Dunkan's Diagnostic Dilemma

Hey, all you animal lovers and Dunkan enthusiasts!

As you know, Dunkan was recently diagnosed with a "degenerative neurological disease". After several tests (CBC, hormone test, etc.), which all came back "normal", he was started on a series of steroid injections that would reduce any swelling he might have had in his brain. This was a shot in the dark and could have gone either way, but luckily, Dunkan responded to the therapy, which proved that his brain had been swollen. This, coupled with the neurological exam, proved he is in fact suffering from a neurological disease. Because this therapy was successful, Dunkan has been started on a regimen of medicine that he needs to take twice a day for the rest of his life.

The difficulty is that the cost for a complete diagnosis is quite staggering, so the vet and I agreed to go from Step 1 (initial exam and blood work) straight to Step 3 (treatment options), while skipping Step 2 (diagnostic MRI). So, while we have our treatment options, we do not yet know the exact cause of his symptoms.

The vet said that his "fly biting" symptoms are quite uncommon, and categorized them as "partial complex seizures". He said that Dunkan's disorientation and aggression after waking up could also be symptoms of his disease. The medication he is currently on is a steroid that will control these symptoms, but it is not a cure.

With your big hearts (and open wallets), we are hoping to be able to afford the MRI, which will tell us more about his exact condition. The cost for an MRI on just one part of the brain is a whopping 660,000 won, and that's for just one part of the brain.

So, as it stands, here is the cost breakdown:

Vet fee........................................... 7,700 won
Hospitalization................................ 22,000 won
CBC, hormone tests........................ 130,000 won
Neurological exam.......................... 44,000 won
MPSS steroid injections.................... 110,000 won
1wk medication............................... FREE!

**** I paid out-of-pocket for the above charges.

1 brain lobe MRI............................... 660,000 won
additional MRI scans......................... 200,000 won

Fundraising goal: 1,000,000 won

The cost of the MRI is so high because of the technology and the sedation Dunkan will need in order to have the scan done. The vet will not know how many scans will be needed until they begin. He will scan the part of the brain that is most likely the source of Dunkan's neurological disease, but there is a chance that the origin is in a different part of the brain, which is when other parts of the brain would need to be scanned (the additional 200,000 won scans).

I know this situation seems insurmountable, but Dunkan has come so far and beat the odds to just get to where he is today. He has overcome heartworm, a "cherry eye", an intestinal bacteria that required surgery, a terrible ear infection, a bacterial skin infection, and FOURTEEN teeth extractions, only to be stuck with this neurological disease. He barely escaped from a dog hoarder, and made it out of the shelter alive, only to be adopted by a girl who didn't even care enough to give him any basic care at all. He is on a limited time frame and successfully diagnosing his condition will go a long way toward getting him into his new home. Please considering helping Dunkan during this "last hoorah", so at last, we can get him in the shape he needs to be in order to find what he most deserves: a home!

Donation details:

Amanda Swearingen
Woori Bank


Account: [email protected]

Thank you everyone for caring about Dunkan! Be sure to post a message if you donate!!! :o)

Tags: neurological disease


Amanda-n-Leeloo's picture

Unfortunately, Dunkan has continued his fly biting, which means that his medication is not working. I will take him to the vets tomorrow in hopes of finding out more answers, but I think an MRI is most definitely needed at this point.

Amanda-n-Leeloo's picture

So far, we have raised 150,000 in donations and pledges!!! Just 850,000 to go!!!!! When we get close to 660,000 won, I will take Dunkan in for his MRI! I'll also update everyone on what the vet has to say tomorrow!

marlajoy's picture

Hey, out of curiosity, what food is Dunkan eating? I had a dog with neurological problems a number of years ago and putting him on a healthy, natural, limited ingredient, human grade diet did wonders for him. His problem didn't disappear entirely but he became good enough to be free of medications and I no longer had to worry about him hurting himself or other animals. Standard dog foods have some pretty disgusting ingredients and can be very damaging to dogs with any sort of sensitivities. They are in no way natural food for dogs. It can't hurt to try a natural diet if you haven't already. :)

Amanda-n-Leeloo's picture

Hey, Marla!!! Dunkan eats Orijen brand dry dog food. I hear what you're saying about the natural diet, and trust me, if I had the time, money, and discipline, I would TOTALLY go for a BARF diet!! For now, though, I think Orijen is a great brand and they have limited ingredients and it's grain-free, so it's the best I can do. :o)

marlajoy's picture

Yeah, Orijen is definitely a pretty decent brand as far as kibble goes :) Dunkan is lucky to have that to eat rather than the standard stuff! Just in case you ever are interested in switching to a natural diet, give me a shout. I have found it is actually cheaper than buying kibble and not at all an inconvenience. No discipline is required. :) There's also lots of great websites that spell everything out and answer questions. A great website is rawfed.com. At any rate, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all you are doing for Dunkan!!!! He is lucky to have you! :)

Amanda-n-Leeloo's picture

Through the generous donations of animal lovers, we have been able to raise a staggering 807,000 in just 2 days! Dunkan is scheduled for his MRI at 3pm on Saturday!!!

marlajoy's picture

WOW!! I love ARK members!!

clare_bell's picture

Hey Amanda, can this be moved to the "thank you" section yet? :)

SteveandJoFlemister's picture

Any news on Dunkan?