My name is Checkers. I am a Peek-A-Poo. I was born on February 22, 2008. I have the same birthday as my human daddy.
On February 13, just a few days before my 1st birthday I began to feel really bad. I couldn't go potty and I became very tired. My human mommy became very worried and called my human daddy to tell him something was wrong. When he got home that night they tried to help me with my tummy problems but they couldn't get me to go potty. Mommy had been trying to get me to eat yogurt [one of my favorites] and other things but nothing was helping and I couldn't poop.
On Saturday morning, Valentine's day, they took me to see my veterinarian. I was still not feeling very good when I got there. The first thing my doctor did was look in my mouth where she decided that I was very pale and dry. Then she did the most awful thing...she got a thermometer and put it in my bum...I didn't like that at all, but her assistant was very kind and rubbed my ears. The doctor found out I didn't have a fever but she found yucky blood on her thermometer and this upset her very much.
The doctor told mommy and daddy that I was dehydrated and pale and she was very concerned about the blood. She said she didn't feel a full tummy but that I had seemed upset when she was palpitating and she wanted me to stay for a couple of days on IV fluids to help with the dehydration. She also told them that she would do blood work to see if everything was okay. My human parents agreed grudgingly...they don't like to leave me especially in a "kennel environment" with other dogs. I am very spoiled. But they agreed and kissed me good bye.
The vet assistant stuck a needle in my leg and drew some of my blood out. I wasn't very happy and I was missing my human parents. As if taking my blood wasn't enough they put another needle in and left it then put me in a cage. I didn't like that but I felt so bad that I just laid down.
Apparently the blood work showed my veterinarian that my liver enzymes were elevated 3 times above the normal. Now, wouldn't you think that when you are ABOVE normal that is good? That is not the case in blood work and liver enzymes tho! But, I am still way above normal in personality and the ability to make humans smile!
Back to the liver enzymes - the elevation really seemed to bother Dr. Watson so she called my human mommy and told her that she would now take xrays and call back. Once again those youngsters came in telling me how cute I am but they were up to no good,they took me to another room and took an xray of my tummy. The doctor didn't seem happy about these results either. She called mommy to tell her that my liver was too small for my body and that her recommendation would be to take me the the University of Tennessee's Veterinary Hospital and have surgery. She then began to explain to mommy about portosystemic liver shunts which is what my problem is.
Portosystemic Liver Shunts are potentially deadly for little dogs like me - I only weigh 8 lbs. 9 oz. and generally require surgery. This surgery can be performed at UT Knoxville, where they are experts with this problems [lucky for me I live nearby]. But the surgery is very expensive and my human parents are having a little trouble raising the money in this economy. They are in the construction business and business is not so good right now. My humans are very upset about this and mommy cries a lot trying to figure out what to do. But, I know that they will find a way to get me fixed up good as new.
Presently I am home and feeling pretty good. I'm on a special diet [the food is okay but i'm not wild about it] and have to take medicine two times a day. I don't like to take medicine but mommy hides it in cheese and feeds it to me. I can't have any meat because protein is bad for my liver.
I'll keep you updated.