Pug name Willy Wonka couldn’t open his mouth and was on the euthanasia list


When Heavenly Sanctuary Rescue received a call from a local shelter about a dog with its mouth shut, they knew they had to help. Due to his condition, he was on the euthanasia list. The poor pup was scared and hungry, but thanks to the rescue staff, Willy Wonka will get a second chance.

According to the rescue, Willy Wonka was immediately taken to the vet. Dr. Grant calmed the pug to try to find what was blocking the pup’s jaw. They discovered that his jaw had no structural abnormalities or fractures. Confused, the shelter continued to fight to give Willy Wonka a second chance at life.

His lab work showed a high blood cell count and neutrophils, which can mean underlying infection and inflammation. They sent his blood work to the UC San Diego Neuromuscular Lab for diagnosis. Shortly after, Willy Wonka and another pup named Cricket, who also had his jaw locked, went to see veterinary neurologist Dr. Fallen.

Finally, after so many unanswered questions, the shelter learned what was causing the pup so much misery. Willy Wonka was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called masticatory muscle myositis. This condition causes the immune system to attack and kill its own tissues. For the pug, it’s specifically about attacking the muscles that allow it to open and close its mouth.

Wonka is now following an “aggressive treatment plan” to suppress the immune system. They are already seeing improvements in his jaw function and he can drink water on his own. He even feels good enough to make some other friends to the rescue!

“He is very happy to be off the streets, out of the shelter and finally getting the second chance he deserves,” the shelter wrote in a Facebook post.

The shelter is asking for donations to help with ongoing medical bills for Willy Wonka and the other animals in their care. If you can, donate to Sky Sanctuary Rescue here. You can also donate via Venmo: skysanctuary or PayPal: [email protected]

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