BonniDune's Rainbow Bridge

BonniDune Logan
August 8, 2006 - November 2, 2006

BonniDune Flower
August 8, 2006 - December 4, 2006

BonniDune Belle
August 8, 2006 - December 9, 2006

BonniDune Cappy
August 8, 2006 - March 9, 2007

Saga of a TNS Litter

All 7 pups all started out with very similar birth weights (around 10-11 oz). By age 3 weeks, 4 of the puppies had fallen behind. I supplemented their feeding, to no avail. Around that time one of the pups got an abcess on her tummy. It took 3 courses of antibiotics before it resolved.

By 5 weeks I kept the big puppies separate from the little guys. Looking you would think it was 2 different litters. At about 6 or 7 weeks, one of the little guys collapsed. Could not walk, would not eat or drink. Did complete bloodwork, couldn't tell what was going on. He almost died, but I nursed him back.

By this time I was very concerned. Another of the small pups got an upper respiratory infection. Again, it took several courses of antibiotics before she was better.

I called my vet and told him I had very sick puppies and that I suspected TNS. Made the appointment for later in the week to give him time to find out what he could about the disease. I contacted Dr. Wilton, who sent me information that I printed out and took with me to my vet. My vet told me that he used every resource available to him and could find NOTHING about the disease. American veterinary resources didn't even have the Massey University study which first identified it. He was grateful for the information I could provide.

We did blood work on all 7 puppies and I sent the results to Dr. Wilton. Neutrophils were low, but still within normal. Inconclusive. A vet in Australia familiar with TNS reviewed the results and couldn't positively identify the cause. I thought we were going to have to do bone marrow biopsies, which is invasive surgery. Not something I wanted to put any of the pups through, and also expensive.

Optigen extracted DNA from blood on all 7 puppies plus both parents and sent it to Dr. Wilton. Alan was far enough along in his research that this litter confirmed what he had been suspecting. He was able to tell me that I had 4 affected, 2 carriers and 1 clear. Both parents were, of course, also carriers.

Symptoms appeared to be cyclic. The pup would be fine (small, but ok), then all of a sudden it would be ill. They never seemed to be able to effectively utilize their food. Diarrhea all the time. Their coats were thin and harsh, like they had worms (which they did not). They would be lethargic and moan as though they were in pain. They even smelled sickly.

The first puppy I put to sleep was Logan. He collapsed for the third time and could not walk. He also had abcesses in his jaw. Flower was second. She, too, collapsed after battling an upper respiratory infection. Belle got abcesses in her jaw so bad that she couldn't close her mouth. She was such a sweety, she laid on the vet's table and wagged her tail as we put her to sleep. Cappy lasted until the day after his 7 month birthday. He weighed approximately 10 lbs. His healthy brother weighed 25 lbs. at 4 months.

I never vaccinated them because I suspected it would kill them. Each fought different infections over the course of their short lives.

The DNA samples from these pups helped Dr. Wilton discover the DNA test to detect carriers.
Their short lives were not in vain.

To my beloved Logan, Flower, Belle & Cappy:
May you run free and painless as you were never able to do in this life.





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