Kerry Taylor and her family adopted a puppy named Mason from Coastal Animal Services in Duncan just over a week ago.
Mason had been seen wandering by the Duncan farmers market a few times, and was eventually taken in. He at Coastal for a week when Taylor and her family brought him home. At first Mason was affectionate, playful, well behaved and happy, until his seizures began.
“At six o’clock on Thursday he started having seizures,” Taylor said. “He had them every four hours after that.”
Mason was taken to the Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Nanaimo after his first seizure. The Taylors were sent home with hopes that all would be well, but that wasn’t the case — Mason’s seizures continued throughout the night and into the next morning.
The vets suspected Mason may have a liver shunt, a birth defect where an abnormal connection forms in the liver, and is known to cause seizures. The tests could not be completed because Mason’s seizures persisted.
“Saturday morning we were told we’d need to take him to Vancouver and that it was going to be a minimum of $5,000 just to get him in there,” Taylor said.
The Taylors took Mason across the Georgia Strait to Boundary Bay Veterinary Specialty Hospital in Langley. Mason had a slate of tests done, and nothing came up. He was booked to see the neurologist, and had an MRI done. Nothing abnormal was found on the MRI. The neurologist then ran a spinal fluid test. The Taylors are waiting for the results to come back.
At the hospital, his seizures eased, and Mason was downgraded from intensive care to basic care. He hasn’t had a seizure since Friday, October 18. Mason is taking medication to prevent further seizures.
“He’s home now. He’s a little bit dopey. He’s definitely confused, a little bit disoriented. The vets think he had a bit of vision loss from the seizures. They hope he’ll regain it, but right now his depth perception’s a little bit off — he’ll just walk in to things,” Taylor said.
The Taylors have spent $6,700 on Mason’s treatment so far — not including ferry and transportation costs. Coastal Animal Services has refunded the adoption fee. However, Taylor and her father in law have used their credit cards to pay for Mason’s bills. Taylor said she worries about potential treatment costs that could be waiting around the corner.
To help offset the costs, the Taylors have started a GoFundMe, and will be running a bottle drive in Ladysmith on Saturday, October 26. To date, the GoFundMe has reached $1,645 of its $7,000 goal.
“As far as we know [Mason] hasn’t had a family. This is his first time being in a home where he’s loved and getting taken care of. He hasn’t gotten to experience that yet. We only had him for 27 hours before all that started. He’s been in vets since Friday, so last night was his first night home since everything. We want to give him a chance so he can grow up and have a good life,” Taylor said.