Oscar’s Neospora Story

What an incredible journey for a young puppy as well as for his breeder and the lovely family he went to live with. Thankfully, the outcome is a good one. This story details questions and answers between the breeder and an amazing vet.

So what is Neospora? The name is actually Neosporosis. It is caused by a parasite Neospora caninum. Infection can be acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water, or ingesting infected tissues. It may also be transferred from a mother to a fetus still in the womb (transplacentally). Severe infections can occur in young puppies, which typically develop partial paralysis of the legs, particularly the hind legs. The paralysis is often progressive and results in rigid contracture of the muscles. The outlook for these puppies is poor.

Kuven The Choice Was Made 'Oscar'

A yellow male Labrador Retriever born to first time parents Kuven Ice Dream Choice (Choice) and Huntogun Bruno (AI) (Bruno) on February 3, 2020. Oscar was one of ten puppies, 5 females and 5 males, initially known as Mr Blue.

At 6 weeks of age the litter were given their first vaccination and a general health check, with no anomalies detected. At 8 weeks Mr Blue became Oscar and went off to his new family that consisted of mum, dad, son (8 years old) and daughter (6 years old).

Saturday April 18 - Oscar was taken to his local vet and given his second vaccination (C5) and health check. The owners were concerned about his movement/hindlegs as they had noticed that Oscar seemed to drag a back leg and never jumped up. When mentioned to the vet and they were told ‘It’s just because he was a puppy’.

Saturday May 16 - Oscar was taken to his local vet and given his third vaccination and health check. The owners brought their concerns about his movement/hindlegs to the attention of the vet and it was suggested that he had hip dysplasia and should be x-rayed and quoted them for the procedure and prescribed Onsior 10mg tablets for the control of pain and inflammation.

Monday May 18Oscar’s owners phoned the breeder. His owners said they noticed a problem when they first took him home, he seemed to drag a hindleg as he came up the step to come inside. As a result of the last vet visit, they thought they would seek a second opinion where the x-rays were cheaper.

Tuesday May 19 - Breeder advice to owners
Thank you for letting me know that there is an issue with Oscar. Please don’t rush into having an X-Ray, it is too expensive. Can you please tell me the name of the vet that you saw and the name of the practice? Would you please take a video of him and either email it to me or upload it to YouTube and send me a link? Once I have had a look at how he is moving etc. we can make arrangements on what to do.

After viewing the videos of Oscar, the breeder had very grave concerns for the welfare of the puppy. The owners decided to seek their second opinion with a different vet. That vet didn’t think it was hip dysplasia. However, it was suspected that Oscar had Neosporosis. Although the vet did not do a titre test, he took blood for general health analysis and started Oscar on Clindamycin 2 x 150mg twice daily and so Oscar’s Neospora story began.

Sunday, May 24 - It was decided it would be best for Oscar to be returned and his purchase price refunded, after consultation with the owners and much consideration. The following day the Breeder refunded the purchase price to the owners and collected Oscar. After that, he was taken back to the same veterinary practice the owners had gone to the week before (for their second opinion) and saw the same vet. He seemed to think that there was some improvement and to continue the medication, Clindamycin. A blood sample was taken and sent for testing for Neospora.


In this video Mr Blue 'Oscar' is the puppy on the left, you can see that he fails to extend his back legs, collapses and stays down. At the time it went un-noticed, it was only after Oscar’s diagnosis that this evidence was found.

Oscar's Neospora story

May 28 Information from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
A puppy that was fine when he left me at 8 weeks old and is now back in my care. His owners say that he was dragging his back leg ever since they took him home. There was nothing noticed by me (the breeder). His owners consulted their local vet, when he was there for his 3rd vaccination, who suspected hip dysplasia. As a result, the family sought a second opinion with a different vet. The diagnosis was most likely a Neospora infection. A blood sample taken for general health analysis and Clindamycin was prescribed.

Oscar’s blood test for general health revealed the following:
Lymphocytes 3.6 0.9 – 3.5 x10^9/L = H
Creatinine 40 50 – 130 μmol/L = L
Phosphorus 3.0 0.8 – 2.1 mmol/L = H
Calcium:Phosphorus Ratio 0.9 1.2 – 3.0 = L
Creatine Kinase 628 73 – 510 U/L = H

He was taken back a week later by me (the breeder), we saw the same vet and he seemed to think that there was some improvement. A blood sample has now been sent for testing for Neospora, with a turnaround time of about 3 weeks.
Oscar’s symptoms are severe weakness in his hind legs. His hind legs move together if he tries to hurry and his back is arched. He doesn’t appear to be in any pain and the vet at can’t find a sore spot, hence doesn’t think it is an injury.

I do see neospora in greyhounds but it is not a common condition. In puppies it presents with incoordination, lameness and muscle soreness. Oscar may have neospora. I would not say his gait is typical of neospora.
The blood titre for neospora will confirm or negate this. Clindamycin is an appropriate antibiotic to be on.
His gait looks to more of an orthopaedic problem (hips and/or lumbar spine).
The blood tests indicate that there may be a calcium and phosphorus imbalance. If this is the case it will be caused by feeding a lot of meat with low calcium supplementation.
Low Calcium levels and incorrect Calcium : phosphorus ration is a common cause of lameness in puppies.

Thank you so much for your opinion and propt reply

Check the diet and send a copy to me

4–8 weeks Supercoat puppy chicken with meat and yoghurt and water, two meals a day ,fed by me (the breeder).
8-16 weeks Supercoat puppy chicken offered to allow Oscar to graze as opposed to two meals a day. No meat offered. 
Since Monday (he is back with me) eating two meals a day of Supercoat puppy chicken with meat and yoghurt and water.
Should he go onto Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy now, do you have any other suggestion of food or supplements?

This diet is ok and should not be affecting Oscar
I should check this dog and get some radiographs done to assess hip laxity and the integrity of his spine. Would we be able to do this on Monday or any day that suits you next week?

I can do Monday or Tuesday about midday. What would suit you best?

I think I should do this sooner than later and so not wait on the Neospora result

Thank you that is good to know

Sunday May 31 Information from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
Just an update on Oscar before you see him tomorrow. He has been sneezing since Thursday, it seems to happen too frequently, but only when he is walking around. There is no nasal discharge and his eyes seem fine. Oscar’s appetite is much better and he has also been given a couple of chicken necks with his breakfast. His movement is much the same, reluctant to get out of his crate but quite energetic when outside.

Oscar’s toileting is a concern. He can’t 'assume the position' to poop, and goes as he walks. Watching him today, I’m not convinced that he is aware that he is going. What bothers me more, is that we have had two pees while he was laying in his crate today, had no accidents since I picked him up last Monday. There was no indication from him while he was in the crate that he needed to go. He also starts walking while he is still peeing when outside, so I’m not sure that he is aware that it is happening. Hopefully tomorrow will help us understand a little more or rule out something.

Vet Assessment Monday, June 1
I thought that there was an improvement in Oscar today having seen the previous videos. Oscar’s x-rays of his hips and spine were fine. The examination revealed the following, (prior to knowing the result of the Neospora Titre test). Oscar has normal hindleg reflexes. He has spasms of the Psoas and Quadriceps muscles, this is most probably due to some trauma.


  • Hold one hindleg up and hop to the other side, then do the same on the other hindleg (5 reps twice daily)
  • Hand under the knee and gently stretch and hold his hindleg, then do the same on the other hindleg (5 reps twice daily)
  • Cavaletti bars twice daily
  • Calcium 400-600mg daily (with Vitamin D)
  • 5-10 minutes walking in the sunshine twice daily
  • Avoid vigorous off lead exercise
  • Email reports and videos on the weekend
  • Revisit next week
  • Continue Clindamycin
Oscar's Neospora Stroy was confirmed with his results
Collection Date: 25/5/2020 Date of Receipt:  26/5/2020 Date of Result: 29/5/2020
Test: Neospora Antibody by IFAT   Result: Titre of 1/3200 Specimen Type: Serum

General Interpretive Guidelines -A number of factors need to be considered when interpreting Neospora IFA titres:

  • In clinical cases of neosporosis, titres are often > = 1:800
  • Titres > = 1:50 and < 1:800 may indicate an early or mild response to infection. A second sample in 10-14 days is recommended.
  • A fourfold or greater rise in titre over 10-14 days is strong evidence of active infection
  • Very early infection may not be detected by this test, so if there is clinical suspicion of acute infection, the animal should be retested in 10-14 days
  • A single high titre is not diagnostic for active infection and may simply reflect previous exposure (high titres may persist for years in asymptomatic dogs)
  • Higher titres are found in clinically (versus subclinically) affected dogs and in those with the longest duration of illness
  • There is no correlation between the magnitude of the titre and severity of clinical signs
  • Maternal antibody may cause positive titres up to 5 weeks of age
  • Occasionally animals with histologically confirmed infections have low titre results

Monday June 1 Information from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
Could you please ask for a copy of Oscar’s neospora test and send it to me so I have it for my records. It would be best to carefully dispose of his droppings too. Plastic bag and in the rubbish bin. That will ensure that there is no possibility of any further environmental contamination. You should ask Choice’s owners to do the same please.

Thank you so much for your interest and care today. The Neospora test result is attached as requested. Although we have some answers today, Oscar’s Neospora story has raised many questions.

Agree ………….. it is a little confusing.

Choice, DOB 25/02/2018. She is their only dog and they have two cats. She has not shown any signs of illness apart from an itch/rash on her tummy which has been treated with antihistamine and settled.

Skin itches are reported to occur with neospora BUT I have never seen this nor do we have any reports of skin problems in affected dogs. It is EXTREMELY unlikely that the itch is related to Neospora especially if it responded to antihistamines. Skin allergies ARE very common.

She has been with me for hip and elbow x-rays and again to be mated. She came back to me for the birth of the litter, 10 puppies born via C-section 03/02/2020. I have spoken to her owners and they are going to arrange (hopefully this week) to take her to for the Neospora test. I have advised them to also pick up her droppings in a plastic bag and put it in the rubbish bin.

Good work. This is a sensible precaution.

Bruno is the sire of these puppies. He lives on a farm at Merton and there are cattle on the property.

Sexual transmission is not known to occur. Dog to dog transmission occurs by ingesting neospora eggs passed in the faeces onto the ground and into water. We may test Bruno at some stage.

I have other dogs here. Disco will be 13 in July, Ruby was 6 in March and Ditto is 9 weeks on Thursday.

If the older dogs are infected their immune system will be keeping it under control. Shedding of eggs occurs intermittently. We may test them later. If Ditto has no symptoms we will sit tight at this stage.

Keepa normally lives here. She is Ditto’s mother. Keepa left the property May 23 and is currently with a friend. Oscar came back to me May 25. Ditto is one of 7 that were born on April 2, she and her 6 littermates have all played with Oscar last week. We live on 20 acres that is used as a hay block, so no stock. There are cattle on either side.

Foxes and wild dogs can be involved in the transmission. Your neighbours would know if they had problems with their cattle. There would be abortions occurring.

The Choice Litter. Oscar and his 9 littermates were walked on our twenty acres in the two weeks prior to them going to their new homes. The Lincoln litter (where Ditto came from) were also walked on the property.

Transmission is most likely to come from Choice, rather than your property. The neospora eggs are rather tough and can live in the environment for weeks and months.

We have a fenced back yard where the puppies and older dogs usually play. I regularly pick up the poop in the yard, there has been a lot of that over the last couple of months.

Excellent work

What concerns me most is how infectious is Neospora?

It is infectious but has a very low incidence

Are the Ditto and her littermates likely to be infected?

Possibly. We would need to look for clinical signs of nervous upsets and gait abnormalities

Even if I pickup after Oscar is the ground still contaminated?


Can I allow Oscar to interact with the other dogs?

No keep him isolated. Will add more later

Tuesday June 2 Information from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
Would laser therapy be of any help to Oscar?

No need to consider laser the antibiotics are the most important factor at this stage. Can you confirm the size of the capsules and the frequency you are giving them eg 2x daily ?

Oscar is on two Clindamycin capsules 150mg twice daily.

I will also add another antibiotic to his regime.

On May 25, Oscar was started on Wheat Germ Oil. Initially on 1ml daily for the first week and now on 1.5ml. I’ve been feeding about a teaspoon to my old girl, since January and found that it has really put a spring back in her step. I figured it wouldn’t hurt. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

This is not a problem Wheat germ oil is a great source of omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E as well as the Octacosanol.

It has been confirmed with her owners. Choice is booked in for 11am tomorrow for the Neospora test. Should her test go to the same lab as Oscar’s?

No I will send it to our usual laboratory and they should have a result back for us by next Tuesday. I will also do a toxoplasma titre on Choice. When I see Oscar next I will be checking his neospora titre and toxoplasma. It is highly unlikely that toxo is involved but I want to check. I need to add some Tribrissen tablets to the antibiotic regime. Perhaps you could pick them up from your local vet, I will need details so I can arrange this.

Wednesday June 3
The vet phoned to organise collection of Oscar’s medication. He was to start on Tribrissen collected from the breeder’s local/usual vet. He was also to start on Pyrimethamine 20mg once daily as soon as the drug could be sourced. Oscar started Tribrissen tablets, dosage 1 tablet (Sulfadiazine 400mg Trimethoprim 80mg) twice daily.

Thursday June 4 Information from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
Is it possible that he has Toxoplasmosis as well as Neosporosis? It seems that you are questioning the Neosporosis diagnosis and looking for something else, hence my confusion. I understand the Tribrissen treats Toxoplasmosis. Does it also help in the Neosporosis treatment or have you started Oscar on that based on suspicion of Toxoplasmosis. What is the other drug, that Oscar has to start asap (on Friday) and what does it treat? Can Toxoplasmosis be confirmed in the blood taken from Choice. The information I received, the collection of cerebrospinal fluid was required as the next step for diagnosis.

In trying to trace the origins of Oscar’s Neospora story the following information may be useful considerations. Choice (DOB 25/02/2018) (Oscar’s mother) was one of 8 puppies, 5 males and 3 females. One male died in the nest at day 3. To my knowledge all but one are fit and healthy, like Choice.

A male, had problems with his movement, slightly lame in the front on and off since around 4 months of age. Given a course of anti inflammatories and rest and it resolved. But, as soon as any kind of work or exercise started it returned. It was then noticed he was limping in the hind quarter and he “bunny hopped” when trying to run. The Vet found quite a lot of thickening in the right elbow particularly and he won’t put any weight on it. The left hip can be extended right back, but the right hip couldn’t be flexed at all. It was decided to get him as sound as possible and then find a suitable home. However, on the way home from the usual morning walk, he was so lame in the hindquarters, it was obvious that he would spend his whole life in pain or on pain relief drugs. As a result, he was put to sleep.

It will be easy to test Choice’s mother. Finding a starting source and just dealing with Neospora would be the best outcome.

Saturday June 6 Progress report from Breeder and Vet comments in blue

Pyrimethamine has been added to Oscar’s pill quota, so he now has the following:
Clindamycin 150mg x 2 morning and night since May 19
Wheat Germ Oil 1.5ml morning since May 26
Calcium with Vitamin D 1 morning since June 2
Tribrissen (Sulfadiazine 400mg + Trimethoprim 80mg) 1 morning and night since June 3
Pyrimethamine 20mg 1 night since June 5

Oscar Neospora story continues with afew OMG moments

  • I have seen him trot for a few paces and that seems to be happening more often and more paces.
  • He couldn’t come up my stairs (5 of them) from the back yard to the deck when I first brought him home and certainly couldn’t go down them. He has started to come up them when he thinks about it and today he managed to go down them. His hind legs are mostly moving independently up the stairs.
  • I happened to block his path between an armchair and the couch and he managed to walk backwards

In general he seems a much happier puppy, he has found his voice and seems to have better control over his bladder which is including assuming the stance to pee instead of walking while he was peeing and not seeming to be aware. He is still not able to assume the position for a poop, but at least attempts to do so and seems aware that he is going. Oscar’s owners came to visit today, they definitely think there is improvement and can’t wait to have him back. He has grown and his appetite is good.

Excellent news. Please keep up the reporting

Tuesday June 9 Progress report from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
I think Oscar is continuing to improve. Oscar has lost his front teeth and showing normal puppy behaviour. Ditto is his favourite toy and he was holding his ground and balance well while playing with a tug rope with her. There have been no toilet accidents and he is indicating to me when he needs to go, yesterday for a pee and this morning for a poo. His stance to pee is great and he now holds that stance until he has finished. He tries to assume the position for a poo but cannot hold it until finished, I have this on video today so you will see what I mean.

A few chicken necks have been added to the diet and I think he will need the overall meals to be increased, probably from 1 cup to 1½ cups in the evening. Oscar’s stretching exercise is going very well, getting full extension with little resistance. With all the ups and downs of Oscar’s neospora story, the down is I’ve hurt my back, so am unable to do the hopping exercise with him. However, the up is I’ve invented a the new physio exercise that I think may help. Below are a couple of photos as well as a series of videos taken this morning, apologies for the quality.

Separating his back legs Weight on his back legs

Friday June 12 Progress report from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
The results from Choice are not back yet, I will check tomorrow. I trust Oscar is progressing well

Oscar’s toilet training is improving, he has gone to the door because he needs to go and when let out makes his way across the deck down the stairs and onto the lawn. His stance to pee is great and he now holds it until he has finished and his back feet are now better placed, so he no longer pees on his foot. The posture he assumes for a poo is improving. Yesterday he managed to hold it for 75% of a poo before having to walk forward. As a growing puppy, his food has been increased again. He is now on 1½ cups puppy biscuits both morning and night. Meals include two or three chicken necks in the morning and in the evening he has meat, yoghurt or yakult and water. Cooked sausage is used for treats.

Our walks have increased in distance. They include quite a bit of hill work, such as the dam wall. Off lead freedom happens once the walk reaches the creek. Yesterday he was playing with Ditto and didn’t see the shallow part that I crossed, then both he and Ditto swam across, it was only about two metres. Today we re-visited the creek and he amazed me. Oscar’s stretching exercise are continuing to go well, getting full extension with little resistance. A ‘frog’ position has now been achieved and he seems comfortable while being massaged.

Dam Wall Frog Position Massage

I can see a great improvement in this boy, well done on your cavaletti bars, great to see him start to lift the hind legs individually to get over them. He is growing so quickly; can you check his weight please. I will be in touch tomorrow when I have the results of the blood tests

Sunday June 14 Progress report from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
Oscar continues to amaze me. Yesterday we re-visited the creek and Oscar swam again. He also saw cows for the first time and just like his mum, stood and barked at them. He looks normal as he was watching the cows, with no roach back. We have had rain overnight which meant our dams are spilling and the creek was running way too fast for Oscar to swim safely. We played around the small dam after our walk around the 20 acres and I was able to set him up so the shortest way to me was to swim. He did a great job and you can see in the video that he was using his back legs well in the water.

This seems to progressing as well as we could have expected. Could you please ask your vet to get another blood test for Oscar and could do both Neospora and Toxoplasma levels please. Choice had levels for neospora of 1:256 which is neither high nor low and does certainly indicate exposure or previous infection. Her Toxoplasma IGG levels were 1:256 which also suggests exposure or recent infection. Her Toxoplasma IGM levels were < 1: 16 which also suggests prior exposure  ( 1:16 is positive for infection ). There is nothing more we should do at this stage. Keep the Oscar reports coming please.

Monday June 15
Oscar’s neospora story has taken another twist due to Choice’s test results. Another lot of blood was taken from Oscar to be tested for Toxoplasmosis as well as Neospora. Hopefully it will show his Neospora infection is less active and he doesn’t have Toxoplasmosis.

Wednesday June 17 Progress report from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
Oscar’s seems to be continually improving, this morning it was noticed that his tail carriage seems much better. Often he is seen laying on his back with all four feet in the air and he even lays like a frog to chew on a toy. These are positions that I was struggling to put him in. However, now he is finding it so comfortable he does it by himself. Ways to make him use his back legs more have been invented. The poor boy now has to eat with his front feet raised, throwing his weight onto his rear end.

Stairs that Oscar has learnt to negotiate. Weight on his back legs while eating

Today’s video is off lead, allowing him to roam in our 20 acres. This will give you a better visual of the terrain he is going over. When allowed to run free, his speed has also picked up.

All seems to be going well. Thank you for your updates. If possible could you get some Folic acid from the chemist or supermarket. I would like him to have 5 mg daily. This is to help offset any potential side effects of the Pyrimethamine on his ability to make blood.

Saturday June 20 Progress report from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
Oscar’s neospora story has had many highs and lows, he is such an amazing little dog. This week he decided he likes to retrieve a dummy, instead of just his toys. As a result, we found out that he can (and wants to) retrieve from water. This report also shows that he can trot, as he did on Thursday when he went on a socialization trip into town.

Walks up and down the hills are continuing at least once every day and today even had a crack a doing cavaletti off lead. All things considered he did very well, although the video is a little all over the show as I was watching him rather than what I was videoing. This video also shows how he navigates his way up the stairs and how he is learning to put his paws up on the pot. The video ends with Oscar just being a puppy playing with a yoghurt container.

Oscar will finish his clindamycin medication tomorrow and has had folic acid added to his medications. Overall the vets are happy with his progress. He has an appointment on Monday with a vet that also offers rehab/physio therapy. This means that I won’t have to fly by the seat of my pants trying to invent ways to help him. It also means that we can put a rehab plan in place that will be the road back to his loving family.

I need to be watching Oscar’s weight. The dose of the pyrimethamine is 1 mg / kg and you have 20 mg tablets. I note from his last video that he is becoming a little chubby. We may have to split the capsules you have and I will get some bigger ones.

Wednesday June 24
Oscar’s neospora story has now started a new chapter with rehab/therapy. An exceptionally thorough assessment was done on Monday and what a great facility it is. The staff are amazing, so helpful explaining how to do exercises that will benefit Oscar. Once a week, for the next month, Oscar will do an all day rehab session that includes laser therapy and an underwater treadmill. After that, he will be re-assessed .

Oscar’s day starts with getting out of his crate to toilet, then special attention from the humans while breakfast is had, he has a liking for ‘Nutri-Grain’. Usually we take a short stroll in the 20 acres with the other dogs before all the dogs get breakfast. Then a few hours are spent in the kennel where he plays with the toys and he particularly likes the rope on the bungee cord. We get his muscles moving out in the twenty acres, which includes walking up and down hills, a bit of free running and wading or swimming in the creek or dam. On returning to the yard the other dogs are all put away and Oscar does some more of his rehab

Oscar’s morning Exercises
  • Cavaletti, 4 obstacles about 1 metre apart. He goes up and back 5 times
  • Ramp he goes up and down and back again 5 times
  • Steps, 5 of them, he goes up and down 5 times
  • Paws up, his front feet up on an upturned milk crate and I bump his back end from one side then the other to make him move his back feet

In the evenings Oscar's exercises include:

  • Cookie stretches – while he’s in a standing position we are getting him to move his head from the front position to his shoulder, then back to the front position, then the other shoulder. This is repeated to his ribs and his hips. Oscar now has his own wooden spoon and jar of cream cheese and he will turn his head anywhere to lick the cream cheese off the spoon 😊
  • Stretching exercises for his hamstrings 5 repeats each hindleg, this is done by me extending his knee so his leg is straight and then stretching it forward, all done while he is lying down
  • Stretching exercises for his quadriceps 5 repeats each hindleg, this is done by me extending his knee so his leg is straight and then stretching it backward, all done while he is lying down
  • Laying like a frog while his spine and tail are massaged

The next chapter in Oscar’s Neospora story

Apparently there has been a lot going on behind the scenes, as far as vets seeking opinions and advice from experts. As a result, Oscar has become part of a research project at a university. Suddenly it all seems ‘Bigger than Ben Hur‘. Although, it is a bit of a double edged sword. The good news is, the university study will now pay for the testing of all 9 littermates, their sire and their grandmother, instead of the breeder. Oscar and his mother will also need to be re-tested so all the results come from the same laboratory. The bad news is, the difficulty facing the breeder trying to organise all these dogs to get to one of two venues for a blood test without alarming their owners, during Covid lockdowns.

The puppies went to lovely homes that happened to very spread out, one even interstate, it was challenging to organise. Three of the puppies were unable to get to either of the two designated vet clinics and alternative venues had to be arranged. Over a three week period all but one had their blood taken. The final puppy to be tested was done shortly after that.

The owners were sent the following email
Kuven Labrador Retrievers have been selected for research study from a University and I’m writing to ask your assistance. Each of the dogs I have bred in two litters are required to have a blood test. The university is paying for testing and two different Veterinary Clinics have offered to take the blood for free. I really appreciate your cooperation, as this is a very big deal for me and my future breeding, it can also have flow on effects for other breeders.

After an anxious wait the results of all the blood tests came back on August 5. They confirmed that Oscar got Neopspora from his mother, transplacentally and was the only puppy in the litter to do so. Choice, who was asymptomatic, got Neospora from ingesting contaminated food because her mother, Chobie, was negative.

June 30 Progress report
Last Saturday and Sunday Oscar had a couple of sleepovers with his family and from all reports everybody had a good time. It was a bit like packing your child off to school camp 😊. We are planning to do the same next weekend as he transitions back to being with his family on a permanent basis once his medications are complete.

He had his first (of four) all day rehab/therapy sessions yesterday. When I picked him up I was shown how to correctly stretch his hamstrings and quadriceps as well as a 3 leg exercise and an outdoor exercise they call pick up sticks.

After not seeing him for a couple of days, I could still notice even more improvement in both his posture and his movement. The staff at the rehab are fighting over who gets to work with this boy, he melts everybody’s heart.

July 8 Progress report
Oscar has spent the last couple of weekends with his family and they were dropping him off at rehab. This was very helpful as it meant that I just had to make the one trip to pick him up.

Due to the COVID19 restrictions that took effect last night, Oscar has made the permanent move back to his family. They are willing and able to continue his exercises and can easily get to the rehab centre as they are in the same lockdown area.

Oscar is gaining a lot from his rehab/therapy, he will have another assessment on Monday. This will give us a better idea of the ongoing care he will require over the long term. I would expect that he will at least need to be closely monitored until he reaches full size, but it may be ongoing for the rest of his life. Time will tell. I will still be involved in his progress and can lend a hand whenever required. He will finish all his medications next week and will require another blood test the week after. This blood test should indicate that his Neospora infection is no longer active.

Some of the bloods taken for research project are already at the university and we are awaiting the results. The remaining bloods should be collected by Saturday and be sent off next week.

Overall the outcome is great. Oscar is such a lovely boy, loves the water, loves to retrieve and so willing to please. Add to this his cute looks he melts the heart of everyone he meets. A note from the breeder, as the above reports were also shared with a special group of people, proving to be an immense support during this roller coaster ride. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each one of you. Your support has been so valuable and very much appreciated 😊

The best news is that Oscar is back with his family this is the note from Oscar’s family to the breeder
I just wanted to share with you, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your care and dedication you have shown to Oscar and to us. Always available to answer my questions and you continue to be! You are a patient, with so much love for Oscar. You really helped him become the doggy he is today!! We are very grateful. We’ve made a friend during this process. Thank you. We look forward to continuing Oscar’s Neospora Story with you. 😊😊😊 This morning, we’ve been for a walk and done cavalettitti. It’s great to have our boy back.

July 19 Progress report from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
Oscar had another Rehab session last Monday. He also had an assessment by the vet and it was pleasing that she could see improvement. Oscar’s last all day rehab session appointment has been finalised for this coming Wednesday, July 22 and he will have blood taken that day. Future sessions will be organised by the family, as per a plan, that they can afford.

He is doing very well with his family, although they are struggling with some of the exercises. Hopefully the rehab centre can help with that. Medications are complete, he is only on the following supplements:

  • Wheat germ oil – 1 dessert spoon full on his dinner every evening I would suggest he will be on this for the rest of his life (please advise if you think differently)
  • 1 Ostelin and 1 Megafol 5 these are still being administered until the supply is used up.

His family wanted to know if Glyde should be added to his supplement treatment.

This is a good report and I understand there will be another after today. Glyde will be ok for him. It is specifically for arthritis but will do no harm.  Oscar’s hip and elbow radiographs indicated that he does not have problems at this stage. We will revisit this at 12-18 months of age. Finish off the Megafol and there is no need to buy anymore.

July 23 Progress report from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
I am really concerned that Oscar’s neospora infection is not under control. As he has now been off the pyrimethamine for more than two weeks. He is showing signs of lethargy, soreness and mildly high temperature. Although he was checked by vet at rehab yesterday and was ‘okay’ should he be given another course of medication? Appreciate your thoughts.

This is a worry. It may be that something else is going on or we do have a neospora relapse. Our plan should be for him to visit the vet at that clinic and have him examined. We should recommence the Tribrissen 80 and the Pyrimethamine.

July 24 Progress report from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
Oscar was seen today and the vet doesn’t think Oscar has relapsed. His CK was around 200. A report and blood results will be sent through tomorrow. Oscar weighs 23.1 kg and he will restart the medication today.

The vet is inclined to think that Oscar has been doing a little too much exercise rather than a relapse of the neospora. His CK and physical examination would point to this. Perhaps you could update me as to how he is over the weekend. Could we also start him back on his Megafol tablets please?

July 31, Progress report from Breeder and Vet comments in blue
Oscar seems to be doing well. We think he is feeling well, he can be a ‘normal’ pup/teenager. He runs around when he gets excited and looks like a kangaroo hopping around, he is told to calm down because we don’t want him to hurt himself!

I noted one of the other pups was VERY active / excitable too

He seems to have much more energy since being on the meds, but in saying that, I have taken him for 10 min walks only. Not massive 40 mins walks.

This is most likely to be the reduced exercise rather than the medication.

He wants to jump but he can’t and he can’t squat and poo – same as before. Overall he seems well. We still do notice that one leg is weaker but it has not affected his paws up exercise or walks. He does not fall like he used to when he was younger.

This is all promising. It is most likely that he will continue to slowly improve with his exercises but it seems likely he will ever normalise.

He has a 'want to please' trait. Like when we do cavaletti he just looks at me as if to say – Do I have to? He is very motivated by food!

This will be a great tool to use in his training programs. The fact that he is motivated by food is a good sign, just a typical Labrador. Just make yourself a few notes, like his posture for a poo, to tell the Rehab team when he goes next week.

Oscar is booked in for All Day Rehab Wednesday August 5 and on the videos that his family have sent through he seems to be getting up from a sit position quite well. I am concerned that his posture for toileting is not as good as it was, although because he is not with me I can’t really be sure what he is doing.

Oscar’s Neospora story continued with regular veterinary therapy from July through to September. He was then monitored on a monthly basis until he was 12 months old and had finished growing. 



Oscar is awsome, with a sound temperament. He would have been a great dog in the field of retrieving had he not been disadvantaged by Neospora. The breeder chose, with his owners permission, to have his hips and elbows x-rayed and DNA testing done to see if he would be suitable to breed with. Once all those results came back, a semen collection was taken before he was neutered. He is living his best life with his loving family.

Labrador Retrievers are part of the Gundog Group
and Gundogs are fun dogs 

Contact Details

Lyn Wise
Wundowie, WA, Australia
Email : [email protected]