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Juvenile Cellulitis/Puppy Strangles

As you all may know, three months ago, I recieved one of the cutest little furballs ever. His name is Apollo. He was the cutest little thing ever. He had all of his vaccinations on schedule, and everything had appeared normal. Here he is playfighting with my brother's dog, Beau:



We had gotten him some of his vaccinations, and he had a heart murmur. We were told by the first vet that his heart murmur was of a low grade and that it could have been just because of his excitement from the plane ride. A couple of days, maybe a week or two later, Apollo flared up, really bad, to look like this:





At first the vet put him on ear drops for an ear infection. We found our that those were expired and then after she had him on a low dose of steroids which contradicted our reading from other vets, we decided to take Apollo to my brother's vet who he really liked. When first looking at the dog, the vet said that this dog was clearly very sick. Upon further inspection we decided that it was either an auto immune disease or Juvinile Cellulitis. There was really no way to know other than treating with steroids, which would treat for both. If it was Puppy strangles(cellulitis) then over time it would get better, if he couldn't stay off the steroids, then it was auto immune. This broke our hearts because he was such a good boy. He was just baby. However, we were going to give him a fighting chance.

For those of you who don't know, Juvinile Cellulitis is when a Puppy's immune system is not working properly. The vaccinations triggered this, and his ears got heavy from the flare ups, and later on, it cause bumps and hair loss on the face. Here is a pictures of one of Apollo's lowest points:





He was in pain, as you can clearly see from the photos, but he rarely cried. He was on painkillers to help him through this, priscribed by the new vet. We upped the dosage on the steroids, and now we played a waiting game. Over time, Apollo started to get better. He got more energy, and started to become that playful puppy he was supposed to be. He started to grow his hair back, and his ears started to shrink from the inflammation. For awhile I thought they would never come back up. But Apollo would prove me wrong. After weeks of staying on the treatment, giving him kibble with homecooked meat in it, we lowered his dosage. Apollo has been off of the steroids for two weeks now, and here is a picture of him now:



Quite a difference huh? The only thing is is that it's only been two weeks. We don't know if this will ever flare up again, and we don't know if he truely is completely well. He still has a little joint pain, but the vet can't determine if it was from this or something else. His Breeder was kind enough to take care of us and give us a replacement puppy, which was why we got little Zeus, who is literally his brother. They have the same father. This is Apollo's story. I wanted to share this with you guys so that if you have a puppy going through this, or know someone who's puppy is going through this, you can tell them that this is treatable, and to give them a fighting chance.
 

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OMG, I have never seen such a thing, that poor baby!
He looks great now, and I hope he stays happy & healthy!
 

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Oh my gosh how sad. He looks to be in such a good condition and SO happy in that last picture. Keeping my fingers crossed that everythign will be fine for little Apollo.
Do you mind me asking but why did you get his brother???? I am just thinkg if he could have this too? Or is it not genetic?
 

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That picture of Apollo at is worst is heart breaking
I'm so glad to see he is doing better and I hope this never flares up again. Hugs to you and Apollo
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The condition is not genetic, and they actually have different mothers. The condition is rare and when a puppy is vaccinated the vaccinations attack the immune system. Zeus is clearly in perfect health. Looking back on Apollo's puppy pictures we really should've known he was sick. You can look like at his eyes and see the frown on his face. Zeus is smiling all the time, just a complete 360.
 

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Thank you all for your comments, we just couldn't let him go, he had grown too much on us and we loved him so much already. Even if he was dead tired, if one of us walked in the room he would get up and greet us. He is a very affectionate boy, and Zeus is quickly following suit, giving kisses left and right.
 

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What a terrible disease, I'm so glad you changed vets and he got some decent medical treatment. He looks so pitiful in that one picture, you can tell he didn't feel good.

And best of all, Apollo has grown into a very handsome boy!!!
 

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OMG, this is why I love this Forum. People can share these unusual medical conditions. What a great turn around. The first pictures look so bad.
 

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Ow Ow Ow

I am so glad he is feeling better. Poor Apollo.

I had never heard of this. Thanks for teaching me something today.
 

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First time I have heard of it
Thanks for sharing and I am glad Apollo is feeling better
poor baby
 

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Discussion Starter #12
On a happier note, I would like to throw in a few pics of my boys from yesterday. Let me also say that in the first pic, I am on far left, and my sister is on the far right. I also want to say that Zeus is such a ham!





 

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Wow, that's really something!!
Poor Apollo-he must've felt so miserable, but I can't believe the remarkable recovery he made. He's gorgeous!

I hope he's not getting another vaccine for the rest of his life! I wouldn't be surprised if his heart probs were caused by the parvo shot and the joint probs by the distemper vax. It's not as uncommon as one might think.
 

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Thank you so much for sharing your story. We have a 5 month old puppy who has had all his vaccinations and thankfully something like that didn't happen but makes you think. I have never heard of such a thing and to think that the first vet wasn't even interested in helping him, what a shame. He looks great now and hopefully the worst is behind you.
 

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Poor Apollo! It looked so painful- and to happen to a sweet puppy


I am floored by the change in his beautiful big ears! I wish you both continued success in treatment!
 

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I am very happy to see that Apollo has recovered. Thank you for sharing your story.
 

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I have never ever heard of such an illness but my eyes welled up w/tears looking at his "worst" photos ... ohmahgosh that poor thing!

I'm glad you posted this because I was able to learn something about an illness I knew nothing about. To think that vaccines caused this? Holy buckwheat! You don't vaccinate and your dog is open to all kinds of nasty thing, you do vaccinate and he's still open to all kinds of nasty things! That's just totally wrong!

Thank goodness he's a strong boy and recovered
Both dogs are beautiful!
 

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Originally Posted By: Riley's MomYou don't vaccinate and your dog is open to all kinds of nasty thing, you do vaccinate and he's still open to all kinds of nasty things!
It's about smart vaccination, and even then sometimes things still happen. The side effects of vaccination are often not given the respect they deserve -- they can be very damaging.

What a dramatic story, I'm so happy it ended with such a handsome looking boy!
 
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