the house. He relied heavily on his foster brother, Farley, for confidence and support.

When Guinness came into the rescue, he had been diagnosed by a previous vet with “growing pains” and that it was “something he would outgrow.” We noticed he had limited mobility in his back legs and was extremely unbalanced and will fall easily if not assisted. It was suspected that Guinness had some more serious underlying health issues and a vet appointment was scheduled.

Guinness was seen by Dr. Anderson of Cottonwood Animal hospital on Nov. 4, 2010. He was diagnosed with Wobbler’s Disease. Wobbler’s is a gradually progressive disease that causes spinal cord compression due to instability of the vertebrae. Dr. Anderson feels that he is not a candidate for surgical repair of his cervical vertebrae, and he was placed on pain medication and prednisone, which would hopefully reduce inflammation and we will see an improvement in his back leg movement.  Due to the severity of Guiness’ illness he was not a candidate for adoption and was inducted into our Permanent Foster Program.  Read on to hear more of Guinness’ story.

Guinness doing his water therapy.

Read Guinness’ Story

At 18 months it’s hard to understand why at one moment all four paws are planted firmly and squarely below you and in the next moment your paws are no longer your own. That feeling of the ground slipping away along with your confidence as you fall again, it is so hard to understand why this is happening and when will it happen again. Your legs should not be trusted and you should above all things never ever go near the stairs. Only bad things happen near the stairs…

Guinness shuffled, stumbled and fell right into a permanent place in our hearts when he found his way to Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue in October of 2010. This big, sweet, confused, and shy brindle boy had finally landed safely somewhere – As a permanent Foster with RMGDRI. Guinness, who stands an impressive 42 inches, came to the Rescue weighing in at a meager 116lbs. His gait was not like that of a typical dog, he often fell and stairs were out of the question. We knew there was something very wrong from the moment we met Guinness.

In November of 2010, a month after Guinness came into our care; he was diagnosed with Wobbler’s disease. Wobbler’s is a progressive disease that causes spinal cord compression due to the instability of the vertebrae. Guinness’ pain is managed daily with anti-inflammatories and pain medications. He has recently responded well to acupuncture and cold laser therapy treatments. Both of these treatments have proven to help him function better day to day.

Not only has Guinness’ condition improved since coming to us but his confidence has as well. Stairs are not as scary as they used to be and it only takes a little encouragement from his Foster Family and he will conquer that demon. He has figured out how to negotiate corners but still needs as much space as he can get to make it happen.

Over the years in Rescue, Guinness’ condition has improved but the challenges just keep coming. The constant extra pressure he applies to his front feet and toes, with his labored gait, has taken a toll and has led to several toe infections. These are well managed with antibiotics and soaking the affected area. Over the past 6 months his Foster Family has noticed that he is starting to lose the mobility of his back legs. His Foster home is now being equipped with a carpeted ramp to aid him with getting outside.

Guinness with his extreme stature draws attention wherever he goes and this provides the opportunity to teach others about this horrible disease. He continues to be a wonderful ambassador for dogs with Wobblers and their potential to live a rewarding life despite their disabilities. Guinness will always have a home as a permanent Foster with the Rescue. Your donation in his name today will help fund the care of this wonderful, silly, and shy boy. Guinness resides with his Foster family in Utah and shows his appreciation daily for their dedication to his care with wet sticky kisses.

Update 1/20/2014

Guinness was having some breathing difficulties recently. We took him to the vet for examination and x-rays. The x-rays were forwarded to a specialist who determined that Guinness had a respiratory infection. He has been prescribed an antibiotic specific for that type of infection. In addition, he has been sleeping with a humidifier. He has been responding well and feeling much better.

Update 10/08/2014 

Our Permanent Foster Guinness Bloated this morning. This sweet boy had an angel looking over him from the moment he bloated, through surgery and recovery.  His stomach had completely flipped and some blood vessels had bursted. His stomach had flipped 180 degrees by the time he was in surgery. This lucky boy didn’t lose his spleen and his stomach was saved. Fortunately this was all caught in time and he survived surgery and is recovering as we speak. Had the signs not have been caught he would have passed within hours.

The vet was very happy with his vitals during surgery and after. He was very shocked at how well this gentle Dane did.  We’ve attached some photos of Guinness going into surgery and after.  This big boy still needs all the good vibes and prayers sent his way while he recovers from this major surgery.

Thank you to his amazing Foster Mom Andrea for being such a wonderful mommy to this boy and rushing him to the vet and staying strong through such a scary time.