Archive for the ‘Veterinary Grant Recipients’ Category

Lazarus, the Miracle Dog

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Lazarus was well named by Carolyn Davis. She adopted him the day before he was to be put down as an unwanted stray at a pound. Lazarus has turned into my most miraculous patient because he escaped death from three terminal diseases.

In 2008, when Lazarus was eight years old, he developed stage five terminal leukemia. At presentation, Lazarus had been vomiting blood and had a white blood cell count (WBC) of 659,500! The WBC normal  ranges from 6,000-18,000. He was at end stage crisis from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. His overall prognosis was poor (less than 4 months). Carolyn would not allow a bone marrow biopsy because she did not want the risk since he was so sick (risk:benefit ratio).

We entered Lazarus into our Pawspice program. Pawspice rhymes with hospice but it is much much more! Pawspice embraces palliative medicine (reduces the signs and discomfort of illness) and offers kinder gentler standard chemotherapy. Lazarus’ chances for a long life were grim but Carolyn felt that as long as he did not feel sick from the treatments, she wanted us to try to save him.  She said, “I want to save him. I want him to be the miracle dog!”  Lazarus responded to the gentle chemotherapy and he survived stage five leukemia!

Two years later in 2010, Lazarus was swimming in Lake Arrowhead. He developed a severe infection of his liver (hepatitis). The infection concentrated in the tiny pathways of his bile system. Lazarus developed  yellow jaundice of his skin. He he had bloody small bowel diarrhea and extremely elevated liver enzymes. His liver biopsy diagnosed hepatitis with an infected biliary system  (suppurative cholangiohepatitis).

Rcently, Lazarus started having blood in his urine. When we checked his bladder, we found a large tumor involving the apex of his bladder. We tried to control the bleeding with an infusion into his bladder. Despite our efforts, his urine continued to be bloody. It became obvious to all of us, especially to his mom, Carolyn, that Lazarus would need surgery to remove his bleeding bladder tumor. There was no other feasible alternative. Despite the risk, surgery had to be done because Lazaruswas losing so much blood in one week that he required blood transfusions!

Of course, Carolyn was on board for the surgery. She almost demanded the surgery. We had to remind her that Lazarus had a special pre-existing history and co-morbid conditions. Read about his skirmishes with death in my Lazarus blog of September 24, if you don’t remember Lazarus! He is the miraculous survivor of near-death liver failure, horrible hepatitis and raging acute leukemia. All these factors, including his severe anemia, put Lazarus into the “high surgical risk” category.  I needed Carolyn to understand that Lazarus could die.

Dr. Villalobos founder of Pawspice (rhymes with Hospice) applied and received an Angel Fund Grant from the AHF-SCVMA.  Thank you Dr. Villalobos!


Nearly lost, Gypsie is back!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

In June, 2011, Kira Davidson’s boyfriend took her to Disneyland for her birthday.  It was a great day – until they returned home and Kira found her dog, Gypsie, shaking and acting “really strange.”

Gypsie, a 4-year-old Manchester terrier Kira had rescued “straight off the street” a year earlier, was “shaky and she’d never been shaky before. I figured that maybe it was because it was colder that night. The next morning, I woke up and I went out to get her some dog food. When I came home, she was excited and jumping like she normally does and we went upstairs. The next thing you know, I turned around and she was falling and tipping over and then she really fell down and I freaked out.

“My first instinct was to feel her heart and I noticed it was very, very, very slow. So I took her to my local veterinarian in Pasadena.  He said there was a heart murmur and it was beyond what he could do because he’s not a heart specialist.”

The veterinarian referred Kira, who lives in Temple City, to the Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Pasadena. Fearing an expensive treatment, Kira – who had been laid off from her job with an insurance company days before – went to a couple of other veterinarians first. She was told the same thing that the first practitioner had said.  So she took Gypsie to Advanced Veterinary Care.

“They were very accommodating and we found out that her heart wasn’t working right and the only way to save her was to put in a pacemaker.”  The hospital filled out forms for an Angel Fund grant to help Kira and AVCC matched the grant.  “So basically they saved us $1,000 on the pacemaker. And within about a week I had found out what was wrong with Gypsie and she was on the surgery table. She has always been a very fit dog. She’s got a lot of muscle, more than fat. So she was the first patient of theirs where they actually had to implant the pacemaker under her muscle, instead of just under her skin. The pacemaker is the exact same thing they put in a person. And it turned out really good. Dr. [Sarah] Zimmerman said she loved the result. She said she wanted to do it that way on more dogs.”

Today, Gypsie is a healthy, normal terrier.  She can keep up with other dogs.  She jumps and runs and plays.  “She’s fit!” Kira says happily.

But her dog would be gone by now, if she had not gotten the pacemaker, Kira believes. And she is delighted to have Gypsie back – just as she was before last June.

Pinky gets Angel Fund Grant

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The Rodriguez family’s 12 year old pomeranian – Pinky – had bladder, ureteral and kidney stones that had to be removed surgically.  In order for the family to afford the surgery, The Advanced Veterinary Care Center applied for an AHF-SCVMA Angel Fund Grant.  This helped the Rodriguez family save the life of their beloved Pinky!

Fifi is helped by an Angel Fund Grant

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The Portnoy family thanks the Northridge Pet Hospital for applying for and receiving a grant from AHF-SCVMA’s Angel Fund.  Their domestic shorthair cat – Fifi – had an ulcerated growth between her paw pad and needed attention to several teeth.  Fifi is recovering nicely.

Angel Fund helps a pug named Baby

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Read how the Angel Fund helped Baby thanks to the Rainbow Vet Hospital

Angel Fund Recipient

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Thanks to the Rainbow Vet Hospital in Burbank for helping Jodi with her Sheltie Bonnie by reaching out to the Angel Fund!

The Cat Care Clinic helps Peanut recover

Monday, August 13th, 2012

The Green family is very grateful to the Cat Care Clinic and the Angel Fund for helping Peanut recover from a severe urinary tract infection.

Rainbow Vet Hospital Helps Client

Friday, July 20th, 2012

The Rainbow Vet Hospital received a grant from the AHF to help Luiz Molona ad his dog Pirate, who was bitten by a neighbor’s dog.  The little terriermix is only 1 year old, but has a full life ahead of him as a result of the hospital’s help.

Angel Fund Recipients Rosemary and Simon

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

The Cat Care Clinic in Orange used the Angel Fund to offset costs for Rosemary, whose cat, Simon, ingested Advil and was suffering from ibuprofen toxicity.  We hope that Simon makes a full recovery!

Angel Fund Recipients Kristan and Sunday

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Many thanks to the Southern California Veterinary Hospital for utilizing our Angel Fund to help Sunday, the Dalmation who was limping.  We look forward to Sunday feeling better very soon.