One Teen, One French Bulldog, and One Common Journey with Hydrocephalus

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Anise, a Frenchie with hydrocephalusShort Nose Only Rescue Team (SNORT), is a New Jersey-based all-volunteer rescue for brachycephalic dogs, including breeds like French and English bulldogs, Boston terriers and pugs. SNORT has taken Anise, a hydrocephalic puppy, into its care. Nina is an HA member and also a SNORT volunteer. She wanted to share Anise’s story with our community.

By Nina

I have been a dog lover for a very long time. My family owns a French bulldog named Truffles, and we have fostered seven rescue dogs, including a hermaphroditic pug that was surrendered to SNORT last January. (We called him Omar, but his adoptive family renamed her Pippa!) I have
raised money for SNORT and similar charities by selling newspapers and dog biscuits and working tables at rescue events. I am very passionate about helping animals like Omar and Anise.

My connection to hydrocephalus also goes back a very long way, to when I was in first grade and met a girl with hydrocephalus; she eventually became one of my closest friends. Since my friend told me everything there was to know about her situation, I considered my association with hydrocephalus to be as personal as it could get without actually having the condition.

All that changed the day I was diagnosed with compensated hydrocephalus late last spring.

The summer that followed was filled with visits to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and tests to try to determine the best way to treat my hydrocephalus. I learned that I have had this condition my whole life, but I never exhibited any symptoms and was only diagnosed incidentally. In October I had surgery to implant a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt into the right side of my brain to control the flow of my cerebrospinal fluid. My neurosurgeon is very pleased with the shunt’s performance.

My very personal connection to both French bulldogs and hydrocephalus collided the first time I saw Anise, a young French bulldog who also has hydrocephalus and needs surgery to get a shunt of her own. I love seeing her photos and updates and knowing that she will be better soon. She is a very brave little girl to be undergoing surgery, which is scary even for humans. Anise is recovering from a bout of pneumonia, but will have her shunt surgery performed as soon as she’s feeling better. Anyone interesting in learning more about her surgery and recovery can follow SNORT on Facebook.

After Anise recovers, SNORT will accept applications from prospective adoptive families. I’m so proud of SNORT for taking care of Anise, and wish this little puppy the best of luck!

UPDATE on Anise: Since Nina wrote this blog, Anise had her shunt placed on July 11th. The surgery went very well. She was recovering nicely and her vet was very proud of her resilience. This past Sunday, however, Anise was rushed to the ER at the vet hospital with what appears to have been a seizure. We are sending lots of love to Anise. If you would like to follow her recovery, please visit her dedicated Facebook page.


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