Pet of the Month December: Duncan by Nicole Arruda, CSR & ACA

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust.” – Roger A. Caras

Duncan is an eight year old Beagle who joined his family when his human sisters grew out of infancy. His parents had grown up with dogs, and wanted to someday add a dog to their family. After researching breeds, a Beagle was a clear choice for their size and demeanor. They met up with a breeder of Beagles in Ontario, found Duncan, and took him home to join the household.

At eight years old, Duncan is a very calm and happy dog, who loves attention and sun-bathing. However his life is far from simple, as he has had multiple visits to the vet throughout these years. His problems started within a couple of weeks of joining the family, as he had come home with Giardia: a parasite that colonise and reproduce in the small intestines. This was treated, and after reoccurring once or twice Duncan was free of this pesky parasite. At a mere 18 months of age, Duncan began having severe pancreatic attacks. He often had cases of vomiting and diarrhea, and has since had many ups and downs with this chronic pancreatitis. After getting Duncan on a strict gastrointestinal diet, the pancreatitis became more manageable, but Duncan still struggles with it from time to time.

“Duncan’s journey has been a struggle at times. Having two kids and a dog who loves to grab scrap papers, tissues, hair ties, doll shoes, you name it, has made managing Duncan’s medical care a challenge! We have a zip line in the backyard to keep him away from flower beds, and someone always goes outside with him no matter the time of day or the weather. We try to walk him with a muzzle to keep him from eating garbage off the sidewalks. We have also tried to really train everyone in the household to keep all bedroom and bathroom doors shut and to pick up loose items off of tables and floors.”

Duncan was also diagnosed as hypothyroid, a disease of thyroid deficiency. This means that dogs with hypothyroidism have metabolic rates below normal. “We have a seven-day AM/PM pill organizer we use to keep track of all of his medications!”

Duncan’s owners have found comfort and assistance in dealing with a specific doctor for his concerns. “Throughout his years of medical issues we have been fortunate to have two dedicated vets from North Town working with us to find the best approaches to keep Duncan happy and healthy. When the first vet moved away, we were very lucky to discover Dr. T. She has been Duncan’s primary vet for a few years now, and goes above and beyond for him, researching and consulting with specialists on new ways to manage his digestive problems.”

Thanks to a great deal of dedication on his parents’ part, Duncan is doing well. “He loves his special wet food, and enjoys his naps. His journey has certainly been a struggle at times, but for us, what is and always has been most important is ensuring that he is not suffering. We have tried to do everything we can to monitor what he eats, which in turn keeps his flare-ups under control.”

While Duncan visits North Town a lot for regular follow-ups and bloodwork, he is always lovely to deal with. He is definitely one of our familiar faces, and a part of the North Town family! We wish Duncan all the best in the future!

[envira-gallery id=”1972″]