Cecilia was born March 25, 2004. A lot of the stories tell of rescue
pups or terrible breeders, but luckily Cecilia came from a kind, loving
I got Cecilia at the suggestion of my physician to help with anxiety.
She came home with me at 12 weeks, and almost immediately I felt all of the
benefits that come with our furry friends.
For five and a half years she has been my constant companion.
Cecilia is very mellow and quiet, and I repeatedly had people comment on how
good she was. I was so proud that I had such a good-natured,
well-behaved girl. She came to work with me and loved everyone.
Everything was fine.
Suddenly one day, Cecilia started falling over. I watched her get up and
fall on her right side over and over again. I was completely freaked
out. I thought she had had a stroke or brain aneurysm.
I hurried to the emergency vet clinic, but when we got there she was
no longer having a problem. The vet did an exam and said everything
neurologically was fine. I was told that if it happened again to
bring her back. So we went home and I watched her, and nothing happened.
Three weeks went, and while running errands one day with Cecilia, she
started having tremors. I ran back to the emergency vet. Again
everything was fine by the time we got there, but luckily this time they
decided to do some blood work including a Bile Acid test.
The test came back abnormal and the vet told me he suspected a
portosystemic shunt. I had never heard of it. I just knew that
people had shunts put in to drain fluid from the brain or spine. So I
began the process of researching liver shunt and came across the numerous
documents written by Dr. Karen Tobias.
After research and advice from many internet friends, Cecilia and I
flew to Tennessee from Utah to have an ameroid constrictor placed on her
shunt. She had a hard time after surgery with her blood pressure and
blood sugar, but after an extra day at the hospital she was discharged and
home we went. During surgery they did determine that Cecilia's liver
was diseased secondary to the shunt by some unknown toxin but that it would
not be possible to find out what it was. It could have been mushrooms she
ate, pesticides, or any number of other things.
In December, 2009 we will check her Bile Acids, but a liver panel was done
recently due to some vomiting that was unrelated to her liver and the
numbers look great! Most of them are now in normal range, when before
surgery they were all over the place. So far she is a great success
pictured in the background, (Latin: Sancta Caecilia) is the patron saint of musicians and
Church music because as she was dying she sang to God.
St. Cecilia was an only child. It was long supposed that she
was a noble lady of Rome who, with her husband Valerian, his brother
Tiburtius, and a Roman soldier Maximus, suffered martyrdom, c. 230, under
the Emperor Alexander Severus