I’m popi and I’m 8 years old. I came to The Red Foundation over Christmas 2021 and was in such a state I was rushed in for a CT scan straight away. My skin was red raw and incredibly swollen, I had pneumonia and swelling all over my body from my ears to my toes. I would gurgle after eating and hyperventilate when stressed.

After numerous investigations several diagnosis were made.

The first was oesophageal dysmotility. This means my oesophagus doesn’t work properly and my food gets stuck in my throat. This leads to aspiration pneumonia. To treat this I am on several medications for life. The Red Foundation bought me a pretty pink and purple stand imported from the States to help me. I have to be held upright after eating and be winded like a baby. I can only eat foods like paste and often have mum darting after me when I steal something yummy.

Next my liver was a mess and by fluke the vets discovered my gallbladder was inflamed. A quick biopsy found a nasty infection in there which was promptly treated over several months. This infection had caused inflammation to my liver. To monitor this I have blood tests every couple of months. I had to eat a nasty boring food for 6 months which made me really hangry but it did make me feel much better. 

My skin is next. When I arrived my skin was swollen everywhere, I couldn’t walk without my pads bleeding, I had ear infections and odema in my legs. This is carefully managed but much better now. Unfortunately due to neglect my skin is thickened and stretched. My vet compares me to a sharpei and laughs at my little rolls on my legs. I don’t mind because they helped make me feel better.

I had the most severe case of separation anxiety my mum has ever seen which caused panic attacks. With my oesophagus issues this lead to pneumonia so I was on anti anxiety medication for a while. Now, whilst I don’t really like it I know my mum is coming back so I do stamp my foot but I don’t get distressed. I do get very excited when she comes home though.

Without the help of The Red Foundation I probably wouldn’t be around now. My medical issues are a heavy financial burden and need a lot of commitment from my mum. But I am so happy now. My favourite thing to do is snuggle my mum, but I do love a swim and a game of fetch in the sea.

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