Duncan is a 3-year old purebred French Bulldog from Michigan. He is American Kennel Club registered, but after a year he began suffering from horrible seizures lasting between 45 seconds and 5 minutes. After meeting with several veterinarians and neurologists, Duncan was diagnosed with Encephalitis, which is swelling in the brain, causing seizures as a result of the swelling. When Duncan is seizing, he foams at the mouth and drools uncontrollably, staring off into space and failing to make eye contact. His left leg has suffered some damage, and he cannot put as much weight on it as he should be able to. In order to snap Duncan out of a seizure, we are instructed to hold him and talk to him in soothing voices, saying his name and reassuring phrases. If these seizures last longer than 4 minutes, we have 4 mg of Valium as a rescue medication that will forcibly bring him out of his seizure long enough so that we can rush him to the neurologist.
People advised our family to stop "wasting our money" on Duncan's treatment, to just put him down and try again with another dog. How could we? Our bond with our dog is unbreakable; he is an active member of our family and he provides all of us with love, smiles, and lots of laughter. Although Duncan was suffering from seizures, his quality of life remained. He could still do anything he could before, so how could we justify ending his life prematurely? My parents have sacrificed a lot in order to pay for Duncan's medical bills since sick animals are not elligible for pet insurance. However, the joy that Duncan brings to our family is so worth all the difficult choices we are forced to make for our furry family member. The Golia family would be incomplete without Duncan. He gave me purpose when I felt I had none, and his presence in my life has been nothing but rewarding and absolutely incredible.
Duncan's doctors have worked very closely with our family to create a plan to prevent as much swelling in his brain as possible, which in turn cuts down on the frequency and severity of seizures. While this treatment is quite expensive, I know my family doesn't regret a single penny spent on our pup. He takes several mediations daily in order to combat swelling in his brain. We roll the pills in cream cheese and it's his favorite treat! While we are still adjusting the dosages, his seizures are few and far between, lasting only about one minute. We are still working with professionals to monitor his health and try new methods of treatment, as there is no cure just yet. My family will go to practically any length to keep Duncan alive and well, and as long as he's not suffering (which he isn't), we will keep pushing forward and advocating for new methods of treatment to keep him in our family for as long as possible.