Champ's Photo Shoot!

Posted January 3, 2010 8:48 pm
After hearin everybullie call me handsome, cute, good lookin, and eben a hunk, I'z decided to try my paw at modeling over da weekend. My buddy Johnny and his friends are opening a studio in Miami. Da grand opening is dis Saturday (Jan 9), but I got tew go early and break it in (wif da camera, not by peeing, don't worries Mommie Erica!) Sooo dese are da photos dat Johnny took. I fink dey wook pretty darn awesome. I eben let Girl and mommie be in a couple shots too. For more info about Johnny's pictas or if u wanna attend da grand opening ub der studio, drop him an email at:

Champ's Christmas!

Posted December 28, 2009 5:22 pm

Silly Champ

Posted December 14, 2009 6:42 pm
Champ is very playful and even a little naughty now! :) He loves snuggling with his sister and foster friends. He had to take a break from obedience class, but is scheduled to graduate next week! Here are some pics from the past week. He goes back to the vet next week for a check up.

Champ is doing great right now!

Posted December 11, 2009 2:28 am
In fact, he's a handful now that he is feeling better! He's responding well to the meds. Although it is a very high dose, so sometimes he has an upset stomach from it. The 30 day treatment is up on 12/20/09 and at that time we'll do another full blood panel to see if anything has changed. Hopefully it will not show an active tick disease infection. If it does, we may have to do an injectable form of treatment. But we're hoping that this high dose of meds does the trick and he'll finally be OK!! Until then, Champ is enjoying the holiday season. He helped mom put up the Christmas tree (thankfully once it was up he lost interest in it!). And he follows his Gramma around everywhere she goes. She's finally getting used to the drooling, farting, whining old man that is constantly at her side looking up at her with those droopy, irresistible eyes! :)

Champ is also now on Facebook. So if you'd like to be his friend and help Champ voice the message of rescue, please visit his page:

Champ got his stitches out today! His incision is healing nicely!

Posted November 30, 2009 11:39 am
He is finally starting to respond to his meds, so we're going to monitor him for awhile and see how he does. His temp is finally back to normal and he's a little more energetic. A urine analysis and culture is being done today to see if anything has changed. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get more good news back when the results come back from the lab. Until then, Champ is helping socialize the Shar Pei puppies, he has taken quite a liking to them and follows them around all day.

Bloodtest Results

Posted November 25, 2009 10:55 am
Champ's doctor called today with the results of the blood test. Champ tested positive for Ehrlichia (or Ehrlichiosis), which is a tick disease. He has been tested 3 times for tick disease and it has always came back negative. There are several different types of tests though. The test that both the shelter and we did measures antibodies. The test that the animal hospital did on Monday measures whether or not the actual organism is present.

OK so why is he testing positive on one but not the other? Once a dog has Ehrlichia, they will always be a carrier of it and test positive for it. So is this test just saying he is a carrier and there's still something else wrong?

Champ's doctors had the exact same questions; so when the results came back to the office from the lab, Dr. V called the lab directly and spoke to a specialist there. The internist stated that the test indicated an active infection. So the treatment we started on Monday (an increased dosage of a treatment we attempted 2 months ago) was probably the right step. Champ has a headstart on his treatment and we will monitor him for about 4 weeks. If at that time, he has not improved or he has deteriorated, then we will need to do a bone marrow aspirate to test his bone marrow. It is possible that the Ehrlichia is now in his bone marrow. If it is, he'll have to start injection treatments. Examination of the bone marrow will also provide info on whether the bone marrow is healthy enough to recover.

Below is a pretty good description we found online of Ehrlichia. It seems to fit Champ's symptoms (especially the fact that this disease can settle in the spleen and cause it to enlarge!).

"Ehrlichiosis can have three phases. Signs of the acute phase of the disease usually develop 1-3 weeks after the bite of the infected tick. The acute phase of the disease generally lasts 2-4 weeks. The Ehrlichia enter white blood cells and reproduce inside of them. In addition to the blood, these cells are found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and bone marrow. Platelets, the small cell fragments that help blood to clot, are often destroyed, as well. As a result of the infection, the lymph nodes, liver, and spleen are often enlarged. Anemia, fever, depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, joint pain and stiffness, and bruises are often seen. Many dogs will be able to fight off the infection. If not, they enter the subclinical phase.

In the subclinical phase the animal may appear normal or show only slight anemia. During this phase the Ehrlichia live inside the spleen. This phase can last for months or years. Ultimately, the dog either eliminates the Ehrlichia from the body or the infection may progress to the chronic phase.

The chronic phase can be either mild or severe. Weight loss, anemia, neurological signs, bleeding, inflammation of the eye, edema (fluid accumulation) in the hind legs, and fever may be seen. Blood tests show that one or all of the different blood cell types are decreased. One cell type, the lymphocyte may increase and be abnormal in appearance. This can sometimes be confused with certain types of leukemia. If a dog becomes chronically infected, the disease can keep coming back, especially during periods of stress. In some cases, arthritis or a kidney disease called 'glomerluonephritis' may develop."

Champ, Post-op Update & Pics.

Posted November 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Champ is doing better each day after surgery. He is more active, eating more, and whimpers less from the pain. His incision is very very large (see pic below), but he seems to be in less pain now. He was able to spend the weekend recuperating with his girlfriend Beans. Although he didn't get out to play with all the other bullies, Mommie let him come out by the pool on Sunday to get a little exercise. He had certainly had enough of crate-rest by then!
The hospital called over the weekend to let us know his vile of blood got dropped during transport, so we had to take him back in to have more drawn. Monday morning Mommie Neely and Champ headed to the the hospital. Both doctors came in to visit and see how Champ was doing. More blood was drawn and we decided to restart some meds that he was on a few months ago. The dosage was doubled from what it was last time in hopes that this will start treating the tick disease if that's what he has. But the doctors also had some bad news...if the bloodwork comes back negative for tick disease, the next step will be to look at his bone marrow. Just when we thought cancer was off the table :( We've decided we can't worry or rejoice yet. Must wait for bloodwork to come back this week. Then we'll know where to go from here. Fingers crossed it is just a tick disease (one of the rarer ones that aren't regularly tested for, and why we didn't see it sooner). Mommie just put in a call to the doctor....Champ has been licking strange things yesterday and today (the carpet, the wall, the babygate, the table, the patio floor). It seems like he's trying to get nutrients maybe? He's been drinking a lot of water also, which is expected as the docs said his kidneys were inflamed from the stress of his bunched up spleen! This means a few accidents in the house lately.
On a brighter note, Champ gets to meet his Gramma today who is driving down from Ohio! She's met his sister Girl before, but hasn't been down since Champ's addition to the family. He is very excited for the grandparent spoiling to begin!! :) As soon as bloodwork comes back, we'll post the results!! Paws crossed til then!!

Champ Update!

Posted November 23, 2009 10:18 am
Champ is home from surgery and resting well. He has finally settled down and is snoozing. The doctor loaded him up on pain killers, so he should be in dreamland for awhile.

The good news is- it's not cancer. WHEW. The type of cancer they thought it was had a very poor prognosis and we had embraced the fact that Champ may only be with us a short time longer, even with surgical removal. Mommie Neely is certain that is because of all of your prayers that what they thought was cancer turned out to be something so different. Once they opened Champ up and got a good look, they realized that what they thought was a mass on Champ's spleen was actually......more spleen. His spleen has enlarged to nearly 5 times its normal size. In fact, it has gotten SO large, that it ran out of room and had actually started folding over!! The "mass" we saw in the x-ray was actually part of his spleen that had doubled up and twisted into a "knot." Ouch. Maybe this is our laymen opinion but "knot" and "organ" shouldn't be in the same sentence. Sounds very painful; this is probably why he cried when pressure was put on his abdomen. They also found a significant amount of scar tissue on his spleen likely from past trauma. Not surprising considering they also found BB pellets inside him! This boy has been through his share of pain and suffering that's for sure. The scar tissue could be from previous physical abuse that caused damage to the spleen. They're not sure why it is so enlarged, but the size in and of itself is not life threatening. There could be a variety of reasons why it is so big. But the bottom line is, a big spleen is better than no spleen. So the doctors "unfolded" it, removed the scar tissue, and basically "cleaned it up." It appeared to be in relatively good condition once it was "cleaned up" even though it was still HUGE! So now Champ has a new and improved spleen!...ok not new, but it's definitely improved! This should help with his pain, but it doesn't explain all of his other symptoms, especially the anemia.

Which leads us to the bad news- we still don't know what's wrong!!

The doctors ruled pretty much out auto-immune disease. It's not completely off the table yet, but it's unlikely. A call was put in to an internist (Dr. of Internal Medicine) in Coral Springs. Hopefully she may be able to provide some answers. We also did a more complete blood test to rule out other tick diseases. His 4DX tests keep coming back negative, but they're not as sensitive as the one that is being done now. Results of that (and a urinalysis since one hasn't been done yet) will be in by Monday. Hopefully we will have some answers very soon, so this sweetheart can enjoy his senior bullie years in comfort. Perhaps it is a rare tick disease that is not normally tested for. Whatever it is, we just keep saying "at least it's not cancer." We can work with anything else, right??? We hope...

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive. Your support, kind words, prayers, and offers for financial support is simply overwhelming. I cannot thank you enough for taking such an interest in this little man. He is truly an example of what rescue is all about. He was abused by humans for years, and he still suffering because of it. Yet his soul is still so gentle he makes people smile wherever he goes. Dr. Baumwell kept asking me "Is he always this sweet?" Yes, he is! Always! To go from his past life of abuse and suffering to his life now could not be done without the love and support from all of you. No dog deserves the treatment that Champ has had to endure. Unfortunately, there are countless other dogs out there, the victims of dog fighting, puppy mill breeding, and just pure abuse/neglect of irresponsible owners. Thank you to those who have shown support, not just for Champ, but for all of the bullies who find their way to us at Adopt-A-Bull.

Bad news for champ... surgery tomorrow :(

Posted November 19, 2009 8:04 pm
Champ suddenly became very ill last night. His temperature spiked to almost 104 and he became lethargic, depressed, and stopped eating. Mommie Neely gave him a nice cool bath to lessen the fever, a nutrient/mineral supplement, raw beef liver for iron, and pedialyte to rehydrate him. He seemed a bit better today when Mommie Neely returned from work. This was deja vou....same symptoms as the beginning of September. The Dr. had prescribed a couple antibiotics and the above vitamins and beef liver. Anemia is not a disease in and of is a symptom of something else...something more serious. Obviously whatever is wrong is still there. So Mommie Neely called a vet that had come very highly recommend by a friend whose dog had a tumor successfully removed by him. They were able to squeeze Champ in that afternoon for an appointment. They took 30 minutes to fully look over all of his history. Dr. Baumwell came into the exam room and sat down to talk for another 10 minutes. He took the time to truly listen and see Champ as not just a rescue dog, but my best friend and part of my family. He recommended a complete blood panel to rule out an autoimmune disease. As they were doing blood work, fecal tests, etc, the Dr. came back in to talk some more. Something still didn't "feel right." They both decided it would be best to take an x-ray to rule out a tumor. After 2 sets of x-rays ( just to be sure), it was without a doubt a giant mass on his spleen called a hemangiosarcoma. (Also found on the x-rays were pellets in his abdomen. Champ had been shot with a pellet gun!! What else did this poor boy suffer through?!?!)

Hemangiosarcoma is a very aggressive, high-grade soft tissue cancer. It is a highly malignant cancer that preys on blood vessels. It can spread rapidly and cause tumors almost anywhere in the body. Hemangiosarcoma builds it's own blood vessel network which disrupts normal organ function. It is commonly in the advanced stage before detection, making it virtually a silent killer. Hemangiosarcoma is highly metastatic, and most forms of the disease are associated with a poor prognosis. There are 3 types: Dermal (found on the skin), Hypodermal (found under the skin), and Visceral (found on the spleen and heart). Visceral is the deadliest. This is what Champ has.

Champ is scheduled for surgery tomorrow (Friday). The surgeon is another vet at this office. She has English Bulldogs herself and is very familiar with the breed. We have decided that in addition to the splenectomy (removal of Champ's entire spleen and attached tumor), an exploratory surgery will be performed to determine if it has spread to the heart, lungs, and/or liver. This is a very intense surgery and we all know bulldogs are one of the riskiest breeds to put under anesthesia because of their breathing problems, especially the older they get. Champ is somewhere between 6 and 8 years old. Although not a young boy, he has fought a hard life. It seems too unfair that he could survive the horrendous abuses of his past only to die of cancer. Please keep Champ (as well as his friend Daisi who is also undergoing surgery up in D.C.) in your thoughts and prayers.

Go Champ Go!

Posted November 14, 2009 3:50 am
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