Diagnosis: Liver shunt, bladder stones, intestinal
At Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center, we believe that part of our role in the community is lending a helping hand to animals in need. We work with several rescue groups to provide medical services for their foster pets. PROS Pug rescue has been a part of our family at BRVC for several years and is a group that is very near and dear to my heart.
This group is led locally by Jan Grover, and is comprised of a team of volunteers, who open their hearts and homes to Pugs of all ages and levels of need. All their rescue dogs have their medical conditions addressed, big or small. We routinely perform dental procedures, palate surgeries, knee surgeries, and ear/eye/skin treatments on their foster Pugs in addition to routine services like vaccines and heartworm tests. If they have an older Pug with multiple health problems or a special needs Pug that is difficult to place in a permanent home, PROS Pug rescue will place it in a permanent foster hospice home so that he/she can spend their final years in the comfort of a real family. It seems there is nothing they won't do to alleviate the discomfort of a foster dog, and their compassion and dedication know no bounds.
In May of 2009, Grady, a 3 year old Pug, came to me, barely able to lift his head or move. He was dehydrated, vomiting, and had a painful abdomen. I knew from his history that he was born with a liver shunt, an abnormal blood vessel that allows blood that has not been filtered to bypass the liver and go straight back into the general circulation, but he had been doing well living with this condition. The owner reported that he had been getting increasingly ill over the last few days, that he couldn't urinate, and that he may have eaten some q-tips. She, unfortunately, could not afford any testing or treatment, and he was critically ill. The owner had already been in contact with PROS Pug rescue, and without hesitation, Jan Grover told me to do whatever was necessary, no matter the cost. Jan assured me that they would foster him once he had recovered.
Testing showed he had several bladder stones. One had lodged in his urethra and blocked his ability to urinate, causing severe pain, risk of bladder rupture, and insult to his kidneys. X-rays revealed he had indeed eaten a large amount of q-tips that had lodged in his stomach, and of course, he still had the liver shunt he was born with. We were able to push the urethral stone back into his bladder and place a urinary catheter to empty his bladder. Grady was started on fluids, pain medications, and antibiotics, and started to feel a little better. In a stroke of luck, a surgeon was available later in the day and performed three different procedures on this tough little Pug. In a two hour procedure, he had the bladder stones removed, the q-tips taken out of his stomach, and the liver shunt closed. Grady is a fighter and made an amazing recovery and was eating, urinating, and wagging his tail 48-hours later and was discharged from the hospital into the care of a foster home.
Grady has had multiple follow up visits since then. His liver shunt appears to be resolved, his kidneys normal, and he has not eaten any other foreign material. He did, unfortunately, develop bladder stones again in September 2009 and needed another bladder surgery. As always, he did very well with a wagging tail through all of it. We appear to have figured out the reason for his recurrent disease and are hoping that future bladder problems will be avoidable.
Despite all Grady has been through, he has a wonderful personality and finally, a clean bill of health. He has been with a dedicated foster, but is finally ready for his forever home. If you are interested in adopting him, please see the PROS Pug website www.pugpros.org/available.html and check out Grady. Both the surgeon and BRVC extended significant discounts for Grady's surgeries and care, but his medical costs still came to approximately $4,600. Like many rescue groups, PROS Pug rescue suffered a difficult year in 2009. If you are able to help with a donation for his medical care, please see the website www.pugpros.org/donate.html to make a donation. Every little bit counts.
The love and dedication of these volunteers and the boundless joy of each foster Pug never ceases to amaze me. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank them all for letting me be a part of their efforts to help one of my favorite patients find his forever home.
Shann Ikezawa, DVM