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Farkle, a dog surrendered to Touch of Grey Rescue in Central Florida, initially believed to be suffering from seizures, turned out to have narcolepsy. Wendy Johnson, president and founder of the nonprofit organization, took Farkle in for fostering, determined to help him overcome his challenges.
Farkle’s past was shrouded in mystery, but his physical condition suggested a history of difficulties, including being underweight, skin issues, a possibly broken tail, and fearful behavior. However, Johnson sensed something “special” about Farkle, a sentiment that would lead to a life-changing decision.
Unfazed by her own experiences with epilepsy, Johnson observed Farkle closely, discovering that his episodes were not seizures but instances of narcolepsy with cataplexy—a condition marked by severe sleepiness and sudden loss of muscle control. Despite the challenges posed by this unique condition, Johnson and her family were determined to make Farkle a permanent part of their lives.
Narcolepsy, often an inherited disorder, can affect dogs of any breed. Dr. Jamie Lovejoy, a veterinarian, explained that a recessive gene linked to narcolepsy has been found in breeds like Doberman pinschers, Labrador retrievers, and dachshunds. However, Farkle’s case highlights the importance of understanding and addressing the diverse needs of rescue dogs, regardless of their background.
Farkle’s narcolepsy triggers include food, toys, new people, and certain smells. Johnson and her family have adjusted their routines and feeding practices to accommodate Farkle’s unique requirements, ensuring his safety and well-being. Despite these challenges, Farkle has become a source of joy for the family, enjoying activities such as walks, playtime, and belly rubs.
We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to adopt instead of shop. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!
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