UPDATE on Miss Pickles

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Last Friday our precious Miss Pickles began having violent muscle spasms, mostly across her neck. They almost mimicked seizures. They were severe enough that she screamed in pain. We raced her to VCA Veterinary Specialists in Loveland, Colorado, where she received top notch medical care by Dr. Wight and the VCA staff. On Monday, Miss Pickles received a comprehensive exam by neurology specialist, Dr. Amy Komitor, which was followed by an MRI. The findings were much worse than we anticipated.

Miss Pickles has “Chiari-like malformation” which is a condition characterized by the mismatch of size between the brain and the skull. The skull is too small causing part of the brain to descend out of the skull through the opening at its base, crowding the spinal cord. Because of this, she has has developed Syringomyelia, a disease of the spinal cord which is caused by the obstruction of spinal fluid in the nervous system. High pressure in the spinal cord compared to low pressure outside, leads to fluid accumulation, which eventually forms cavities.

Besides the disease mentioned above, Miss Pickles also has “Multifocal intervertebral disc disease”, and in her case, 2 cervical discs have ruptured.

Miss Pickles, a little history:

Tiny 4-pound Miss Pickles was found as a stray in a field in Santa Barbara, California and then taken to a shelter where she was saved from being euthanized by Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco. That was early in November 2016. A short time later, on December 6th, Muttville volunteer Daryl Weeden, flew Miss Pickles to us in Colorado. We fell in love with her instantly.

She had such a rotten mouth and a severe mouth/nasal infection that she immediately had to undergo surgery to remove remaining teeth and suture fistulas (openings between the roof of the mouth and the nasal cavity). Biopsies were also taken and it was determined that Miss Pickles had a benign tumor in the mandible area, which had already destroyed a portion of her bone. She had obviously suffered from infection for a long time and because of that, her sinuses has been ravaged. A culture revealed she had MRSA, a staff infection that is resistant to most antibiotics. Miss Pickles was prescribed a very specific antibiotic called Chloramphenicol. Three times a day we put on rubber gloves and gave the oral solution to Miss Pickles for the next 30 days.

Miss Pickles began to thrive. She was pain-free, she gained weight, she was happy – so happy in fact, she began playing with her sisters. And then 7 weeks later … the spinal issues arose.

The situation now:

To manage the Chiari-like malformation, surgery would entail creating an opening in the skull to relieve the pressure and then closing it with a mesh screen – that is not an option, we don’t believe it would be right to put Miss Pickles through that. There is also an option of putting a shunt into the spinal canal to make the spinal fluid flow much easier, though she might be too small for that. To surgically repair the ruptured discs might cause instability of her neck, … but there is the option of creating tiny 6mm openings to remove disc material, if the pain continues. Yet the question remains: Exactly which of the 2 issues is causing her pain?

Dr. Komitor’s initial plan is to manage the pain aggressively. Miss Pickles is on 3 different pain medications, plus she is being given a drug which is known to reduce the amount of spinal fluid, thus lessening the pressure. She is on strict “bed rest” with no activity.

We’re already seeing positive results, but we’re taking things one day at a time. Please continue to keep little Miss Pickles in your thoughts and prayers. She suffered so much neglect in the past and she deserves to have a future filled with nothing but comfort, kindness and love. Her quality of life is of utmost importance – she must be happy and pain-free.


For those of you who are asking, donations to help with Miss Pickles’ medical expenses are very much appreciated and can be made directly to VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado by calling them at 970-278-0668 (please mention that your donation should be applied to the account of Miss Pickles Taylor)

Or a check can be mailed to: VCA. 201 West 67th Court, Loveland, CO 80538 (be sure to note that your donation is to be applied to the account of Miss Pickles Taylor)

With tremendous gratitude, Dan and Rudi

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Miss Pickles being examined by Dr. Komitor

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82 comments

  1. Continuing to pray🙏for sweet Miss Pickles and you Rudi and Dan. My heart goes out to you as have to make decisions for sweet Miss P. ❤️❤️❤️And hugs to you all🙏

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  2. omg..I never heard of furbabies having chiari malformation..my son has it,had surgery and still suffers with it. she would fit in this family for sure with our cat with diabetes,seizures from my boston,kidney disease from my little kitty I found 3 years ago.My puppymill survivor passed away last year she was 8..we sure miss her ..

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  3. Miss Pickles You are a very special pup. You are in the best hands possible and I’m grateful that God crossed your path with Rudi and Dan. You will be well loved and taken care of. Rest well sweet girl. You deserve it. 💖

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  4. My heart breaks for Miss Pickles. She has endured so much pain. My heart breaks for the Taylor family too. You have given so much love to your fur babies, including precious Harley. Not a lot of people would adopt these dogs with their issues. Thank God for you both!! I pray for improvements in Miss Pickles journey. 😔❤️🐾🐾

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  5. ..
    holding this angel baby..
    precious ♥MISS PICKLES♥ in my heart so very tightly..
    with much love..
    and hope..

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  6. Praying for Miss Pickles recovery. She deserves so much love and being pain free. God watching over her.

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  7. Thank you for caring for that beautiful Ms Pickles!! I have total confidence that everyone will choose what is best. Im still praying for improvement and quality of life and im so happy you are giving her that chance!! WE LOVE YOU ALL!! I am making a donation as soon as i can find paypal link! Live, your friends in Pittsburgh ❤❤❤

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  8. Ohhhh this poor baby, so many issues in such a small precious body. In all of this we pray for some relief, for whatever may lay ahead, but for now she’s getting the best care, love and compassion that can be had from the most caring humans there are. Love to Ms Pickles, Rudi and Dan and everyone involved. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🐶

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  9. Omg to adorable b praying for pickles. N im gladly to help out this coming Thursday. I was touch with the story i read. Plz if u have facebook so i could follow. Sending lots of love n prayers.

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  10. I’m keeping Miss Pickles in my prayers. I know you will do what’s best for her.💗 Thank you for the update.

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  11. I’m praying for a miracle Miss Pickles. You are a living miracle!!! I hope and pray that you will be able to overcome this tremendous medical setback. I love you Miss Pickles!

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  12. I am so sad to hear of Ms Pickles latest health issues. She is in my prayers as well as her care givers. It is so sad that the has such serious problems. I so hope she will get to have more time to live a life of love

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  13. As a human with a Chiari malformation … it’s hard to learn to live with the pain – however, it’s do-able! Miss Pickles, you are in my thoughts and prayers, and it sounds like you are getting the best of care!

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  14. Someone posted this on Facebook to one of the dog pages focused on Chiara malformation that I am a part of. I just wanted to share that my 8lb pomeranian, Lucy, was diagnosed in the same way – neck muscle spasms I thought were seizures. After the MRI, we now know that she has a bad disc in her neck and Chiari. After her crate rest period, she is managing well on daily medicine – Pregabalin. Hope Miss Pickles is on the mend and doing great! XO

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  15. Praying for you, Miss Pickles. You have been through way too much for being such a little sweetheart. Praying that God is holding you closely as you heal.

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  16. I’ sorry for Miss Pickles.
    Syringomyelia can”t heal away. It continues and getting worst.
    I have cavaliers and in Finland we talk SM/CM a lot 😢 I have desided, if one of my loves starts show serious issues SM/CM, I let het go dogs heaven whithout any treatments. I don’t let them live any pain.

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  17. Prayers for continued healing for both Ms Lucy and Ms Pickles. Also, prayers for their parents for continued strength to help them through this bumpy road. Thanking God for all the love and happiness they can give the fur babies to help them take one day at a time. God Bless you.

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