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Discussion Starter #1
I have a couple of questions that I need some answers to if possible.

1. Parvo - With regards to Ella, The question that I have relates to long term effects on the dogs behavior. Our trainer (who is highly respected by her peers and us) stated that she has seen several dogs that recover from parvo only to have behavioral issues in the future. She believes that there is a link between the virus and brain damage. She feels that dogs who survive parvo suffer from behavioral issues far into their life. Since we respect her knowledge and opinions we are a bit concerned. But I will say that her and I differ on a few subjects, although she has had more experience and has read more than myself, so her opinions carry a little more weight than mine. Anyhow, we are working with a 10-12wk old puppy that just went through Parvo, Coccidia, and roundworms and now has Megaesophagus issues, and we are looking at how these issues might effect her temperament and long-term placement. Any experience or information would be greatly appreciated.

2. Megaesophagus - This puppy is full of lovely little surprises,
I honestly am surprised she is still alive, but it appears she has a fighting spirit. I am happy to keep fighting for her but am terribly concerned at long-term effects. We recently got an email from a lady who just had to let her female boxer go due to this congenital defect and that causes all kinds of red flags to fly with regards to little Ella. How hard is it to manage this issue? Is there a general prognosis that accompanies this issue? I would hate to adopt this girl out, and find out 4-5 mo's down the line that she died due to complications with this disorder, that is very hard on our adopters not to mention us. Also, if anyone has had experience with this issue, is there something that our vet might need to know? I feed my own dogs on the raw diet, personally, if possible the pre-made raw diet might help this little girl out. Anyone else with information on this as well it would be greatly appreciated.


I hate to say this, cause it sounds so cruel; but with the issues that this little girl has faced in her short life, is it time to just let her go on to the bridge. Basically, is the cost (both monetary and the cost to our hearts) worth the effort when she has had to go through so much.
The one thing that is keeping my hope up is that she appears to be a fighter. How hard is it going to be to find someone that will take the extra time and effort, and chance their hearts on a girl with all these issues. My heart just bleeds thinking of her. Right now she is at one of the vet tech's homes, being cared for with the best possible care available.


Thanks,
Carolyn
 

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Hi Carolyn,
Wow, such a tough time you've all been through! :(

I'm so sorry to hear that this little girl has had such a rough start at life. :(

Luckily, I've not had any experience with Parvo, so, unfortunately, I have zero experiences to share with you. I guess that I would just keep working with her at this point and testing her intelligence at this point. That's about all you can do until you're further along with regards to her health issues.

I do know of one individual who had to deal with Megaesophagus, and darn it if I can remember who so that I could put you into touch with them. I do know that they had to feed their bitch a gruel that they had made in the blender and hold her head up for 20 minutes after eating to ensure that it had had the chance to travel to her stomach. I'm thinking, however, that their girl improved with time, and that they were eventually able to work her up to a softer diet of ground burger and veggies with a calcium supplement. Eventually, she was able to eat on her own, but she did still need a soft, easily digestible diet for the rest of her life.

Additionally, the other information that I've read with regards to Megaesophagus as a congenital disorder states that the puppy may grow out of it in part, or in less severe cases, in whole. Prognosis is much better for Megaesophagus puppies than it is for adults that acquire it in older ages.

Here are a few links:

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_megaesophagus.html

http://www.gdhfa.org/Megaesophagus.htm

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm ... icleid=848

http://www.gcvs.com/internists/megaesophagus.htm

I think that you're right to consider euthanasia, but I think I'd give this little gal a little more time. Sometimes we have to make the hardest consideration, simply because it can be the most humane answer at times. Having said that, no one can make that decision for you.

Good luck, please keep us posted on her.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Jessica, I have forwarded this email to the decision makers (myself, the pres, and another member) it helps to have all the information that we can.

It is difficult to make this decision, we had opted when she looked so bad that first weekend to go ahead and let her go, a kind gentleman stepped in a paid for her Parvo treatment, but then when he found out about the Megaesophagus issues he backed out of her adoption. So here we are almost 3 weeks after making the decision to euthanize her, she fought through the parvo and now we are smacked with another terrible issue. What to do?

We have a couple of days to make the decision, I am going to call the foster home (she adopted from us before and is a tech at our vet) and see if she is open to feeding a ground raw diet, the bravo and aunt jeni's are ground finely enough that she could eat them. It should reduce the amount of work for food prep and also possibly get more nutrition into this little girl. It might make the difference with an adoption too. I told the vet that we had a better chance of adopting out a "special needs" dog than anyone else, but still, is it worth the effort.  I just want to gather my facts before I make that all too final decision.
 

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If you consider giving things a go with her, I'd start her on more of a liquid diet at first and then work up to the pre-made ground. The goal here is to get something in her that has the biggest likelihood of sliding down that tract, and then work her up to other things as the nerves have the chance to further develop along the esophagus.

Good luck, and please do keep me posted - I'll be thinking about you all!
 

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HI there... because of my puppy's illness, I have been reading up on infectious diseases and yes parvo, as well as distemper, do cause long term neurological damage to survivors.  I have never had a dog with it, but everything I have read these past two weeks says the dog's brains suffer during the disease.  Hope this helps.
~Anne
 

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I am so sorry to have to tell everyone, that over the past 24hrs little Ella's liver has started shutting down and her heart is not working well. We are going to have to let this little one go. Her will to live is much stronger than her body right now and she is still hanging on, but it isnt going to work. The vet clinic is going to call me at the time so that I can be there with her.


Run free little one, may my boys Jack, Capone and Diesel watch over you and show you the ropes. I know my diesel boy will show you how to excavate the landscaping and Jack will show you how to bounce like a rabbit, capone is always happy to run and play. Sweet Ella you will be in great company. God Speed little one and give my boys my love.

Thank you everyone for all your thoughts and prayers, it meant alot to me and to little miss Ella.
 

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Thank you so much everyone, this is one of the bad parts of being in rescue. But I wouldnt trade it for the world. No matter how much pain and suffering I go through in letting these babies go, it is worth all of it to give them the comfort and love they so desperately needed. Making that difference in one life gives me the reason to continue to get up in the morning. The fact that I get the chance to make that difference in many lives soothes my soul.

Cassie: Thanks for the link, gotta wipe my eyes here since I am at work. Good gracious, when I get to the bridge, I am going to have a whole herd of boxers waiting me there!  couldnt think of a better heaven.

Thank you all for your support and care. I do appreciate it.
 
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