The Story of Tott

Tott, the 8-month-old border collie, recently became a brand-new Minnesotan.
Although a bit shy initially with the new, snowy environment, Tott slowly started showing his foster family his friendly, happy, and curious personality. After a long, 20-hour car ride from Texas, it’s expected that an animal will need a few days to re-energize and get comfortable in their new life. The foster family knew that Tott would need some time, so they gave him plenty of space to rest and relax.

Once he had some time to get his bearings, he started to shine. His first reaction to snow was to investigate why and how this cold, wet, fluffy stuff was all over the ground. He loves playing with toys and thinks making new canine friends is a blast. He enjoys his new humans, too, especially using their socks and sweaters as a warm place to lay his head.

Although Tott was starting to warm up, his family noticed that even after five days he still seemed a bit lethargic and uninterested in some of the things that had recently given him so much joy.

Although initially intrigued by the snow outside, Tott began refusing to go out, and even started nodding off while walking around the yard. He no longer had the energy to greet the passerby dogs or even walk to his food and water bowls. While relaxing on the couch Tuesday evening, his breathing became very rapid and sporadic, even while he was fast asleep. These symptoms alarmed Tott’s family, so they called the 24-hour emergency line. They determined it was in Tott’s best interest to visit one of Ruff Start’s partner clinics yesterday morning to resolve what was happening with this sweet, curious boy.

The doctors quickly started to examine the loveable pup to get to the root of the problem. They noticed he had low oxygenation and immediately put him in an air chamber. They also took x-rays to see if there were any artifacts in the lungs, which had no conclusive evidence. The doctors continue investigating possibilities to ensure this loveable, intelligent, energetic pup gets the life he deserves. Tott returned home yesterday afternoon with his foster family while they wait to hear the diagnoses.

Tott likely still has unknown needs ahead, but Ruff Start and his loving foster family will be with him every step of the way. Donate today and support the care of this adorable little fighter and others like him.

Part 2:

Update: Tott’s ultrasound did not show anything diagnostic. The vet’s main concerns are his elevated liver values, weight loss, vomiting, and lethargy. We still don’t have the cause, but we need to rule out viral vs congenital. More tests are being run, like a B12, because Tott’s breed can have a congenital component that can cause low levels. Tott is being treated for parasites again just to make sure it isn’t something parasitic that can be fixed with a long course of dewormer.

Tott is doing well in the hospital and eating there. He will be going home today on meds and will be back for a recheck when his test results come in.

Tott needs your help now!

Earlier this month, we introduced you to Tott, a 9-month-old Border Collie who had recently arrived from Texas. At that time, Tott had been experiencing rapid abnormal breathing and was sent to the emergency room, where he was placed in an air chamber and had x-rays taken of his lungs. Even though he was examined thoroughly, the cause of his distress could not be determined.

Since then, Tott has had both good and bad days; sometimes, he can run around and play like a typical pup, and other days he’s met with extreme fatigue and vomiting. In the last few days, Tott’s condition has worsened. He’s acting very lethargic and refusing to eat.

His foster family knew something wasn’t right, so Tott was seen by Ruff Start’s veterinarian today. When his bloodwork was found to be abnormal, he was immediately sent to the ER for care. They plan to start him on IV fluids and antibiotics, perform an ultrasound for further examination, and he will likely need to stay overnight for additional observation.

When Tott was found roaming the streets of Houston with his brother Tater, we committed to giving him his best life. We are still committed to seeing that promise through, and we will do whatever it takes to help Tott live a fulfilling life with his new family. Please donate today to help cover the cost of Tott’s medical expenses, which could be as much as $5,000.