Penny's Pancreatic Plight

Dogs seem to occupy a special place in the hearts of those who love them. They impact everyone who opens themselves up to the possibility of never ending, immense, nonjudgmental love. I was blessed with the gift of a puppy I named Penny on November 21, 2014 and cannot imagine life without this tiny, shy, extremely sensitive dog that gives my life a sense of purpose. Penny is proof to me that true love exists. From the minute her dark brown eyes looked into mine I felt she had the ability to sense my emotions and from that moment on I knew there was no turning back. Penny's life would forever revolve around mine and intertwine. By 1 year of age she had been to the vet a few times for vomiting and diarrhea and was diagnosed as having a sensitive digestive tract. She was a very picky eater and often had to be coaxed to eat her food. I also noticed she was not a huge fan of drinking water and her urine was extremely concentrated. We were advised to watch Penny's intake of water, she was switched to a prescription wet dog food made by Science Hills ($34.00 for 12 cans) is fed 3 times a day because her sugar levels drop when her tummy is empty and bile builds up causing more vomiting and diarrhea issues starting the viscous cycle all over again. The breeder guesstimated her weight to be between 4 & 5 lbs by the age of 2 Penny has topped out at 3 lbs. I was so sad that my small, innocent puppy was going through all this at such a very young age. In between these bouts of illness she remains a very shy, gorgeous and loving little dog. She loves her baby sister and they play for hours mostly at bedtime when she feels good. Her issues seemed to bring us closer together because she has to trust me while I prick her tiny toes to get glucose readings, watching her water intake consistently and basically making her drink additional water through a syringe which isn't much fun for either of us. In comparison her baby sister, Zoey leads a completely different life which is stress free and healthy and has only seen the inside of a vets office to get her yearly booster shots. Last week, Penny stopped eating completely and started throwing up lots blood. I was horrified and so afraid for her, I rushed her to an emergency vet hospital and after blood work and an ultrasound that totaled $653.46 we were told she most likely has chronic pancreatitis but additional blood work and more ultrasounds are needed. With 1 episode chances of recovery are good. But since Penny has ongoing episodes, it can lead to diabetes and/or pancreatic insufficiency. This is a lifelong and expensive illness but can be controlled with proper care. We are not there yet ... but she has had several episodes leading to acute pancreatitis which can be life threatening, early recognition and treatment improve her chances of recovery. Penny has all the common signs of acute pancreatitis which is fever, lack of appetite, depression and vomiting. The treatment for this is early medical intervention by correcting her dehydration, maintaining proper fluid and electrolyte balances and providing nutritional support. Our veterinarian said the costs of her ongoing care will be between $5,000 - $6,000 which would include the additional tests needed to monitor her, maintaining proper diet for her condition and the hospitalization that is needed to treat her current episode.This tiny, innocent little girl needs your help to get her "spunky back" and be able to live a normal life.


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Penny Lane 
Yuba City, CA
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