A Home for the Holidays: Meet Ellen

Special Needs Puppy Looking for Her Forever Home

UPDATE: Adopted!

Ellen, a beautiful four-month-old Feist-mix, came to the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) as part of a transport from our partners in North Carolina in November.

A few days after arriving at ARL’s Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Center, Ellen suffered a seizure, and has since shown mild neurologic symptoms including a spastic nature to her gait while playing and a lack of coordination.

Preliminary exams and diagnostic tests have not pinpointed the root cause of the seizure or the ongoing issues that have followed.

It should be noted that while exhibiting neurological symptoms, Ellen is also displaying typical puppy behaviors. She’s energetic, loves attention and playtime, and is absolutely adorable! To see Ellen being playful click here.

Needing Extra Care

Adopting a puppy is an extraordinary commitment, but in Ellen’s case she may need more than learning manners, house training, and everything else puppies need to become well-adjusted adult dogs.

“There is a fair chance that her symptoms are caused by hydrocephalus, a congenital defect in which excess fluid accumulates around the brain,” said Dr. Erin Doyle, Lead Veterinarian for ARL Shelter Veterinary Services. “The prognosis for hydrocephalus is very dependent on its severity. In some cases, hydrocephalus can be treated surgically or managed medically to control symptoms. Ellen’s lack of any further seizures and the mild nature of her ongoing symptoms are positive indicators, but unfortunately do not guarantee a good long term prognosis.”

The best way to determine her diagnosis and prognosis would be through a referral to a veterinary neurologist and an MRI. An MRI can run $1,500-3,000, however, whether this is necessary will be determined by Ellen’s ongoing symptoms. Ellen’s new family will have to monitor her closely and establish a plan with their regular veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment.

Have Some Love to Give?

Ellen is waiting for her forever family, and so are many others. If opening your heart and home to an animal in need this holiday season is up your alley, we encourage you to visit ARL’s Boston, Dedham or Brewster Animal Care and Adoption Centers to find your perfect match!