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Roxy Mae's Story
Roxy Mae was only five weeks old when she was separated from her furmom to become a dying-wish companion for a little six year old girl who had a brain tumor.
Roxy Mae was apparently showing signs of Hepatic Encephalopathy for a good part of her first year of life, but the vet taking care of her couldn’t have known very much about Liver Shunt and MVD. Just around the time the little girl lost her battle, Roxy Mae started to have seizures. The grieving family was under the misconception that Roxy Mae missed the little girl, and hence was having seizures because she wanted to die and be with her.
After being moved to different homes in the extended family, Roxy Mae ended up being taken to a vet for euthanasia by a neighbor. But an Angel was watching over Roxy Mae, and the vet they took her to was not comfortable euthanizing Roxy Mae when she herself did not witness any seizures. Blood work was run on Roxy Mae which showed elevated ALTs. Roxy Mae was sent home with a can of Hills LD and instructions to feed her the food to see if the seizures stopped.
Someone in the family called a rescue group for them to take Roxy Mae off their hands. The rescue mom, Shelly, took her home and fed her LD and hoped to see an improvement. With the support and information received from the Yahoo support group, Liver Shunt and MVD Support, Roxy Mae’s bile acid test came back extraordinarily high (pre 506.9/post 349.1)! The vet had never seen such high bile acid numbers and felt she needed immediate testing in order to fully assess her medical needs and probable surgery.
Within a couple of weeks Roxy Mae had a successful single Liver Shunt repaired by Dr. Karen Tobias at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Although she was a tiny 3.9 lb, 18 month old Yorkie girl, she came through the surgery with flying colors. Her recovery in ICU was speedy and without complications.
I was able to pick her up within a few days and bring her to her forever home with Jeter and Muffin. She is thriving, energetic, and full of the dickens. We often giggle about how she needs Ritalin to calm her down. She runs and zips through the house, twirling and spinning and wanting to play with anybody and anything! Within a few weeks you could barely see her long scar or tell that she ever had a medical issue at all. Her biopsy reports came back indicating that there was no underlying MVD/HMD.
It is truly amazing that the Roxy Mae I see running around the house had such a close brush with death. What a shame if her little life had been cut short unnecessarily because of ignorance! That is why we have to spread the word, especially with our local veterinary offices, what liver symptoms are, and that if a furbaby has liver problems, it is not a death sentence. I smile often when I see her playing knowing that she has a wonderful, full life ahead of her. We love you, Roxy Mae!