Hey Connie. Thank you again for all you do to help these pups that would otherwise be forgotten. I miss Tommy every day. There is not a minute that goes by that he doesn't pop into my mind.
I met Tommy during my fourth year of veterinary school at The Ohio State University (Go BUCKS!) I was completing a clerkship at Health and Harmony Animal hospital with Dr. Kim West. I remember the day like it was yesterday. Dr. West came in with a puppy in a cat carrier and said, "Katelyn, I know you love dermatology - here is a case for you."
Tommy was owned by one of the FFBF clients. She brought Tommy into the clinic multiple times prior to have his skin checked. After several visits and medication trials, Tommy's condition only seemed to worsen. Dr. West knew Tommy needed more care and testing than a single FFBF clinic day could provide.
I think every veterinary student experiences that one clinical case that helps them make the transition from student to clinician. Tommy was this for me. Getting to a diagnosis for Tommy was a mountain of a collective effort. I owe so many thanks to the following doctors who contributed to making Tommy's 2.5 years possible:
1. Dr. West offered her hospital and loving staff to provide IV fluid therapy, diagnostics, and treatments for Tommy.
2. Dr. Ryan Jennings, volunteered to read Tommy's skin biopsies which led us to his diagnosis
3. The OSU VMC Dermatology team - Dr. Sandra Diaz, Dr. Lynette Cole, Dr. Wendy Lorch, residents, and technicians.
4. The OSU VMC ER Doctors, technicians, and staff that helped Tommy every time he aspirated
Tommy's diagnosis was a rare disease called dermatomyositis. This is an immune-mediated disease where the immune system attacks skin and muscle. The prognosis for this disease is very poor. Most dogs that are severely affected, as Tommy was, do not live past puppy hood and require an incredible amount of monitoring, treatment, and follow up veterinary care.
Tommy's FFBF family made the most self-less decision to allow Tommy to have a chance at life when he came to live with my husband, myself, and our fur family. Initially our intent was to foster him until he became healthy enough for a forever home. After just a few weeks with him, I knew that he would never leave my side.
Tommy was so lucky to have the love and support of so many people. His Instagram and Facebook pages brought together dog lovers from all over to world. His story, silly bow ties, and goofy photos brought smiles to many. FFBF and Tommy's team of doctors made his short life possible and I am forever grateful for all they did for him and all they are doing to help other well-loved pets like Tommy.
Thank you FFBF.
-Dr. Katelyn Cobb