Likes: Chewing on taquitos, playing with dad, belly rubs, French Fries, sleeping with mom
Pet-Peeves: Her harness, the vaccuum
Favorite Toy: Rudy the Reindeer & the Grinch (yes, he's back!!)
Favorite Food: Little Cesar & Chicken tenders
Favorite Walk: To the mailbox and back
Best Tricks: She only knows one... "Sit"
Arrival Story: We finally bought our first home last summer. We had talked about getting a puppy to go with our two cats but we needed to make sure we got something that would stay small. I'd never liked Pugs much until my boss got two of them and then I fell in love! So for our 3rd wedding anniversary, my husband and I decided we'd get a Pug. He found a breeder that had three fawn females that were only 3 weeks old. One of the three was smallest of the litter and had a black ring around her tail so we chose her. We had to wait three loooong weeks before we got to take her home, but she has become such an important part of our lives!! We love our little Emmy Pie!
Bio: Emily is our little ray of sunshine! She is a love bug who wants to be the center of attention. If you sit on the couch, you better be prepared for 20+ lbs of Pug in your lap! She is our little jester and joker, always good humored with the best personality possible. Emily loves people more than other animals, but thinks that everyone and everything just adores her as much as we do. She has had more than her share of health issues from an umbilical hernia to skin allergies to eye injuries, but most have been pretty straightforward until the discovery of a liver shunt in August 2008. She had two surgeries in three months and we were very worried about the complications she faced post-surgery, but she bounced back with the same energy and zest for life as she always has. Our lives have been incredibly full of love and fun since this little monkey came to live with us. We are so fortunate to share our home with her. Everyone might not love Pugs, but everyone loves Emily!
First of all, my surgery went very very well. It took almost twice as long as they figured it would. The exact location of my shunt was never confirmed by the portal scans or ultrasounds so the surgeon had to look for it. He started by my stomach and went all the way back to my intestines and finally found it in a spot they don't usually see shunts (trust me to be special) but he put the band around it to start closing it off. He took a liver biopsy just to make sure everything was okay and then he checked my bladder to make sure that no additional stones had formed since my surgery.
The big concern was for complications after the surgery. Sometimes when they close shunts off, the blood backs up into the intestines because the liver can't handle the increased blood flow. Sometimes new shunts form in response to the additional blood flow, almost like pressure release valves. Seizures were the bigger worry. They're not sure why some dogs have them post-surgery. It's almost as if our bodies miss the toxins that have been in our systems. But I didn't have any of these problems. I did so well that I got to come home a day early.
I had a HUGE incision that was closed with staples. 25 of them in fact. Mom and dad called it my zipper. Ouch! It sure hurt to move. For the first two days, I got a pain pill every eight hours and did a lot of sleeping. Mom took time off work to stay with me so I slept on her most of the time. By my third day home, I was moving around more and even wagged my tail. Mom cut my pain meds back to every 12 hours but I still was a little stiff when I moved. The surgeon said that for two weeks I wasn't supposed to run, jump, climb or exercise. HA HA HA!! Fat chance!! There's nothing that could stop me from jumping up on the couch, even though mom and dad said no. I did let them help me down off their bed though.
I got my staples out on the 19th. My surgeon said he was very happy with my progress and I need to have my bile acids checked the week before Christmas. If they are normal, then my shunt is closed. If they're not normal (which he expects they won't be), then we'll just wait four more weeks and check them again. The whole point in this surgery and the band around this extra vein was to close it off slowly. If after the second test, my bile acids are still high, then we'll have to check to make sure that no new shunts have formed and that the band is doing its job. We're not worried about that though. We're just happy that I made it through with no trouble.
The only bad thing? These &*$#**@ bumps!!! They will not go away! When I came out of the hospital, I didn't have a single one. Within 12 hours of being home, they had already started to come back. Mom and dad have run out of ideas on what could be causing them. They bought some expensive laundry soap made for human babies and have washed all of my stuff and all of their blankies in it. It has helped a bit. I don't have any new bumps but the ones I have are all scabbed over and my skin is VERY dry and scaly. Mom is trying to find some kind of moisturizer to use on me to help soothe my poor skin. I've been so itchy that I've scratched a lot of my hair off too. I'm pretty pathetic looking. If they can't figure out what's wrong, there's a dermatologist at the specialty hospital I can go see. But not for a while please. I've had enough of vets lately!!
I'd like to bark my thanks to Dr. Aiken, my surgeon, for doing such a good job and to Dr. Hansche for catching this in the first place. Dr. Hansche was sure I didn't have anything wrong with my liver but he wanted to make sure so he checked my bile acids. That was the only thing that showed I had a problem. If he hadn't been so thorough, who knows how long it would have been before it was noticed. I might have been a much sicker pup by then so I really appreciate his caution and thoroughness. He just loves me and takes such good care of me! I am lucky to have such good doctors.
Okay, telling my tail... oops, I mean TALE has totally worn me out. i need a nap now.
Good night all, from one happy, healthy, bumpy pug!
I have the itchy bumps AGAIN! And I'm still on my steroids and antibiotics!! Mom and dad are at their wits end trying to figure out what's bothering me. They've messed with my food, given me baths, put flea medicine on me, picked me, poked me, prodded me and now, worst of all, I'm back to sleeping in my crate. The heat makes my bumps worse and dad thinks I'm getting too hot sleeping in the big bed with mom and dad. Bummer....
Mom's going to postpone my surgery while they try to figure out what's wrong. This surgery has complications even if I'm 100% and right now I'm pretty miserable. I have a couple of spots where I've scratched until I've bled. The Prednisone has given me the appetite of a WOLF but mom and dad have actually cut back on my food. No cheese with my Benadryls, no canned food with my meds... My life pretty much stinks right now.
If I don't start looking better in the next couple of days, I'll be going to see Dr. Hansche Saturday. He's a nice man and I like him a lot, but I've seen waaaaay too much of him lately. Even he says so! But these bumps are making me crazy. If I'm not begging for food, I'm scratching myself. Dad would make me wear a t-shirt if he didn't think it would make me hot. About the only positive is at least they're not on my lovely face this time. They're on my hiney back around my tail.
This is no fair. Pugs aren't supposed to be unhappy.
Well, it's now 100% official. I have an external liver shunt and I need surgery to close it off.
They gave me not one but TWO meds to make me hold still for my second portal scan on Friday. Wow! That stuff sure had quite a kick! I was pretty out of it most of the day Saturday. I just wanted to sleep. At least it didn't effect my appetite. I went over 24 hours without food, don't you know. They couldn't get me to eat at the hospital but I chowed down as soon as we got home. They just didn't have the right flavor I guess.
My surgery is scheduled for November 6th. It's straightforward in itself, but it's afterwards that now has us all a little nervous. I'll spend two days in ICU and one in intermediate care after my surgery. I may have seizures and liver failure. The seizures are a possibility because my blood pressure will fluctuate when the extra vein starts closing down. My liver could shut down because of the increased blood flow. My liver is smaller than it should be because not all of my blood was circulating through it so it kind of shrunk. Even a slight increase in blood flow could cause it to freak out and decide to stop working.
My mom and dad are worried about something bad happening to me. However my age and good health are definitely on my side. Usually this surgery is preformed on much younger dogs and puppies and they have usually been sick (which is what leads to the discovery of the shunt in the first place). If it hadn't been for my bladder stones, who knows when we would have caught this?
We will all be much happier when this is all over and done with.
My poor little tummy is going to look like a road map!!! I'll have my spay scar, the one from my umbilical hernia surgery, the one for my bladder stones and then the one for my shunt. ENOUGH! I don't have all that much hair on my tummy to start with so there's nothing to hide them all with!!
Just call me zipper tummy....
PS - I've been promised a ride in the car and a WHOLE plain hamburger with some fries once I'm well. Yeeee haw!! Something cool to look forward to! :)