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Old 03-23-2005, 10:35 PM   #1
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Hi all! I have just been feeling so sick with worry over my little Maddie. Last night I spent hours on the internet reading about liver shunts and Maddie doesn't exhibit all the signs, but she has had some strange things to cause me concern. She is one of those yorkies that doesn't eat unless coaxed; she peed on the carpet once and the color was so dark and I had to work and work on the stain to get it out...I only noticed that dark coloring once, but she normally goes outside and I can't see the coloring; a couple of times when she has been sleeping she appears to be having a nightmare, but it has almost seemed as if it is seizure like; after she eats she pushes her body and head into the couch or wall...back and forth and then will finally quit and act normal again; she got diarrhea/colitis last week and then threw up only once and she is better after being on medicine and a special dog food and has even gained a little weight. One of the sites about liver shunts said the dog will try to get higher when you hold them...Maddie has climbed higher on me since she was a puppy. At times she drinks water like there's no tomorrow and then she'll drink normal amounts most of the time. Yesterday Maddie was at my daughters, who has Maddie's brother, Kirby plus another dog, so Maddie plays with them and always gets tired out and naps when she gets home, but last night she layed down in the middle of the floor and didn't so much as flinch when a door was opened or if I left the room. Normally, even if she is sleeping, if I leave the room, she's up and following me. She was in such a deep sleep last night that it scared me and it took a while to get her to wake up. I hope and pray that I am just being worried and letting my mind run wild, but I am really scared. I have an appointment to have her spayed on April 5th, but can't wait that long to find out about her bloodwork, so I got her an appointment for April 1st...I wish it was sooner! I will have a list of all that has been going on so I won't forget anything. My sister lost two little yorkies to liver shunt and I just hope and pray that is not what Maddie has. I hope I will find out her bloodwork is normal and then I will feel stupid for carrying on like this, but the feelings of relief and happiness would far outweigh my feeling stupid! I should mention that most of the time, Maddie appears to be normal...plays and runs and hops like a bunny, so it's not that she acts sickly constantly.

I apologize for this getting long, but wanted to mention one more thing. My mom had cataract surgery yesterday so this morn I called her to check on her and got no answer. I took my shower and called and still no answer and then knew there was something wrong, so Maddie and I went to her house. She was in bed with excruciating back pain and could not move...I felt so bad to see her in such pain...mom is a trooper and never complains, but this was too much for her. Maddie loves her and got up on the bed with her and gave her puppy kisses and I called for an ambulance. I figured when they got there that I'd have to put Maddie in a bedroom and shut the door because she normally barks her head off at strangers, but when the rescue people got there, and then the paramedics, Maddie did not make a peep. She just watched with a worried look on her sweet little face. Isn't it something that dogs know when there is something wrong? Anyway, mom was in that terrible pain from 4 AM till about 5 PM when if finally lessened to where it was tolerable. Even Morphine wouldn't help her! We don't know for sure yet what caused this, but the doctor thinks it's more muscle involved and I'm praying it isn't more than that. My sister and I were getting pretty scared, but feel a little better after talking with the doctor and now that mom can finally be somewhat comfortable. So now, it's not just my little Maddie I'm worried about, but also my dear mom. Thanks for listening...you're all so wonderful!
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:45 PM   #2
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I don't know what to say to help you feel better but I wanted to let you know my thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Old 03-24-2005, 12:29 AM   #3
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a whole week seems like a long wait to get an apointment for bloodwork..... or is that when the bloodwork comes back????. Maybe look into vet offices that can get you in ASAP for bloodwork and then just transfer the file when she gets spayed???
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:45 AM   #4
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I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. I hope that everything is okay with her.

As to maddie, I agree, is there any way you can get in earlier to the vet? It does seem like a long time to wait. I hope she is okay, please keep us posted..
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Old 03-24-2005, 07:07 AM   #5
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I hope your mom feels better.

Ask your vet to do a bile acid test and have those results before you have her spayed. Hopefully she is fine but its always best to be safe prior to surgery.
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:37 AM   #6
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Hi,

It sounds like you have a quirky, cute little yorkie and you are worrying about a few things that you shouldn't...the sleeping on the floor, not moving when you get up and taking a long time to wake up concern me a great deal, but some of the other stuff sounds completely normal and my Stormy does them all the time...but you are a great owner for being concerned and going to the vet to make sure her bile acid tests are normal...being proactive will ensure that you catch any problems before it is too late. I know that if you catch liver shunt in time it is fixable...the surgery is between $2,500 and $3,000...totally worth it, if you ask me! But, if you find that it is something you cannot afford, rather than putting your dog into a shelter or euthenizing her, post her for adoption on www.yorkierescue.com - they have a great liver shunt foundation that takes in dogs who's owners cannot afford the surgery, pays for the surgery, raises donations and finds them a wonderful home afterward.

The jerking/nightmare movements I think are totally normal (she is just dreaming, Stormy actually runs in his sleep and makes sucking sounds with his mouth! When he first did it 4 years ago, I woke him up because I was so concerned) If she is does this while she is awake, you should be concerned, but if you can wake her up from it easily, then she is probably having a great dream about running in the grass and chasing squeeky toys!

After she eats she runs across the couch, back and forth...Stormy and Teddy do this...mostly when I wash their feet after they go outside or if I give them a bath or if they drink water...even if I only wash their bums if poop gets stuck, they still slam their dry faces into the couch or bed pillows and run back and forth for a few minutes to dry off...it is a cleaning/drying off thing and totally normal. She is probably just trying to wipe/clean her mouth off, and having a great time doing it!

I don't want to discount her water guzzling or dark pee, because I am not an expert, but I am also an overly concerned yorkie parent, these are my children and I treat them as I would a human child. I have had 2 tiny, delicate, quirky yorkies with strange health issues and have spent thousands taking them to the vet for checkups and testing of bile acids, dental cleanings and teeth pullings, skin rashes, and many other things, and my experience has been that when my little guys eat things with more sodium, or have a milk bone or chew a greenie or play harder, they get more thirsty, they are distracted and forget to drink their water, and then all of a sudden when play time is over they realize they are so thirsty so they guzzle the water for a good minute. When they are not physically exerting themselves or when they are being finicky about eating, they tend to drink less...so they pee less, but their pee is more concentrated...also, when she had the accident on the rug it was probably because she was holding it for a while which made the pee more concentrated and therefore darker.

The throwing up/diarrhea - not good...yorkies have such delicate stomachs and digestive systems because they are so small. It is probably something in her diet that caused this...and it is very scary to have this happen to a little dog because they dehydrate quickly and their blood sugar can drop fast. 2 years ago, before I figured out a healthy dog food that Stormy would eat on a regular basis, I would feed him anything just to get him to eat (because he would go for days eating practically nothing...these dogs are so finicky and they know they get more attention if they don't eat because you try to coax them and they love it!) and at one point he threw up food and water, anything he put in his mouth for 3 days, I was so frightened, I brought him to the emergency room and they put him on a fluid IV overnight...that's all it took. He was so dehydrated that he was nauseous and everytime he drank it made him more nauseous - it spiraled downward quickly, but as soon as they put fluids back in he was back to normal. He has never thrown up since, and it has been 2 years.

Please see my other posting if you are interested in finding a food for your finicky little girl that is SO healthy and easy on her stomach, but also so tasty, so she will eat it will little or no coaxing...I spent 2 years trying every dog food on the market before I found this and Stormy has eaten it 2 times a day, every day, for 2 years now...he even jumps up and down and barks in excitement while I cut it up. Here is the link:
http://www.yorkietalk.com/forums/sho...2&goto=newpost

One last thing...when your little Maddie goes in on April 5th, please make sure that your vet has a lot of experience with putting yorkies and small animals under anesthesia! Make sure also that they have a tiny dog respirator tent next to the table while they perform the surgery, because my Stormy went under anesthesia for the first time to be neutered he was fine, but the second time, when they had to remove 6 baby teeth that WOULD NOT come out, he stopped breathing, and though all of his tests were normal, this happened because they doctor who did his teeth was a different doctor than the one who performed the neutering and he was not used to working on small dogs so he gave him too much anesthesia all at once. Needless to say, I yelled at the doctor and never again did Stormy go under without the experienced doctor and a respirator present during the surgery. It cost more, but it was worth it. Even though Maddie is a dog, she is your child, she is under your care and you have every right to be assertive and ask as many questions as you want, get references, and get every detail about your vet and their experience before you chose to approve any medical attention for Maddie!

I hope my similar past experiences will help to ease your mind a bit before your doctor's appointments, and of course if and when her tests come back normal, you will be able to breath easy knowing that her behavior quirks are cute, not scary!
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:18 AM   #7
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Any pup with PSS (liver shunt) who's owner financially qualifies can get help to pay for surgery without giving up the pup.

Visit http://www.tsfannymaelivershunt.com/ to read how to get information and help.

Plus the breeder should refund the cost of the pup.

The Yorkie community has come together many, many times to help owners keep their babies and get vet care needed. Its wonderful in this way!
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Old 03-24-2005, 11:23 AM   #8
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That is a great resource! I'll add it to my list! I just got off the phone with a board member from yorkierescue.com and they will give the donations directly to the doctor performing the liver shunt surgery, so chances are they can raise enough donations for the dog too!
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Old 03-25-2005, 07:19 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone, SO MUCH! I do feel better after reading all the information and Maddie seems better lately, but that is probably because I've not seen much of her as I've been at the hospital with mom, plus that prescription food she's been on she loves and has been eating good. It is so hard to see mom in such horrid pain, but I hope and pray today will get better because of some steroids she's getting, which she could have gotten yesterday, but they screwed up! I'll write more later when I get time on here, but thanks again and Easter Blessings to one and all!

Stormy & Teddy's mom...I had read your post about the food and wish I had a Petco here, but will definitely be getting some of that...found that a pet store a couple of hours from here has it, so I'll take a road trip one day!
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